A Day Trip to Florence, Italy, from Rome

Nothing excites more than a spontaneous day-trip addition, from Rome to Florence, to your Italian excursions. Taking that extra train ride and diving into a completely different atmosphere transforms your entire trip.

Last updated: June 20, 2022

Florence, roadsanddestinations.com
How to visit Florence on a day trip from Rome

Italian Adventures: How to Visit Florence on a Day Trip from Rome

Florence is the capital of Tuscany in central Italy. Set on the Arno River, it’s one of the most picturesque places in the country. Its charming natural surroundings pared with exquisite architectural masterpieces make a day trip to Florence unforgettable.

On the flip side, millions of tourists visit the artistic capital of Italy, for a day or longer, to enjoy the most popular cathedrals, museums, and galleries of Florence.

The birthplace of Italian Renaissance, the Tuscan capital indeed astounds with its architectural and artistic masterpieces. By virtue of it, Florence has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. If it was not enough, the Historical Center of Florence was inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List in 1982.

Day trip to Florence from Rome - Roads and Destinations
A trip to Florence from Rome on one unseasonably cold day in March

A Day Trip to Florence from Rome

We started our day trip to Florence at 6:15 am at Rome Termini Train Station. A brisk train ride and 1.5 hours later, Florence greeted us with its hustle and bustle and crowds of tourists.

We found a great deal for this round trip to Florence from Rome on www.omio.com. Once an accidental discovery, the site became my personal favorite to plan our European travels. So much that after the day trip to Florence, we jumped on a train to Bratislava once we explored Vienna a few days later. But let’s get back to our short, but memorable trip to Florence first.

Upon arrival, we headed straight to the historic center of the city. Even early in the morning, Florence was filled with people, some rushing, many more taking leisurely strolls.

You could instantly distinguish tourists from locals. The visitors slowed their pace and stopped frequently to take pictures. The locals looked more determined, walking faster or trying to sell you souvenirs and other Florence-related goods.

Places to See on Your Day Trip to Florence

Even if you prefer solitude, you need to endure hustle and bustle of Florence and spend at least a day in its historic center, packed with museums, famous squares, and impeccable architecture. Here are some of the places you should strive to see during this busy day trip to Florence from Rome.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore or Florence Cathedral is one of the first buildings you notice in the city. The massive structure is located in the Piazza del Duomo and is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The basilica, known for its various shades of green and pink, is one of Italy’s largest churches. Moreover, it’s the largest brick dome in the world.

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore - roadsanddestinations.com
A day trip to Florence from Rome: Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Uffizi Gallery

The Uffizi Gallery is a 16th-century art museum. The place offers a great collection of Primitive and Renaissance artworks. It’s located near the Piazza della Signoria, one of the main squares in Florence.

Uffizi Gallery, roadsanddestinations.com
Visit Florence on a day trip from Rome: Uffizi Gallery

Palazzo Vecchio

Don’t wander far from the Uffizi Gallery. A minute walk will take you to the Palazzo Vecchio. This historic town hall overlooks the Piazza della Signoria with its treasured replica of Michelangelo’s David statue.

The main symbol of civil power of Florence, the Palazzo Vicchio is famous for its elaborate chambers and ornate courtyards.

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A day trip to Florence from Rome: Palazzo Vecchio

Statue of David

The 17-feet marble statue of Biblical character David is one of the most famous attractions you can see on a day trip to Florence.

The Michelangelo’s masterpiece was initially located in the Piazza della Signoria. Later it was relocated to the Galleria dell’Academia. Yet a full-size replica was put in place of the original to the delight of both locals and visitors of Florence.

Day trip to Florence from Rome - Roads and Destinations
A day trip to Florence from Rome: The replica in the Piazza della Signoria

Basilica of Santa Croce

The Basilica of Santa Croce entices with its splendor exterior and size. One of the major landmarks in Florence, the church is notable for its sixteen chapels and frescoes by Giotto. The site is also the burial place of Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, Machiavelli, Foscolo, and Gentile.

