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Rome to Florence Day Trip

Planning a visit to Florence from Rome? This is one of the most popular trips within Italy and for reason. The beautiful Florence offers so much to visitors, a range of interesting museum, beautiful architecture and tasty Tuscan food and wines.

Prepare it will be tired day, but it's totaly worth. Hop on the high-speed train from Rome and you'll be in the cradle of the Renaissance in only 1.5 hour. Or book an organised tour and enjoy worry-free time while travelling and exploring Florence.

Read on to find out more about getting to Florence by train, taking an organised tour, driving from Rome to Florence as well as great itineraries for spending time once you are in Florence.

Consider also staying overnight in Florence, so you have a whole day starting from the early morning. This beautiful apartment could be a great choice for your stay!

The Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, overlooks the Piazza della SignoriaThe Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, overlooks the Piazza della Signoria

Train travel from Rome to Florence

The high-speed train is obviously the best option to get from Rome to Florence. The trains are modern, comfortable and quick and you'll enjoy the journey on your way to Florence. They run from Termini (and Tiburtina) throughout the day.

We suggest skipping regional trains that are slower and travel nearly 4 hours each way, making them impractical for a day trip to Florence.

We suggest you to catch a very early train going and a late train returning from Florence. Trains from Rome starts as early as 5:35am and the last one departs from Florence at around 10pm.

Frecciarossa trainHigh-speed Frecciarossa train runs from Rome to Florence in only 1.5h

Keep in mind that high-speed train tickets from Rome to Florence get very prices and do rise as your date of travel get closer. So be sure to book well in advance to secure cheaper tickets (they release tickets even 3-4 months ahead).

Book your tickets easily at Trainline, and you'll get them directly to email. There you can moderate them or cancel (if you choose flexible tickets). And, you'll have them at your fingertip (to show once the staff ask you at the train). Don't forget to check-in them directly on your mobile phone.

Trains arrive at Florence Santa Maria Novella Train station, which is only a 10-minute walk from the Piazza del Duomo and historic centre of Florence.

On the way back, grab a delicious sandwich on the train station to take on the train. You'll enjoy eating it while watching the fields of sunflowers slide by. 

La Casa di Chiara
Beautiful and Cosy
Apartment in Florence

What to do and see once in Florence

There's no way to cover all Florence has to offer in one day, but there's definitely time to see enough to make the trip worth it!

Try to set out as early as possible on your day trip to Florence from Rome. If you can get there at about eight or nine in the morning, you can have a full day of exploration. It’ll be tiring but worth it!

You'll love this 6-hour tour that starts at 10:45am (from Piazza Signoria) and combines guided walk and delicious food tastings. Great way to experience Florence!

Or explore Florence's most important piazzas, monuments and museums (Academia Gallery and Uffizi Gallery) on this 5-hour guided tour (starts at 9:45am).

Basilica of San Lorenzo in FlorenceBasilica of San Lorenzo in Florence

Visiting Florence can be overwhelming, so if you are here first time, we recommend walking around the historic centre to get familiar with it. A great place to start is Basilica di San Lorenzo, a beautiful church at main market district.

Continue your walk towards Piazza del Duomo, where you'll find Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and many outdoor cafés. This is an ideal opportunity to have a true Italian breakfast, an espresso and cornetto (freshly baked Italian pastry).

After breakfast, take a quick visit to the Duomo, to admire the impressive frescoes inside, the fabulous mosaic floor art and keep an eye out for the intricately designed 14th-century clock that sits above the entry. The entry to the cathedral is free, but note that lines can get very long.

The entrance to the Florence Cathedral (the Duomo)The entrance to the Florence Cathedral (the Duomo)

If you want to visit the Baptistery of St John (standing in front of the cathedral), climb the Dome (we recommend taking a tour as you'll be able to access areas that aren't open to the public) or Giotto's Bell Tower, you'll have to pay. 

Don't skip also Opera del Duomo Museum (just behind the Duomo), a fascinating museum that explores history of the Duomo with  huge selection of artifacts, artwork, relics, antiques, religious items and statues to see (the main attraction and certainly a must see are the original Gates of Paradise).

This combined 3-day pass is ideal for visiting the whole Duomo complex.

Orsanmichele Church in FlorenceOrsanmichele Church in Florence

On the way from Piazza del Duomo to Piazza Signoria, you'll stumble upon beautiful Orsanmichele Church and Museum (ticket costs €8) that can be interesting for history lovers (if you want to skip Uffizi Gallery). From the top of the museum you can admire amazing views of the Florence.

Piazza della Signoria, where you'll find Palazzo Vecchio as well as plenty of statues from Renaissance artists (including a copy of Michelangelo’s David statue). From this square you'll easily reach Ponte Vecchio, a bridge crossing Arno River lined with jewellery shops and art.

Entrance to Palazzo Vecchio in FlorenceEntrance to Palazzo Vecchio in Florence

A short distance from the Ponte Vecchio, you'll find the Pitti Palace, one of the biggest Florence's museums (see the Palatine Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art).

Enjoy priority entry to one of Florence’s biggest museums and admire the Palatine Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art. While there, visit also Boboli Gardens, beautiful gardens with antique and Renaissance statues and large fountains.

Visiting the Uffizi Gallery (it's extremely easy to find; it's located near Piazza della Signoria) is a must when visiting Florence. This museum houses a huge collection of paintings and sculptures of the most famous Italian painters such as Raphael, Botticelli, Giotto, Michelangelo, Caravaggio and others.

