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How To Take a Day Trip from Rome to Florence: Ultimate Guide 2024

Are you planning your travels to Rome and wondering if you should also make a day trip to Florence? Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s worth it! Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, and it’s only a short trip from Rome. In this blog post, I’ll share my tips on planning a perfect day trip from Rome to Florence.

How to Plan the Perfect Day Trip from Rome to Florence - Kids Are A Trip

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Considering Taking a Day Trip from Rome to Florence?

I’ll cover everything from the best ways to get to Florence from Rome to what to see and do in Florence. I’ll also give you some tips on making the most of your day trip and avoiding crowds. 

So whether you’re a first-time visitor to Italy or a seasoned traveler, read on for all the info you need to plan your perfect day trip from Rome to Florence!

How to get from Rome to Florence: The Best Ways 

There are many reasons to visit Rome, but once you have explored for a few days, it’s not a bad idea to head out beyond the Eternal City. Let’s jump into the best ways to get from Rome to Florence for a day trip.

1. High-speed train

Several train companies offer direct services between the two cities, and the journey takes about 1 hour and a half. 

I recommend you buy tickets online to save time and hassle in the morning, as seats can fill up during peak seasons. You can also grab your tickets at the train station if you forget.

Rome to Florence by train

Cost: €15 –  €30 each way for an express train
Duration: 1 hr 30mins one way
Departure: Roma Termini and Roma Tiburtina.
Arrival: Santa Maria Novella Station. 

Italy train station

Several train companies offer direct express services between the two cities, including Trenitalia and Italo. You can take a local train to save a few euros but it will extend your trip to 3-4 hours.

The most popular train stations for departures to Florence that are close to most Rome hotels are Roma Termini and Roma Tiburtina. And good news, in Florence, you will arrive at Santa Maria Novella Station which is in the heart of the city. Most places are easily accessible by walking.

Roma Termini Train Station

Essential Train Tips

  • Validate your ticket before boarding to avoid fines
  • Beware of pickpockets
  • Even with the EuroRail or InterRail pass, you will need to make a reservation, which will cost you $10. You can easily book this on the ItaliaRail booking site

2. Book a small group guided tour

I find tours a great way to have a break from the stress of travel logistics. You can simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey. Many tours include free pick-up and drop-off to your accommodation in Rome and take about 12 hours round trip.

You will have the extra benefit of learning about the destination from your knowledgeable tour guide. Prices usually start around $115 USD per person and go up from there.

So if you want to skip the fuss, and see the top sights of Florence and possibly a second destination, taking a guided tour is for you! 

Favorite Guided Tours – Rome to Florence

Travel through the picturesque Tuscan countryside in a comfortable minivan, and enjoy the personalized attention of a small-group tour. This is a great way to see some of Italy’s most iconic landmarks in one day. Plus if you are a solo traveler like I often am, this is a great way to meet others!

On a tour of Florence, you’ll see artistic masterpieces like Michelangelo’s David at the Accademia Gallery and walk beneath Brunelleschi’s famous dome.

If you book a tour that adds on Pisa, you’ll marvel at the stately marble treasures of Piazza dei Miracoli, including the iconic Leaning Tower. 

3. Scenic Self-Drive 

Self-driving from Rome to Florence is a great way to see the Italian countryside and have the freedom to explore at your own pace. The drive takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes via the A1 highway, and the scenery is stunning. Expect to pay costs for the rental car, gasoline, and parking.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on self-driving from Rome to Florence. 

Montepulciano stop Rome to Florence day trip

First, you’ll need to make sure that you have a valid driver’s license and that your travel insurance covers your rental car.

Second, you’ll need to be familiar with the Italian road rules. 

And third, you’ll need to be prepared for traffic, especially during the peak season.

When it comes to parking in Florence, it is pretty limited. There are a few street parking spots available in the city center, but they are metered and have time limits. Some park-and-ride lots are located outside the city center and are great for avoiding the hassle of paying and having to move your car. 

Another good option is a parking garage in the city center, but they fill up quickly. If you’re planning on parking in a garage, be sure to book your spot in advance.

Italy guide

IMPORTANT: Be aware of the ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato). This is a restricted traffic zone in the city center that is only accessible to residents and authorized vehicles. Those who enter the ZTL without a permit, aka with your rental car, will be fined.

If you’re up for a challenge, self-driving from Rome to Florence is a great way to see the best of Italy. 

How to get from Rome to Florence: The Worst Ways 

Moving onto, in my opinion, the worst ways to get from Rome to Florence for a day trip.

4. Flying

Flying from Rome to Florence for a day trip is possible, but it is NOT recommended. 

The flight time is only about 1 hour from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport to Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci Airport, but you will need to factor in the time it takes to get to and from the airports, as well as the security checks. This means that you will only have about 4-5 hours in Florence, which is not enough time to see the city properly.

I will always opt for a train over a plane, and here’s why:

  1. You can get up and walk around on a train
  2. A train is much more scenic
  3. Avoid long lines and security at the airport
  4. It is often cheaper and faster (flights are typically $120 more or less)

If you are determined to fly from Rome to Florence for a day trip, I recommend you book your flights early. This will help you to get the best prices and the most convenient flight times.

But again I wouldn’t recommend flying for a day trip. 

5. Catch a Taxi

Catching a taxi from Rome to Florence is possible, but it is not the most recommended way to travel between the two cities. 

The taxi fare will be quite pricey (about $400-500 each way), and the journey will take about 2 hours. 

