6 easy must-do weekend trips from Florence

Published by: BouncePosted
weekend trips from Florence

Florence hardly needs an introduction. This charming town, with its Renaissance architecture, world-leading art galleries, incredible museums, and spectacular food scene, is one of the highlights of any trip to Italy and one of the most visited cities by international tourists in the entire world. If you haven't been to this Tuscan city yet, chances are good that you will end up there at some point in your life. And you've you have been there before, you'll know exactly why it's so special.

In some ways, the entire city of Florence can feel like one big art gallery. But this is a living city where you'll also find lively markets, spectacular restaurants, and great nightlife once the sun goes down. There's enough to do in Florence to keep you busy no matter how long you're in town, especially if you're interested in history, art, or great food.

However, one of the things that makes Italy such a great country to explore is that every region and almost every town offers you something different. And with an excellent rail network that makes it easy to travel on high-speed trains between cities and slower regional trains to areas more off the beaten path, it would be a shame not to take advantage of day trips or weekend trips from Florence. There's so much to see in this region that if you can find the time to explore outside the city itself, you definitely should. Florence Train Station can be the starting point of some great weekend trips from Florence, or you can rent a car and explore on four wheels.

However you choose to travel, you'll have a much easier time if you leave your bags behind at a Florence luggage storage. Bounce has locations in Florence and in hundreds of cities all over Italy, so you can always find a place to leave your bags behind and travel light.

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Weekend trips from Florence to San Gimignano

San Gimignano

This beautiful town is almost worth visiting for the wine alone. However, the ancient history and gorgeous scenery make this one of the most popular weekend trips from Florence, and it's close enough to the city to consider for a day trip, too.

Distance from Florence:

San Gimignano lies 60 km south of Florence, so you can reach it by car in around one hour. It's also possible to take bus line 130, which will take closer to two hours.

Our activity recommendations:

Piazza del Duomo San Gimignano: The ancient heart of the city is home to some of the most beautiful buildings in the town. As well as the Duomo or Cathedral, this piazza contains the Torri Gemelle dei Salvucci, the Palazzo Nuovo del Podestà, and the Torre Grossa, the tallest of many towers in what is sometimes referred to as the Manhattan of the Middle Ages.

Town Hall: San Gimignano's palatial town hall has some incredible works of art, including some that date back to the 13th century. This is also where you can climb the Torre Grossa for an incredible view of the city and the surrounding countryside.

San Gimignano wine: San Gimignano is justifiably famous for its wine. Located close to the legendary Chianti Valley, the city is surrounded by vineyards where you can try local vintages and learn more about pairing wine with food.

Best season to visit:

There is no bad time to visit San Gimignano, thanks to everything there is to do in the city. However, if you're a serious wine fan, you might want to consider visiting during the fall harvest season to learn more about the wine production process.

Montepulciano weekend trip from Florence


Tuscany is packed with medieval hilltop towns that were once miniature fortresses but now provide incredible places to visit on weekend trips from Florence. Like San Gimignano, Montepulciano is a beautiful medieval town where you can easily lose yourself among the narrow streets and historic buildings. And like San Gimignano, it's also a place to sample incredible wine along with your history.

Distance from Florence:

It's just over a hundred kilometers from the center of Florence to Montepulciano, requiring a drive of around an hour. You can also visit the town on a bus tour from Florence if you don't feel like driving. Either way, it's close enough for a day trip as well as a longer weekend excursion.

Our activity recommendations:

Il Corso: The main road through the center of the town, just wandering along il Corso is a great way to soak up the atmosphere and see some of the city's most beautiful buildings. Look out for the famous clock tower and its figure of Pulchinella, who strikes the bell on the hour.

Piazza Grande: The main piazza of Montepulciano occupies the highest spot in the whole town, and it functions like a living room for the entire city. Grab a glass of wine or a meal from one of the cafés and restaurants and relax as you soak up the lively atmosphere of this city square. You won't be the only one.

Best season to visit:

There's no bad time to visit Montepulciano. Although it's nice to wander the streets on a sunny day, those aren't in short supply in the summer, spring, and fall. Winters can be cold and windy, but that just gives you a good excuse to retreat to a wine bar or enjoy a delicious meal.

Weekend getaways from Florence to Siena


Once the major rival of Florence itself, the medieval town of Siena is a perfect place to explore. It has much of the historical and architectural charm that Florence does, but often without the huge tourist crowds you'll find in the city. A great venue for day trips or longer weekend trips from Florence, Siena offers a more laid-back experience of Tuscan history, art, and culture.

Distance from Florence:

Siena sits only around 70 km from Florence, so you can reach the city within an hour's drive. It's also possible to take a regional train between the two cities, which will take around an hour and a half.

Our activity recommendations:

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta: There's no missing this one. The spiritual heart of Siena is one of its most spectacular buildings, with its ornate Baroque façade and its black-and-white striped tower. First built in the 13th century, this cathedral is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside and simply has to be seen on any trip to the city.