Be sure to plan ahead your visit and buy your tickets online. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:15am to 6:30pm and is closed on Mondays and for holidays on December 25. 

The Uffizi Gallery in FlorenceThe Uffizi Gallery in Florence

For a full and memorable experience of the museum, we suggest taking this small-group tour (no more than 9 people), guided by locals who know stories behind each masterpiece. The tour covers the best of the Uffizi Gallery and lasts for 1.5 hour (we recommend taking morning departure at 10am).

If you are a foodie, then joining a food tour would be a great idea. You guide will take you through the city, telling you more about sights while stopping at the best restaurants and eateries to taste classic Tuscan dishes, such as lampredotto panini or pasta along local wines. We recommend this private 3-hour food experience in Florence (with 10 tastings including wine; starts at 11am)!

Streets of Florence's historic centreStreets of Florence's historic centre
Outdoor restaurant in FlorenceOutdoor restaurant in Florence

What to buy as a souvenir

When in Florence, be sure to buy some of the quality goods that can be found in small family shops across the historic centre. This can be an art, jewellery, clothes, leather goods...

We love Riccardo Luci's little store, where you'll find a range of products decorated in marble patterns. For edible souvenir, head to Leonardo Firenze (Via Porta Rossa, 14R), store selling yummy handmade biscotti, brutti ma buoni, panettone, colombe and other bakery products.

Not far from the train station (Via della Scala, 16), you'll find the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest herbal pharmacies in the world, offering a range of quality oils, perfumes, skin and body lotions, soaps as well as herbal medicines. This is ideal place for buying gifts to the dear ones.

For an edible souvenir, go to Mercato Centrale (in San Lorenzo district) and buy a piece of Parmigiano Reggiano, Tuscan salami, prosciutto, pasta, spices, a jar or pesto or other Italian delicacies (you'll have a hard time to choose; open Monday to Saturday 7:00 am - 2:00 pm). 

Florence sweets

Organised Rome to Florence day trips

Leave the hassle of planning behind you and take organised day trip to Florence. A number of tour companies offer this kind of trips and most include pick up and drop off at your hotel in Rome.

If you choose one of these tours, you'll be worry-free for transport schedules, buying train tickets and getting around Florence once there. Also, it means that you'll have an expert local on hand to ask questions about the best places to eat and drink.

If you don't want to spend the entire day with a tour guide, you can also do separate walking tour of Florence. The choice of various city tours is really huge (from those about art and history to food and wine ones).

Travellers love these Rome full-day trips from Rome to Florence:

1. Day trip from Rome to Florence by high-speed train
On this tour your guide will make sure that everything is fine during the whole trip. He'll be with you during the train ride and later on you'll explore by yourself (you'll get great tips what to visit, where to eat...). Tickets for the train are booked by the agency.

2. Rome to Florence and Pisa day tour with Accademia ticket
This day trip from Rome will take you to explore Pisa and Florence. You'll be driven by modern mini van first to Pisa (exploring for 1.5 hour), then to Florence to see the best of it. You'll have 2 hour walking tour the city (including visit to Accademia Gallery). You'll have time for having a nice lunch! You'll be back to Florence in early evening hours!

3. A sweet walking in Florence from Rome
You'll travel from Rome to Florence by a comfortable vehicle from Rome to Florence (your private guide will travel with you). Once in Florence, you'll have enough time to explore the best of it in the company of the guide. You'll have also some free time. This tour is a truly unforgettable experience!

Piazza della Signoria

Driving from Rome to Florence

Driving from Rome to Florence is a nice mini trip in Italy. With the exception of any stops that you might make (small cities, wineries), the most of the drive from Rome to Florence takes place on well-maintaned A1.

The A roads in Italy feel more or less like driving on any highway anywhere in the worlds, except you enjoy stunning views of the Italian countryside.

Without stopping or considering the traffic to exit Rome and enter Florence (or vice versa), the drive time from Florence to Rome is about 3.5 hours via the most direct route (the distance is 271 km / 168 mi).

Opting to rent a car and drive from Rome to Florence gives you a lot more flexibility in your schedule. You can also visit attractions in wider Tuscany en route.

For instance, you may like to spend your evening unwinding in a Tuscany spa. Alternatively, if you have a designated driver, you may enjoy touring some of the nearby vineyards.

Many cities are worth visiting when travelling between Rome and Florence, Civita di Bagnoregio, Viterbo, Orvieto, Perugia, Montepulciano, Cortona, Siena, Arezzo, Siena, Pisa and Terme di Saturnia to name the few.

Just be sure to avoid ZTL zones, restricted access areas that dot most of Italy’s historic city centers, including both Rome and Florence. If you drive into one, even accidentally, you’re risking a big fine.

Avoid them by parking on the outskirts of historical centers and by doing your research ahead of time, including where to park in each city you hope to stop in when driving from Rome to Florence.

We recommend searching for your car via Discover Cars, which will allow you to check out the rates of several different rental car agencies at once and compare prices and inclusions side-by-side.

The prices can vary depending on your time of travel, pickup and dropoff locations, size of the vehicle, and more!

More info you may like:

Where to stay in Rome

Leonardo Express train guide

Best ways to visit the Colosseum

Best cooking classes in Florence

Getting from Rome to Croatia

Visiting Rome on a budget