After having some time to explore and settle into Florence, I decided it was time to see what other magical towns surround me. Since there are so many day trips possible by car or train, I’ve been able to go on a few trips recently and I thought I would share my favorites so far!
Siena is a beautiful medieval town that’s a short car or train ride away from Florence. There is so much to see and do in Siena but I’d recommend going to the Cathedral and Piazza del Campo. The Cathedral alone is worth a day trip to see, it is the most stunning piece of architecture I have ever seen!
Close by to Siena is San Gimignano which has become my favorite town to visit outside of Florence. Although it is quite touristy, the town offers such a unique atmosphere and it’s completely different from Florence. It’s the perfect town to spend an afternoon wandering through the medieval streets and taking in the stunning Tuscan views. Bonus: it’s also home to the world’s best gelato!
If wine, cheese, and the countryside is most appealing to you, than a day trip to Chianti is perfect! I visited Greve because I was participating in a wine tasting/sight seeing tour but I wish I could have just spent the day in Greve! It was absolutely beautiful. There are several wineries in this area and I would highly suggest visiting a winery if you are visiting the Tuscan area. I learned a lot about the wine making process as well as how fresh olive oil is made.
Modena is about an hour and half away from Florence by train. I decided to visit Modena because I wanted to go to a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese farm! I spent the majority of my day touring a cheese farm that demonstrated how parmigiana reggiano cheese is made, aged, and packaged plus I had the chance to taste the cheese- which was heavenly. If a cheese tour isn’t your thing, I was pleasantly surprised that the city center of Modena has so much to do! There are several parks, piazzas, and food markets surrounding this small town that made for a memorable day.
Colle di Val d’Elsa
Colle di Val d’Elsa was the most enchanting town I was able to visit. It’s in the Siena region and it’s not known by many or any tourists. I had the entire town to myself with just the locals which was probably one of the most special experiences I’ve had in Europe. I spent my morning walking through the charming streets and found a spot in front of the beautiful scenery while drinking a cappuccino…it was an Italian dream.