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The Perfect Day Trip to Florence from Rome [2024]

Planning a day trip to Florence from Rome? Visiting the city in such a short time can be challenging, but it’s completely possible with this itinerary! Check it out. 

Florence is the capital city of Tuscany, and it’s considered the birthplace of the Renaissance. A hub of artistic masterpieces, architectonic wonders, and narrow, charming medieval streets – besides mouthwatering food – Florence is a must-visit on any Italy itinerary

I’m Italian, grew up just one hour away from Florence, and this city still takes my breath away every time I visit.

Image of Brunelleschi's Dome on top of Santa Maria dei Fiore Cathedral, inserted in a post about the best day trip to Florence from Rome

And while it deserves a few days of exploration, if you only have one day to visit Florence, it’s still worth the journey.

Check out this comprehensive guide for a day trip to Florence from Rome, so you make the most of your time in the city, and enjoy it to the fullest


A great way to make the most of your time in Florence is to go on a tour. You’ll benefit from roundtrip transportation from Rome, and also be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, so you discover facts and stories about Florence while checking out its main attractions. 

These are the best Florence tours from Rome.

➤ The Pisa and Florence Day Trip from Rome takes you to visit two of Tuscany’s most famous cities. You’ll marvel at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and check out the David in Florence, as well as snap pictures of Ponte Vecchio and admire the cathedral’s Duomo. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Private Rome Day Trip to Florence and Pisa offers personalized attention to your group as you travel across the Tuscan countryside and wander around the gorgeous city of Florence. A visit to Pisa is included in this full-day private tour. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤This Private Full-Day Trip from Rome to Florence takes you to the birthplace of the Renaissance, where you’ll discover architectonic and artistic wonders as you stroll around medieval streets, encounter the David, and marvel at Brunelleschi’s Duomo. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


There are a few ways to travel between the two cities, detailed below. While I highly recommend taking the high-speed train, depending on your preferences and budget one of the other alternatives may suit you better, so check them out!

Image of a gray train on the train tracks,  the best way to travel on a day trip to Florence from Rome

▶️ Rome to Florence by Train: If you only have one day to visit the Reinassance city, you should make the most of your time by taking the bullet train from Rome to Florence, which will take you there in 90 minutes

You’ll take the train at either Roma Tiburtina or Roma Termini station, and get off at Florence Santa Maria Novella, which is an 8-minute walk from the first destination of this guide. 

It’s advisable to book your train tickets in advance to get the best prices – you could end up paying twice the price if you book last minute!

The most time-efficient day trips to Florence from Rome are by train: it’s the fastest option, and there are frequent trains throughout the day.

▶️ Rome to Florence by Bus: If you’re on a budget you can take the bus, which takes a bit longer but it’s considerably cheaper than the trains.  

There are buses departing every hour from Rome, although you’ll want to catch a very early one to make the most of your day. The trip takes around 3-4 hours, and tickets cost as little as 5 euros. 

You can book your bus tickets here to get the best price. Remember to buy them in advance!

▶️ Driving from Rome to Florence: If you plan on driving, it will take you about 3.5 hours to cover the distance between the two cities. You’ll be driving along the highway, 

However, the city center is a zone of restricted circulation, where only permitted vehicles are allowed. You’ll therefore have to find parking to leave your car and explore Florence on foot.

Free parking is almost non-existent in the city, so your best bet is to find a paid parking lot, which should cost you around 30-40 euros for a whole day.  

As you can see, the best way to travel between Rome in Florence is the high-speed train, which not only will take you to the city in 1.5 hours but will also leave you very close to the center, so you can start your visit right away. 


You’ve arrived in Florence, hurray! Now’s the time to start exploring this gorgeous city. If you feel like you won’t be able to check out all of the highlights on your own, or would rather have some context and storytelling by a local guide while you wander its streets, you could consider a tour of the city.

These are very comprehensive options for first-time visitors that will help you make the most of your day trip to Florence. 