Palazzo Pubblico: Also built back in the 13th century as the headquarters of the government of Siena, this outstanding palace is another of Siena's many magnificent medieval buildings. Wander through the museum's interior to learn more about the history of what was once an autonomous city-state, and climb the tower for magnificent views.

Siena National Gallery: This museum of art has been awarded National status because of its historical and cultural importance. It offers an outstanding collection of art by local artists from the 12th to the 16th centuries, so you can trace the evolution of art in this region and see the Italian Renaissance happen almost right before your eyes.

Best season to visit:

Any time will do. Many of Siena's top attractions are indoors, so don't let bad weather put you off seeing this fascinating historical town.

Montalcino weekend trips from Florence


In many ways, the region of Tuscany is just one beautiful village after another once you leave Florence itself. Montalcino is another gorgeous town that makes for a great weekend getaway set among the rolling hills of the region, and this is another trip that will be of particular interest to wine lovers.

Distance from Florence:

Montalcino lies south of Siena and is a solid 140 km from Florence, meaning you have to drive for around an hour and a half to get here. It's also possible to take the train, but the service is sporadic, taking more than three hours to make the same journey.

Our activity recommendations:

Brunello wine: Montalcino is perhaps best known for its famous local wine, Brunello. If you know anything about Italian wine, you've probably tried this variety for yourself, but there's nothing quite like sampling it in the vineyards where it's produced. And if you haven't tried it before, you're in for a treat. This region also produces other wines like the dessert wine Moscadello, so a wine tour of this region is sure to be a highlight of any Italian trip.

Montalcino Fortress: Built in the 14th century when Montalcino was under the control of Siena, this impressive fortress became a refuge for local families when the city was besieged by the powerful Medici family in 1555. You can learn more about the Game of Thrones-style struggle between Italian noble families in this fascinating and atmospheric place.

Best season to visit:

This medieval village is a beautiful place to visit no matter when you get the chance to see it for yourself. Don't let cold weather deter you from exploring the excellent wine and fascinating history here.

Florence weekend getaways


Another of Tuscany's beautiful medieval hilltop towns, Cortona flew under the radar for many years until it was made famous in the popular book Under the Tuscan Sun. Since then, legions of tourists have discovered the historic charm and laid-back atmosphere of this beautiful city for themselves. Surrounded by its historical stone walls, the city remains a great place to explore history and enjoy a slower pace of life than you'll find in Florence.

Distance from Florence:

At around 100 km from Florence, you can drive to Cortona in just over an hour or take the train for a journey time of just over an hour and a half.

Our activity recommendations:

Convento delle Celle: Founded by St. Francis of Assisi back in 1211, this beautiful old building located next to a stream is one of the top tourist attractions in town. Here, you can learn more about the life of St. Francis and the hermits who followed in his footsteps, and enjoy beautiful views over the surrounding region.

Museo dell'Accadémia Etrusca e della Città di Cortona: This stunning archaeological museum holds artifacts from both Roman and Egyptian civilizations, but is perhaps best known for its collection of Etruscan antiquities which predate the Roman Empire. This is a great place to learn about this vanished civilization and ponder how different the world might have been if it were the Etruscans, not the Romans, who ended up dominating Europe for a thousand years.

Best season to visit:

Like most of the historic hilltop villages around Florence, there's no bad time to visit Cortona.

Cinque Terre weekend getaways from Florence

Cinque Terre

The beautiful and internationally renowned coastal villages of the Amalfi coast are located well south of Naples, which makes them almost five hours from Florence and a little too far for an easy weekend trip. However, you don't have to go all the way to southern Italy to enjoy coastal beauty. One of the most beautiful places in Italy — and therefore one of the most beautiful places in the world — the five coastal villages that make up Cinque Terre are almost too stunning to be real.

Distance from Florence:

You can reach this famous region by train from Florence in around two and a half hours. You can also drive in about two hours but be warned that the narrow streets of these villages aren't a great place for cars.

Our activity recommendations:

Hiking: Until the railway was built in the 19th century, the only way to get from one village to the next was by walking along a narrow coastal trail. Now, this trail is popular with hikers as it winds along the cliffs, giving incredible views of the ocean and the beautiful villages that cling to the rocks.

Seafood: Before the advent of mass tourism, fishing was the main industry in these parts, and it's still an important part of local culture and cuisine. You'll find no end of seafood restaurants in any of the five villages, which will serve you delicious seafood straight from the sea, prepared according to traditional and local recipes.

Best season to visit:

If you want to go hiking, summer is a tempting time to visit the Cinque Terre. The spring and fall shoulder seasons can also be a good time to visit, with fewer crowds, but be warned that many restaurants close down in the off-season.


If you only have a short time in Florence, for example, 3 days in the city, you'll want to stay local and enjoy what the city has to offer. But if you have a little more time on your hands, you can branch out and explore some of the beautiful hilltop villages or head to the coast.

Leave your bags behind and head out on the best day trips from Florence or these stunning weekend getaways, and you'll get to see more of what makes Tuscany such a desirable location for people from around the world.

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