Florence has plenty to offer any visitor. From tasty cuisine to outstanding examples of Renaissance art and architecture, it’s one of the most popular travel destinations in the world for good reason. But it’s also a great place to base yourself to explore the rest of Italy, with many experiences that go beyond the city limits showcasing the best the surrounding region has to offer.
When you’re in the narrow, cobblestone confines of Florence, it might seem as if the seaside is a world away, but just northwest of the city is Italy’s famous Cinque Terre, a collection of five villages on the coastline of the Italian Riviera. Explore the region’s crystal-clear waters and cliffside dwellings on a trip that begins with the port city of La Spezia, just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Florence. Other highlights on this tour include the Medieval town of Riomaggiore, a stroll along Via dell’Amore (Path of Love) in Manarola and a boat trip to Vernazza.
With its legendary leaning tower, an architectural marvel that still captures the imagination of all who visit, Pisa is one of Italy’s must-visit destinations. Find out more about the tower’s construction and how local engineers are working to save it as part of this afternoon day trip, and enjoy the stunning scenery of Tuscany on the drive from Florence to Pisa and back.
The Tuscan region is known for producing some of the finest wines in the world. And a drive through the Chianti wine region affords wonderful views of the area’s bountiful foliage, lush greenery and rolling vineyards. This five-hour scenic tour captures the boundless beauty of Tuscany and includes a tour of the Monteriggioni fortress. The town was mentioned in Dante’s Divine Comedy, and the ancient walls have been meticulously maintained over the years. The trip ends with a visit to a charming Chianti wine estate, where you can sample some wine, salami and bruschetta.
This particular tour clocks in at under five hours but manages to squeeze in two wineries in Chianti Classico. This whistle-stop trip is perfect for small groups interested in learning a little more about the techniques involved in producing wine using tried-and-tested methods. You’ll be able to dive into the local viniculture and even sample some fresh olive oil.
Val D’Orcia, a valley in the heart of Tuscany and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to the towns of Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano, all of which will be visited on this one-day tour. The region is known for its pecorino cheese, as it is one of only a handful of locations allowed to produce the cheese outside of Sardinia, and which you’ll get to sample with some exceptional wine pairings. Some of the stops on this full-day trip are elevated above the rolling hills of Tuscany, meaning you’ll get to take in some of the best views around. The sheer beauty and majesty of the region are perfectly encapsulated on this unique tour.
The distinctive roar of Ferrari engines will be ringing in your ears after a trip to the world-famous home of the car manufacturer affectionately known as the ‘prancing horse’. The Ferrari Museum is situated in Maranello, a two-hour drive north of Florence, where there is a testing track, a large F1 simulator and a collection of vintage cars that established Ferrari as a prestige brand almost a century ago. If you’ve got the stomach for it after the adrenaline-fuelled fun of the morning at the museum, the next stop is the world’s largest agri-food market, where you can try the delicious balsamic vinegar of Modena. This trip ends in Bologna, which has become one of the top destinations for foodies in Europe.
Filmmakers love Tuscany thanks to its incredible natural scenery. This tour offers the ideal combination of movies and locally produced wine, a pairing that showcases the region at its best. You’ll first head from Florence to Siena, the Medieval town that is known for its Palio horse race, and which has also been the setting for several Hollywood movies such as Quantum of Solace (2008) and 6 Underground (2019). Nearby Montepulciano saw vampires descend upon it in The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) and will be your next stop, before you head to the olive groves of Cortona, which were seen in Under the Tuscan Sun (2003).