Florence in a Day is a walking tour around the city that includes a visit to the famous Uffizi Gallery, and to see Michelangelo’s David at Accademia Gallery. You’ll also stop at various landmarks along the way, and learn from your expert, local guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Private Full Day Walking Tour offers absolute personalized attention to you and your group. You’ll visit numerous highlights of the city, including the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Giotto’s bell tower. Entrance to both museums is included. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Mercato Centrale 

Mercato Centrale is your first stop of the day. Less than 10 minutes away from Florence’s train station, it’s the perfect introduction to the city’s foodie culture. 

Image of Mercato Centrale, with a meat stall displaying its products
Image by rafaelkatayama85 vía DepositPhotos

This large indoor market was built in the 1870s and has been serving its purpose ever since; it’s where many Florentines still choose to do their grocery shopping. Here you’ll find plenty of food stalls, selling everything from fresh fruits and veggies to artisanal baked goods, buffalo mozzarella, and of course, pizza options galore. 

If you didn’t have breakfast in Rome before traveling, this is a great place to get some delicious supplies of Italian snacks, bread, and pastries. Or skip breakfast and have pizza already – it’s always pizza time somewhere in the world.  

There’s a food court area with seating facilities where you can enjoy your food, or you can take it with you (which I recommend; remember: tick tock, tick, tock!).

Right outside of the building, you’ll find the bustling outdoor area of San Lorenzo Market (Mercato di San Lorenzo). A large number of stalls occupy the street, most of them selling leather, although you can also find other items and souvenirs. I wouldn’t suggest you buy here, though, unless you’re ready to haggle

The vendors can be incredibly pushy, and prices soar to the roof. You’ll encounter another leather market during this Florence day trip which is worth checking out, and where I’d recommend exploring and buying! 

Mercato Centrale Opening Hours: Daily from 8 AM to midnight.

Piazza del Duomo         

Piazza del Duomo seen from above

The next stop is Piazza del Duomo, an astounding square for many reasons, but particularly a very beautiful one: the spectacular Brunelleschi’s dome, sitting atop Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral

The Duomo was completed in 1436 by Filippo Brunelleschi, and it’s the largest masonry dome in the world! In fact, its structure is so technologically advanced and impressive that it still shocks architects from over the world more than 6 centuries later!

From Piazza del Duomo you’ll also get to admire the building of the cathedral itself, get beautiful pictures, and meet the pigeons. If you’d like to visit the cathedral or climb to the top of the Dome (highly recommended!!), you’ll have to book your tickets in advance, as the entrance is per time slot. 

I wrote a whole post about the best tours to the Duomo in Florence, but here are the best ones.

➤ The Priority Entrance Tour to Florence Cathedral includes skip the line tickets (vital if you’re only one day in Florence!) and a guided tour of the building with an expert. This ticket doesn’t include access to the Dome.➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤The Entry Ticket to Brunelleschi’s Dome is the one you need for visiting the cathedral’s cupola. You’ll get to enjoy the views of Florence from the dome, and also admire the impressive frescoes in its interior. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Brunelleschi’s Dome Tour offers not only entrance to the architectonic masterpiece but a guided tour of its interior as well. This way you’ll get to learn about its construction and history, and you’ll also enjoy access to the cathedral, crypts, and Giotto’s Bell Tower. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Fontana (and Mercato) del Porcellino 

Image of the Porcellino statue in Florence, inserted in a post about a day trip to Florence from Rome

Porcellino means Piglet in Italian, and it’s the nickname for the famous fountain of a boar located on Piazza del Mercato Nuovo. It’s a short walk from Piazza del Duomo, and I’d recommend walking down Via Roma so you have a chance to see Piazza Republica along the way.   

The Porcellino Fountain has become popular for the legend that surrounds it. When you get to the porcellino, you’re supposed to rub its nose, which would ensure your return to Florence, and then insert a coin in its mouth while making a wish. 

Two things can happen when you do it: the coin either falls from the porcellino’s mouth into the grate, meaning your wish will come true (yay!), or it doesn’t.

Don’t despair, though: if it doesn’t fall through, you’ll get your money back. And you can always take it back to Fontana di Trevi upon returning from Florence to Rome!

Fontana del Porcellino is only one of two main attractions in this area, because right next to it is the Porcellino Market, Italy’s most popular leather market. It takes place in a loggia from the 16th century, and it’s where I’d recommend getting your leather goods and souvenirs (instead of San Lorenzo Market!)

