Cheap Day Trips from Florence (Tuscany, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Sienna, and More)
Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, is the capital of Italy's Tuscany region. It is romantic, enchanting, and in many ways, irresistible. Florence is a place to feast on world-class art and gourmet Tuscan cuisine. Few cities are so compact size or so packed with extraordinary art and architecture masterpieces at every turn. The urban fabric of this small city, on the banks of the Arno river in northeastern Tuscany, has hardly changed since the Renaissance and its narrow cobbled streets are a cinematic feast of elegant 15th- and 16th-century palaces, medieval candle-lit chapels, fresco-decorated churches, marble basilicas and world-class art museums brimming with paintings and sculptures. Rich in culture, back dropped by history and anchored by family, faith and food, Florentine lifestyle is enviably sweet. The city is surrounded by wine-rich hills, cultural and historic sights, as well as other popular tourist destinations to explore, making Florence a great place not only for its own fantastic sights, but also as a base for exploring nearby areas, and there are several options for exciting day trips and tours from the city to help you make the most of your time here.
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Depart from central Florence with your guide and venture west on just over an hour's journey through the Tuscan countryside. Upon arriving in Pisa, follow your guide through Cathedral Square, where you'll spot the most famous tilted structure in the world: the UNESCO-listed Leaning Tower of Pisa. Learn about the tower's unique history from your guide while snapping some photos. You'll also see the Pisa Baptistry, Campo Santo and Duomo di Pisa, hearing the stories behind each architectural gem as you walk. Your guided tour will conclude with a visit to the Palazzo Vescovile in Piazza Arcivescovado. After the guided tour you will have free time at your disposal to explore on your own. You can visit Knights' Square, the political epicenter of medieval Pisa and home to Renaissance architecture, marble statues and the esteemed Scuola Normale di Pisa and the oldest Church in Pisa, the Church of San Sisto or just to take amazing pictures. After the Visit you will be returned to your original departure point in central Florence.
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Explore the Cinque Terre, Italy's most scenic landscape, on this vibrant day trip from Florence. The Cinque Terre, which means the Five Lands consists of enchanting medieval villages on the Ligurian Coast with breathtaking views of the sea. Begin your journey from Florence to the Cinque Terre with a memorable drive along the Autostrada Azzurra, a stretch of the Tyrrhenian coast, where you can expect to see the white marble quarries of the Apuan Alps. After this, you will reach Ligurian territory and reach Riomaggiore. Riomaggiore is a beautiful fishing village, which is part of the Cinque Terre. It is famous for its picturesque colored tower-houses, steep walking trails, hidden alleys and the panoramic views from its terraces. Riomaggiore is connected to Manarola, the next village of the Cinque Terre, via the romantic Via dell'Amore, also known as Lovers Walk. The twenty minute walk along the Via dell'Amore offers you superb panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea while traversing impressive rock formations which have been built over centuries. Your next stop is Vernazza, which is reputably the most beautiful of the five Cinque Terre villages. Experience Vernazza's open harbor with splendid cafes and restaurants and enjoy some free time to stroll along the harbor promenade, take pictures and explore the village at your leisure. You may find yourself tempted by Vernaza's typical seafood cuisine. Leaving Vernazza, you will enjoy a cruise to Portovenere to visit the most historical town in the Cinque Terre. As you enter Portovenere, you will stroll along the coastline and visit shops that sell typical local products and handcrafts. You will then visit the Gothic Church of San Pietro, which was built in 1198. It is decorated with the typical white and black bands of the region and originally constructed from a Roman temple dedicated to the Goddess Venus. Marvel at the medieval sculptures of the Collegiate of San Lorenzo, which was built in 1130, and admire the imposing Castello Doria, which offers a spectacular view of the entire Cinque Terre to conclude the tour.
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Fiat 500s were first introduced in Italy in the 1950s and quickly won the hearts of Italians for their stylish looks and affordable prices. Nowadays, vintage models are harder to come by, but you'll have the rare chance to ride a 1960s model on your tour. Join up with your guide in central Florence and head to the garage where your retro car will be waiting for you. A safety overview will be provided as well as a test run with car's manual gears to ensure you're comfortable before hitting the road. Then, you're off to explore on your own. Your guide will keep in constant radio contact ahead as you follow through the city streets and up into the hills of Tuscany. Stop to see the beautiful Romanesque design of the Church of San Miniato al Monte, noted by many as the country's most beautiful church, and soak up the surrounding views of Florence below. Hop back in your Fiat and journey deeper into Tuscany, pausing for photos and passing through charming hillside towns. Your guide will lead the way to a private terrace, where you and your group will enjoy a traditional Tuscan meal, complete with regional specialties such as crostini and cured salami. After your stomach and taste buds have been sated, you will drive back to your original departure point in Florence.
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Depart from central Florence and ride south through the Tuscan countryside by coach. After a scenic drive past the vineyards, arrive in Siena, heading first to the Basilica of San Domenico. Admire the Renaissance artwork inside with your guide before taking off on a walking tour. Take note of the uniquely striped marble of the Siena Cathedral and then enter one of the city's contrada museums. Learn the history behind the contrades, or districts, of the city as you wander the exhibits. Hear about the individual traditions of each still celebrated today during the famous Palio horse race, which takes place in the main square twice a year. Afterward, take a brief break to purchase lunch. Continue to San Gimignano, a medieval hill town best known for its impressive towers and frescoes. Soak up some free time to explore its streets independently before traveling to a small winery in the Chianti hillside. Walk in the vineyards, visit the barrel room, and sample fine local wines, accompanied by snacks. Top off your trip with a visit to the charming village of Greve in Chianti to peruse the local shops and main square. Your trip will conclude with transportation back to Florence.
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