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Day trips from Florence

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Malta
posts: 243
reviews: 17
Day trips from Florence

We would like to visit the following cities as day trips while in Florence - Pisa, Lucca, San Giminiano, Volterra and Siena. We need to group at least two of them as we do not have enough days in Florence. We are leaving two full days to explore Florence. Any ideas please? Any comment or suggestion are most welcome. Any extra information is welcome as well. Thank you in advance. We plan to use trains and public transport for travel.

Savannah, GA
posts: 1,533
reviews: 15
1. Re: Day trips from Florence

Pisa and Lucca in one - long - day. Volterra and San Gim. in one - long - day.

Burlington, Vermont
posts: 264
reviews: 10
2. Re: Day trips from Florence

Definitely Pisa and Lucca. I've done it before, and it's quite easy. From Santa Maria Novella station in Florence, the train to Pisa takes about an hour and fifteen minutes. If you're most interested in the Leaning Tower and the other sites around the Piazza dei Miracoli, be sure to get off at Pisa San Rossore station, NOT Pisa Centrale. That will save you a long walk.

From Pisa, there are two trains per hour from San Rossore station to Lucca and the ride is only 20 minutes. From Lucca back to Florence it's either an hour and twenty minutes or an hour and forty five minutes, depending on which train you board. The ones that leave at 0:31 past the hour are faster.

Personally, I would recommend going to Pisa first, then Lucca. You could judge your time better that way, and perhaps even stay for dinner in Lucca. It's a charming town, very walkable, especially if you take the path that runs along top of the city walls. And if you still have strength in your legs by afternoon, consider climbing the Torre Guinigi. The views are spectacular!

I would recommend a full day in San Gimignano, mainly because the bus takes quite a while (with a connection in Poggibonsi), and you ABSOLUTELY need a full day in Siena.

I hope this helps.

Roma
Destination Expert
for Rome
posts: 5,388
reviews: 127
3. Re: Day trips from Florence

Choose as many cities as many days you have and skip other ones. Visiting more than one in a day is like visiting none.

Personally, I would anyway visit Siena, in a full day and without hurry, to discover it the best way you can. But it is personal. The main thing in such cases is being ready to make a selection, to choose and to skip without regrets. Much better seeing few places well than many places badly.

And don't think that you'd visit "all Tuscany" even if you managed to squeeze all these in little time. Tuscany has a lot of other places worth to visit, although few people talk about them.

Malta
posts: 243
reviews: 17
4. Re: Day trips from Florence

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. @ Aristofane. This may be my only occasion to visit Tuscany, since our 'wish to visit' list is quite long, so we intend to pack it to the full.

@VT_Professor. Do you know of a good place in Lucca for dinner? Do I need to prebook any of the mentioned train trips?

@ All. What is the best travelling option to visit the other towns from Firenze? Any other additional comment or suggestion is most welcome. Thank you all in advance.

Edited: 6:03 am, August 02, 2013
Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 6,981
reviews: 51
5. Re: Day trips from Florence

Pisa and Lucca in one day by train. Siena does deserve a whole day to itself, but many people do also go to San Gimignano for a couple of hours on the same day. This trip is best done by bus. Volterra is very difficult to get to from Florence by public transport, so I would advise you to drop this. Only two full days for Florence is not enough, but I guess you know this.

Malta
posts: 243
reviews: 17
6. Re: Day trips from Florence

I have heard so many good reviews about Volerra that I do not want to miss it. I know two days are not enough....pacenzia. Probably two weeks are not enough!

Malta
posts: 243
reviews: 17
7. Re: Day trips from Florence

Is it worth it to hire a car for one day just to visit Volterra?

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 6,981
reviews: 51
8. Re: Day trips from Florence

One day car rentals are extremely expensive, but you may think it is worthwhile if you want to go that much. Whatever you do though do not attempt to drive in central Florence, the ZTL and bus lanes are difficult to avoid and the fines are over 100 euros. Volterra also has a ZTL (as do all the other places you plan to visit in case you also consider driving to them), but they are easier to avoid. You would be wise to pick up and return to Florence airport to avoid these problems.

Malta
posts: 243
reviews: 17
9. Re: Day trips from Florence

Which are good value for money touring companies for a day trip to Volterra?. Probably that is the best option. Thank you again.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 6,981
reviews: 51
10. Re: Day trips from Florence

Sorry, I have no idea about organised tours. Here is a link about getting there by public transport, but I am not sure how up to date it is:

…webs.com/howtogettovolterra.htm

Of course, you could always hire a private driver.