This covered market, officially named Loggia del Mercato Nuovo, started selling silks and knitted hats in the 19th century, but nowadays mainly focuses on souvenirs and all kinds of leather articles. 

Most of its vendors have been selling their products on that same spot for decades, and they’re very eager to help you find the perfect gift – without being pushy or aggressive.

While you’re there, keep your eyes on the ground to spot the Scandal Stone, placed on the exact spot where debtors were punished in Reinassance Florence.  

Mercato del Porcellino Opening Hours: Daily from 9 AM to 6.30 PM.  

Piazza della Signoria + Palazzo Vecchio

Image of the Neptune fountain in Piazza della Signoria, Florence

And it’s time to meet David. The fake one, that is. A weathered sculpture of the famous David image lives in Piazza della Signoria, along with several other sculptures. From here you can access Loggia dei Lanzi, a sort of outdoor gallery with yet more – and rather brutal – sculptures displayed. 

Palazzo Vecchio’s entrance, guarded by said statue of David, is also accessible from the Piazza. Florence’s city hall since the middle ages, Palazzo Vecchio was the seat of government and private residence of the Medici before they moved to Pitti Palace, and it holds a large number of paintings, sculptures, and frescoes. 

➤ The Palazzo Vecchio Entry Ticket includes a video guide to educate you on its history and the Medici’s lives in the palace during your visit. It also allows you to skip the line so you start the tour right away. ➥ BOOK IT HERE 

Lunch at Trattoria Antico Fattore

You’re probably hungry by now, so it’s time to rest your legs for a while and enjoy some Italian cuisine before you resume your sightseeing day in Florence.

Head to Via Lambertesca, where you’ll find Trattoria Antico Fattore, a spectacular eatery that serves authentic (and mouthwatering) Italian and Tuscan specialties

Great antipasti options, a large pasta menu, and meat selections are the restaurant’s highlights, and unless you’ve driven from Rome for your Florence day trip, you should also try their delicious wine!  

Opening Hours: Daily from noon to 3 PM, and from 7 PM to 10.30 PM

Uffizi Gallery

Image of the Uffizi Gallery, inserted in a post about taking a day trip to Florence from Rome

Once you’ve recharged your batteries, it’s time to visit one of Florence’s highlights: the Uffizi Gallery. The gallery features an extensive collection of masterpieces, created by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Raphael, among others.  

You certainly won’t have time to explore all of it, at least without rushing, but if you’re interested in history, art, or architecture at all I’d say it’s still worth visiting for a few hours. Only getting to see some of those artists’ work already makes the day trip from Rome to Florence a success. 

➤ This Skip-the-Line Ticket is timed, so you’ll have to pre-book and choose your timeslot before going there. You’ll have unrestricted access to gallery, and you can choose to include an audioguide to make the most of your visit. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ The Uffizi Gallery Tour offers both the entrance ticket and a guided tour of the gallery, so you can truly appreciate the masterpieces on display and learn about their artists. The tour lasts 2 hours, and takes you around the most iconic areas of the gallery. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

If one of your goals in Florence was to see the famous Michelangelo’s David, you’ll have to skip the Uffizi Gallery in favor of the Accademia Gallery, where the sculpture lives. 

Unfortunately, you won’t have time to visit both galleries during this Florence day trip unless you go on a Rome to Florence Day Tour or skip something else in the itinerary, like entering the Duomo. You should choose based on your interests! 

If you wanted to include a visit to the gallery, I suggest you go there after Mercato Centrale, and before heading to Piazza del Duomo, because of its location.   

➤ The Entrance Ticket to Michelangelo’s David is timed, so you should book it beforehand. It grants you priority access to the gallery on your time slot and unlimited time to wander around. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ You could otherwise join an Accademia Gallery Tour to take advantage of having a historian guide show you around. You’ll have skip-the-line access and get to choose between a 1 or 2-hour tour. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Uffizi Gallery Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15 AM to 6.30 PM 

Accademia Gallery Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 8.15 AM to 6.50 PM

Ponte Vecchio

From the Uffizi Gallery it’s a short walk to Ponte Vecchio, one of Florence’s oldest bridges. In fact, it was the only bridge across the Arno River until 1218, and the only one standing after WWII, although the latter was a reconstruction from the 1300s, after a flood destroyed the first one. 

