Known for its romance, architecture, and famous works of art, Florence is one of Italy's most beautiful cities. Located in the heart of the the sprawling Tuscan countryside, surrounded by palatial vineyards and verdant landscapes, embarking on day trips from Florence Italy to explore neighboring cities and villages is an excellent way to experience the breadth and complexity of Italian culture, see a wide-variety of historically significant sites, and enjoy the many authentic home-style bistros and eateries scattered throughout the region.Here are our top day trip itineraries for Tuscany Tours from Florence:
Siena may be a small city, but it has a lot to offer travelers exploring Tuscany. This 13th-century town is steeped in history, and is considered one of the most well-preserved cities in the region. Keep an eye out for well-known 14th century frescoes in the historic town center, which includes the 800-year-old town hall Palazzo Pubblico. You can also enjoy the city's many wine bars, boutiques, and restaurants, which add their own element of Italian charm to this already beguiling city.
Step away from the city and into the most beautiful part of Tuscany - the Chianti Wine Region. Drive past flourishing vineyards and wineries, and soak in the breathtaking Tuscan countryside in this world famous wine region. The Chianti region's blossoming landscapes and quaint historic villages provide travelers with unique insights into rural Italian life, and an excellent venue to sample some of the region's most well known wines and culinary fare. Some of the best-known Italian wines, such as Chianti Rufina and Chianti Colli Fiorentini, can be sampled here. And if wine isn't your thing, the region is also photographer's dream, with hidden parishes, rustic cottages, and, of course, the iconic rolling green hills.
You have probably already heard of Pisa's famous leaning tower, and just an hour from Florence, you can go see it for yourself with ease. Construction of the Leaning Tower of Pisa - designed to be a 185ft white marble bell tower - began in 1173 during a brief period of local prosperity, but due to significant foundation design flaws, construction was halted 5 years later as the tower began to sink into the subsoil groundwork, preempting the eventual 3-stage, 199 year-long build process to complete the tower. Although, the accidental lean has, in fact, made the city of Pisa a very popular tourist attraction. The city also has some other magical monuments and great historical buildings, including the city's cathedral, the Duomo di Pisa, which features a number of impressive ancient artifacts.
The small town of San Gimignano delle Belle Torri dates back to the 8th century, and is one of Italy's most storied, and intriguing small towns. Today, 14 of the 72 medieval towers that once guarded San Gimignano delle Belle Torri's town walls, serving both as defensive structures and symbols of wealth, remain well-preserved, and help to cultivate the towns historic and feudal atmosphere. Just outside San Gimignano delle Belle Torri, travelers can enjoy the lush countryside speckled with ancient olive groves and ambrosial vineyards as far as the eye can see. Taking a day trip to this quaint Italian town is a great way to escape the frenetic pace of larger cities, and get a glimpse into the rich history of medieval Tuscany.
For slightly longer day trips from Florence Italy that promise a contrast of scenery from Tuscany, drive your Italy car rental towards the 11 miles of postcard-worthy coastline that makes up Cinque Terre. Around 2.5 hours from from Florence by car, the Cinque Terre is home to some of Italy's most iconic and picturesque coastal villages, with gorgeous views of the ocean, and secluded hidden beaches to enjoy. Try some of the local seafood, walk the cliff-top trails, or just spend your day sunbathing at the beach - no matter what you decide, the Cinque Terre is the place to enjoy a relaxing getaway from the city.
Escape to the natural world for a day, and drive into the Tuscan countryside, navigating at your own leisure through the region's rolling viridian hills, punctuated by ancestral villas and tranquil vineyards, as you make your way to the quiet, culturally charming town of Cortona. Perched upon a hilly summit overlooking the sylvan landscapes below, Cortona offers spectacular views of the region, that help to cultivate an authentically Italian, relaxed setting to enjoy a vacation. Cortona, surrounded entirely by heavenly Tuscan landscapes, affords travelers the most authentic view of Tuscany, which might be why the movie 'Under the Tuscan Sun' was filmed in Cortona.
Drive a little over an hour from Florence, and discover the medieval city of Bologna, an ancient metropolis famous for its unique regional culture and modern edge. Bologna is home to one of the world's oldest universities, as well as some of the most beautifully preserved piazzas and architectural wonders, yet it also has a contemporary side to it, with portions of the city dedicated to the advancement of modern technologies and industries. Many tourists come to Bologna from Florence to try the famous 'bolognese sauce', which is said to have originated in the city, and to see the city's famous terracotta buildings, known as 'la Rossa.'
To this day, the city of Lucca is still surrounded by Renaissance-era walls designed by Leonardi da Vinci, and its list of attraction credentials doesn't stop there. Lucca has a wealth of ancient and medieval architecture throughout the city, with many monuments and structures dating back to the Gothic and Roman eras. The city also has some great parks, cathedrals, and a historic old town to be explored. The whole city is best navigated by foot, as driving on the inside of the walls is reserved for residents only.
Embark on one, or all, of our recommended day trips from Florence Italy, and experience Tuscany's timeless blossoming landscapes, architectural wonders, and world famous regional cuisine, all at a pace that best suits your travel style. Auto Europe can take care of all your travel needs long before you arrive in Florence, so the only thing you have to worry about is personalizing your vacation itinerary, and packing your bags for the ultimate Italian road trip. Whether you are in need of a Florence airport car rental to get on the road, or a luxury hotel accommodation for a few nights, Auto Europe can handle it all. Book online, or call us toll-free at 1-888-223-5555, available 24/7 for all your travel needs.