Pitti Palace

The Pitti Palace is a 15th-century palace in Florence that houses several museums and features Italian and European masterpieces.

Day trip to Florence from Rome - Roads and Destinations
A day trip to Florence from Rome: The Pitti Palace

Giotto’s Bell Tower

Although a part of the Florence Cathedral, the Giotto’s Bell Tower stands out as a separate entity that offers incredible views of Florence.

Giotto’s Bell Tower, roadsanddestinations.com
A day trip to Florence from Rome: The Giotto’s Bell Tower

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella

The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is the first landmark you see upon your arrival. Located across the street from the main train station, it’s one of the most remarkable churches in Florence. The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is famous for its classic form and artworks by Giotto, Botticelli, Massaccio, and Filippino Lippi.

Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, roadsanddestinations.com
A day trip to Florence from Rome: The Basilica of Sant Maria Novella

Ponte Vecchio

After a day filled with sightseeing, walk over the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone arch bridge over the Arno River in Florence. With the line of shops offering jewelries, pieces of art, and souvenirs, the place is good for window shopping and admiring the glorious views of the city and its surroundings.

Ponte Vecchio, Day trip to Florence from Rome - Roads and Destinations, roadsanddestinations.com
A day trip to Florence from Rome: The Ponte Vecchio

Piazzale Michelangelo

Once the maddening crowds in the historic center of Florence becomes unbearable, walk across the Ponte Vecchio and venture to the Piazzale Michelangelo. Start your mini adventure with a nice stroll by the river and eventually swirl to narrow streets on your right.

Neither of these routes disappoints. The views from the river bank further compliment the city. The streets in this side of Florence appear to be narrow and less chaotic. Furthermore, the never-ending stream of people is nowhere to find here.

But it doesn’t mean that your day trip to Florence becomes less enjoyable once you walk across the famous bridge. On the contrary, the city saves the best attractions for later.

Surrounded by the sights of slightly different Florence, you reach a long stairway in about 15 minutes. The Piazzale Michelangelo, the pinnacle of your day trip to Florence, is on the other side of the stair.

Piazzale Michelangelo, roadsanddestinations.com
A day trip to Florence from Rome: The Piazzale Michelangelo

Forte di Belvedere

From the Piazzale Michelangelo, you can also enjoy the views of the Forte di Belvedere, a hilltop fortress with incredible views of Florence. From the top, the walls surrounding the fort resemble the Great Wall of China.

Day trip from Rome to Florence - Roads and Destinations
A day trip to Florence from Rome: The Forte di Belvedere

Giardino Bardini

Before completing this day trip and heading back to the historic center of Florence, pause near a medieval wall you saw earlier. Turn to the left here, and walk up a steep road to the Giardino Bardini.

A charming garden with Baroque flights of steps and panoramic views of the city opened its doors to the public relatively recently. Therefore, the new attraction usually gathers fewer crowds and is a perfect place to finish your day trip to Florence.

Where to Eat in Florence

Apart from the astounding attractions, the center of Florence offers the best food in the city. If you’re on a budget, nothing can beat great taste, experience, and, of course, prices of street food. From vegetable panini to all sorts of meat sandwiches, your choices are rather broad.

For pasta and hot soup, we recommend Agricola Toscana. Their tomato and bread soup is divine. The warm dish is good for any season and is especially popular with vegetarians and vegans.

Reasons to visit Italy - Roads and Destinations, roadsanddestinations.com
How to visit Florence on a day trip from Rome: Street food and restaurants

Where to Shop in Florence

Places to shop are also located in the old town of Florence. The street perfect for sightseeing and exploration in early morning turns into a shopping arena in the afternoon. At this time numerous vendors occupy the streets and sell everything from food to souvenirs, handmade goods, and clothes. With such abundance of choices, it’s almost impossible to leave empty-handed.

Reasons to visit Italy - Roads and Destinations, roadsanddestinations.com
How to visit Florence on a day trip from Rome: Outdoor markets

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