Image of the Arno River and the Ponte Vecchio, with the buildings on one side of the river reflected in the water

The reason for its survival during the war, when the Germans were ordered to destroy every bridge over the Arno River, was a German consul who couldn’t bear to see this beautiful bridge collapse. Instead, buildings on both sides of the bridge were destroyed and used to block it. 

The bridge is one of very few in the world that features shops and stores all along, and it’s one of its main attractions. You should therefore spend some time browsing the shops on and around Ponte Vecchio after taking a zillion pictures of it!

Make sure to finish your visit to the bridge on the other side of the river: time to explore the southern part of Florence!

Gelato Pit-Stop at Cantina del Gelato 

Once you’ve crossed the river, turn left and start walking toward your next destination: Piazzale Michelangelo.

On the way, though, you’ll pass by Cantina del Gelato, a gelateria that offers a wide variety of artisanal gelato flavors, as well as crepes, fruit and acai bowls, and smoothies. 

It’s the perfect spot for a little pick-me-up to keep you going for the rest of your Florence day trip!  

Opening Hours: Daily from 12 PM to 12 AM 

Piazzale Michelangelo

The skyline of Florence, with Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral standing out, seen from across the river

Piazzale Michelangelo offers the best views of Florence. That’s a pretty irrefutable fact, and you’ll see what I mean when you get there: not only is it incredibly popular (!) but it boasts a spectacular sunset panorama, so be sure to be here for it!

While the views are definitely the highlight of any visit to Piazzale Michelangelo, this square also features a copy of Michelangelo’s David and other imitations of his work, as well as talented musicians that set the mood for enjoying the stunning scenery. 

San Miniato al Monte

The city of Florence seen from San Minato al Monte viewpoint

Very close to Piazzale Michelangelo is San Miniato al Monte, a beautiful Romanesque church that’s often overlooked in favor of the piazzale, but it’s so deserving of a visit!

It dates from the 11th century, and features incredible artwork and artistic architecture, besides being another excellent viewpoint over the city. The best part is that it’s free, and rarely crowded!

Opening Hours: Daily from 9.30 AM to 1 PM, and 3.30 PM to 7 PM

Dinner at Trattoria il Contadino 

Now that you’ve seen the city’s most magnificent landmarks, stay a little longer and finish your Florence from Rome day trip with a scrumptious Florentine meal. 

Trattoria il Contadino specializes in Tuscan and Mediterranean food, and offers impressive quality for the relatively low prices of their menu. 

Pasta is the house staple, but you can also enjoy a delicious Florentine steak or your favorite kind of pizza. Moreover, you could take advantage of their dinner offerings, and get a main, side, and drink for a fixed price.

If you took the train ride from Rome to Florence, you’ll be able to indulge in a glass of wine (or two!) or a beer with dinner – highly recommended! 

This restaurant is very close to Santa Maria Novella train station, so you’ll be ready to go back from Florence to Rome after dinner. 

▶ Thinking of spending the night to enjoy an extra day in the city? Check out my 2-day itinerary for Florence!


Is a day trip from Rome to Florence worth it?

If you can, I would highly suggest spending more time in Florence. But if one day is all you can spare, then yes, it’s definitely worth visiting Florence on a day trip from Rome! 

Is there a high speed train from Rome to Florence?

There is, and it’s the best way to travel between the two cities in my opinion, especially if you’re embarking on a Florence day trip.

Is the train ride from Rome to Florence scenic? 

Yes! Taking the train from the city of Rome to Florence is the best way to travel between both cities, and the ride offers astounding views!

Is it easier to get to Florence from Milan or Rome? 

It’s easier to get to Florence from Rome than it is from Milan.

How far is Rome from Florence? 

The cities are approximately 169 miles (273 km) apart. If you’re taking a day trip from Rome to Florence and the Tuscany region, the drive should take you 3.5 hours.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.