Delightful Tuscan Day Trips

Renowned for its exquisite art, rich history, extraordinary countryside and outstanding wine, the central Italian region of Tuscany is truly central to any visit to Italy!

While its capital, Florence, is a magnificent city – home to some of the world’s most recognisable art for starters – there are so many reasons to extend your journey into the Tuscan countryside and towns as well.

To help you make the most of your visit to central Italy, we share here several of our favourite day trip experiences.

1. Siena, the Magical City

Just an hour’s drive out of Florence is arguably Italy’s loveliest medieval city, Siena, which is famous for its historic streets, winding lanes and renowned Palio horse race which brings the 17 contrades (areas) of the city together in passionate spectacle twice every summer.

The Piazza del Campo, located within the city centre amidst its three hills, is home to a number of prominent buildings dating from over 700 years ago, including the Palazzo Pubblico, which has entrances to the Torre del Mangia and the Civic Museum (an absolute must-see for history buffs).

2. Chianti, the Wine Country

Encompassing the area between Florence and Siena, the region of Chianti has become synonymous with its wine of the same name. Many of the region’s vineyards have created dedicated wine tastings and it’s possible to visit their cantina or wine cellar.

The region is also recognised for its prized meats, cheeses and honey. Be sure to stop for a traditional Tuscan lunch while travelling through the picturesque scenery, with its soft rolling hills covered with rows of grapes and forests.

3. Pisa, the Leaning Tower

While most famously known for its Leaning Tower, Pisa is a fascinating city in its own right, with other monuments and sites worthy of your time.

After admiring the Leaning Tower from all sides and making the journey to the top (up 296 steps over 7 floors!), be sure visit the Cathedral and the Baptistery within the Piazza, and the Cemetery, Cathedral Museum and Museum of the Synopses on the outskirts of the square.

If all that walking makes you hungry, be sure to try the local delicacy of cecina, a very thin gluten-free and unleavened bread or pancake made with chickpea flour, which is often served stuffed into small focaccia in Pisa.

Close by are two other highlights, the towns of Lucca and San Gimignano.

4. Lucca, the Historical City

Part of all classic Tuscan itineraries, Lucca has maintained its historical roots, clearly visible in its many ancient buildings.

Most unusually, the tops of the city’s ancient walls have been converted into a popular pedestrian promenade, now that they are no longer important for military uses. The city has a green space around its entire perimeter, making it perfect for a bike ride or stroll, of course followed by a delicious gelato as a reward for all the effort!

5. San Gimignano, the Time Machine

Located halfway between Florence and Siena, San Gimignano feels like a step back in time, with its maze of cobbled streets and small squares. It was recognised for its historic contributions as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1990.

Within the small walled village, 14 of the original 72 patriarchal ‘tower houses’, which were build as symbols of wealth and power, still remain.

If you want help picking your best Italian experience, just give our team a call on 1800 242 353.