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Must-see places near Florence

Toronto
Level Contributor
62 posts
94 reviews
Must-see places near Florence

We are travelling to Florence in October and we would like to add a couple of nights in another town to our itinerary. We would either rent a car or take a train (not fans of buses). We are 50ish and medium-fit.

We have already been to Venice and loved it. We would only go back there if we couldn’t find another place of interest to us. We also will be visiting Pisa as a day-trip, unless there are enough sights there to spend a couple of days.

So my question to all of you is, if you could only visit one place within an approximate 4 hour drive/train from Florence, what would it be? We are open to any suggestions. Thx

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21 replies to this topic
Cremona, Italy
Level Contributor
479 posts
12 reviews
1. Re: Must-see places near Florence

4 hours by trains from Florence is an extremely wide area encompassing tons of world-class attractions in the Italian peninsula.

So your question is really too open, and you would benefit from a guidebook to make up your mind, but if you've never been to Rome that is a city not to be missed ( only 1 hour and half by train). And if you prefer a city in Tuscany, Siena is the place to visit,

Edited: 13 May 2018, 00:53
Level Contributor
3,253 posts
102 reviews
2. Re: Must-see places near Florence

Agree that is too wide a net to help you. I would only go to Rome if you have at least 3 nights as it requires time. Other option would be to head into Tuscan countryside and base in Lucca or Siena area and explore from there. Ideally you would have a car for this portion of the trip. You could rent car at Florence Airport and you should read up on driving in Italy.

California
Level Contributor
12,613 posts
56 reviews
3. Re: Must-see places near Florence

As mentioned, 4 hours is far and wide. I suggest you think about the type of experience you are looking for (outside of good food and nice places to walk around). Mountains...village..small town..countryside...vibrant city..coast..amenities/nightlife....To get started, read up about these completely different city (small&large) destinations — Lucca(1.5hrs), Bologna(1 hr), Siena(1.5hrs) and a bit farther...Rome, Naples...

Edited: 13 May 2018, 01:04
Toronto
Level Contributor
62 posts
94 reviews
4. Re: Must-see places near Florence

Thanks for the replies! I have already considered sienna but will now also look at lucca. We have been to Rome several times.

The Reason for casting the “wide net” is that there are so many places and things to see that I am overwhelmed. Which is why I asked for just one place to find out what other people’s favourite is. We really only have enough time for a couple of days in one other place.

Thanks again.

Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
5 posts
55 reviews
5. Re: Must-see places near Florence

I never get tired of seeing the sights in Florence but variety is nice. Besides the other suggestions noted another beautiful hill town is San Gimingnano, which is smaller than Siena. I was there 2 weeks ago and its beautiful. I would recommend staying overnight when the crowds have left. There is no train to get there. I drove and parked outside the town. There is also a 1 hour bus ride that changes in Poggibonsi. I was also in Bologna. It's a great place for dining but it is not particularly beautiful to see.

Toronto
Level Contributor
62 posts
94 reviews
6. Re: Must-see places near Florence

Thanks floh1203! Great info!

Ocean City, MD
Level Contributor
12,536 posts
7 reviews
7. Re: Must-see places near Florence

You can take the train from Florence to Poggibonsi, then the bus.

www.trenitalia.com Firenze S.M. Novella to Poggibonsi.

If you decide to drive, the driver should be aware of Italian driving laws, ZTL's, parking, etc.

http://driventoit.blogspot.com.au/

Destination Expert
for Florence
Level Contributor
2,880 posts
6 reviews
8. Re: Must-see places near Florence

Do some research on Ravenna, Arezzo, and Perugia. They're all terrific towns, easily reached by train, and all well worth a few days -- and more.

Then pick one.

Sudbury...
Level Contributor
8,646 posts
1,135 reviews
9. Re: Must-see places near Florence

I would rent a car and find a base in Val D’Orcia, not far from Siena. We just came back from our third trip to Tuscany and it was by far the best one. If you want, I can post a link to my trip report (4 days in Val D’Orcia).

We stayed at Relais Villa Grazianella- Fattoria del Cerro near Montepulciano and, in all honesty, I cannot think of a better place to stay. And of a better restaurant.

Cambridgeshire...
Level Contributor
5,249 posts
7 reviews
10. Re: Must-see places near Florence

Have you considered Assisi? I know that it attracts a lot of tourists, but it really is a picturesque town with gorgeous views down over the Umbrian countryside.

The basilica of San Francesco is wonderful and the Giotto frescoes are simply sublime. The church of San Damiano, set down a hillside amongst olive groves is one of the most tranquil and spiritual places I know.

It's a couple of hours or so by train from Florence.

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