Emerald valleys, beautiful sunsets over olive groves and vineyards… it’s easy to see why so many people fall in love with Tuscany. The province boasts an extremely rich history, and many of the hilltop towns have perfectly preserved their medieval architecture. |
Florence is the perfect base for exploring the region. This largely pedestrianised town has its own rich artistic heritage – and while it may be tempting to spend all your time in its beautiful museums and cathedrals, there are some delightful day trips you won’t want to miss out on.
Here are just a handful of the many options available.
San Gimignano is a charming hilltop town. The remarkable silhouette of its skyline is famous all over the world, and for good reason, as the imposing medieval house towers stand like skyscrapers amongst the ancient stone streets.
Aside from these impressive thirteenth century indicators of wealth and military power, San Gimignano has grown to become a popular destination with tourists thanks to its perfectly preserved historical centre, its sweeping hillside views, and its exquisite hand-painted pottery.
Cinque Terre, as its name suggests, is in fact a group of five distinct ancient coastal towns: Corniglia, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, and Riomaggiore.
These colourful villages are highly photogenic and they are all perched dramatically on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the azure waters of the ocean. While here during your day trip from Florence, don’t forget to taste the region’s most famous gastronomic delight: Cinque Terre is the home of pesto!
For some of the best sweeping views over the rolling hills of the untouched Tuscan countryside, visit Val d’Orcia. The valley is ideally situated for a day trip from Florence and there’s no need to fill up on breakfast before you head out, because visiting Val d’Orcia is all about tasting artisan food.
The area is famous for its wine and cheese production so make sure to sample the selection of Pecorino Romano cheese during your day trip from Florence. Made of sheep’s milk, it’s hard, salty, and is only produced in this valley.
On Pisa’s buzzing central square – the Piazza dei Miracoli – you’ll encounter one of Europe’s most iconic buildings. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is certainly not a landmark that can be missed!
But there is much more to discover in this popular Tuscan town. The stunning white marble façade of the Pisa cathedral, the well-curated collections of the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, and the lively hub of the fifteenth century Piazza delle Vettevaglie should all feature highly on your itinerary for your day trip from Florence.
Wine enthusiasts should bump Chianti to the top of their list of day trips from Florence. The region is renowned for its ‘fiasco’: a traditional Italian style of rounded wine bottle that comes enclosed in a woven straw basket. Drinking from one of these is a truly divine cultural experience, made all the more impressive when set against the glorious vineyards of rural Tuscany.
Aside from wine, Chianti makes a great spot for bike riding, with idyllic winding roads. You’ll be able to stop off to sample some of the region’s specialist olive oil along the way. If you work up an appetite (and you will), the restaurants here are well known for serving delicious, traditional Tuscan meals – with a modern twist.
Wherever you decide to go on your day trip from Florence, having a local guide will help ensure you get the most out of your experience. These excursions are best booked with a reputable tour operator, as they’ll take you to the best hidden gems, give you a glimpse of local culture, and share their abundant historical knowledge with you.
Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including great itineraries for a day trip from Florence. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro's company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you're keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.
Related Articles -
day, trip, from, Florence,