Catching a taxi can be convenient, but it is not the most flexible option. You will be limited to the taxi driver’s schedule.

6. Taking the Bus

If you’re on a tight budget for your European adventure, you can take a bus to Florence. The bus journey takes a little longer (about three to four hours), but it’s cheaper than the train, albeit not as comfortable. Tickets cost as little as 5 euros. 

Buses depart every hour from Rome (Roma, Autostazione Tiburtina) heading to Florence, Villa Costanza Tram T1. If you choose this, you will want to catch a very early bus to make the most of your day. And remember, buses can be unreliable and are dependent on traffic conditions. 

Personally, I would recommend you stick with the train, it is worth the extra few euros for a quicker, more comfortable journey that leaves you ample time to explore Florence. 

What to Do on a Day Trip to Florence from Rome

To help you plan an efficient day trip from Rome to Florence here is my recommended itinerary!

Early Morning Start

Rise and shine it’s time to head to Florence! 

Catch an early morning train from Rome to Florence, aiming to arrive in Florence by mid-morning. Trains depart from Rome’s Termini station usually starting at 5 am or 6 am and arrive at Florence’s Santa Maria Novella station.

Or wait for your tour guide to swing by and pick you up if you choose that route!

1. Visit the Florence Cathedral (Duomo)

Start your day in Florence by heading to the signature Florence Cathedral, also known as the Duomo. Marvel at its stunning architecture and consider climbing to the top of the dome for panoramic views of the city.

Florence Duomo at sunrise

2. Explore Piazza della Signoria

Walk to Piazza della Signoria, a historic square known for its impressive sculptures and beautiful architecture. Take some time to admire the iconic Palazzo Vecchio and the outdoor sculpture gallery.

3. Uffizi Gallery

Next, visit the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world’s most renowned art museums. Explore its extensive collection of Renaissance masterpieces, including works by Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci. I suggest booking tickets in advance to skip the line.

Uffizi Gallery Florence

4. Ponte Vecchio

Take a short stroll to the Ponte Vecchio, a famous bridge spanning the Arno River. Enjoy the picturesque views and explore the jewelry shops that line the bridge. The Arno River is a wonderful place to take gorgeous photos of the city!

Amazing Things to do in Florence with Kids

Lunchtime!

Take a break for lunch and enjoy some traditional Tuscan cuisine. Look for local trattorias or restaurants offering dishes like bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine steak) or handmade pasta.

5. Accademia Gallery (Optional)

If you have time and are interested in seeing Michelangelo’s David, consider visiting the Accademia Gallery. The museum houses this iconic sculpture along with other works of art.

Note that this visit may require additional time, so factor that into your itinerary!

6. Wander through Florence

Take some time to wander through the streets of Florence’s historic center, soaking in the charming atmosphere and admiring the beautiful architecture. Explore the narrow alleys and discover hidden gems along the way.

Streets of Florence

7. Gelato and Shopping

Treat yourself to some authentic Italian gelato from one of the gelaterias in Florence. Indulge in the delicious flavors as you continue exploring the city.

If you’re interested in retail therapy, browse the local boutiques for leather goods and other unique souvenirs.

Time to head back to Rome ☹️

That’s a wrap!

If you’re catching the train, head back to the Santa Maria Novella station and catch an evening train back to Rome. Ensure you have enough time to reach the station from your last destination in Florence.

Remember to adjust this itinerary based on your specific interests, time constraints, and the operating hours of the attractions you wish to visit.

While it’s a jam-packed day, it allows you to experience some of Florence’s highlights and immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage.

Essential Tips: Rome to Florence Day Trip

Here are some essential tips to make the most of your Rome to Florence day trip.

Plan in Advance

Researching ahead of time is key to making the most of your limited time in Florence. Identify the attractions and landmarks you want to visit, strategically plan your itinerary, and consider pre-booking tickets for popular museums and galleries to skip the queues. 

Get a head start

Start your day trip from Rome to Florence bright and early to maximize your day. If you are catching a train, first trains usually depart around 5:00 or 6:00 a.m., allowing you to arrive in Florence by mid-morning.

If you opt for a guided tour you can expect to start at around 7:00 a.m.

Comfort over style

Florence is a city best explored on foot. Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking all day. I suggest you wear your favorite pair of white sneakers or your flat leather boots. Save your Birkenstocks and strappy wedges for another day.

Prioritize

Make a priority list of the must-see attractions in Florence, such as the Florence Cathedral (Duomo), Ponte Vecchio, and Piazza della Signoria. Focus on ticking off these spots but allow yourself time and flexibility to get lost in exploring hidden gems.

Switch it up and take a guided tour

Consider joining a guided tour or renting an audio guide to learn more about the city’s history and art. By doing so you gain even more insight into the captivating city of Florence. 

Reserve your Tuscan feast

If you have specific restaurants in mind, make lunch reservations in advance to avoid wasting time waiting in line. Florence offers a variety of delicious Tuscan cuisine, so take the opportunity to savor local dishes and rest your feet. 

Manage your time

Watch the time as you get lost in cobblestone streets and wander through museums. Allocate enough time to visit the major attractions and wander through the charming alleyways. Trust me, it’s easy to lose track of time.

Treat yourself to some local products

Florence is renowned for its leather goods, handmade paper, and artisanal products. Leave some time for shopping and pick up unique souvenirs to remember your trip.

Plan your trip home

If you opt for the train, check the train schedule for your return journey to Rome and ensure you have ample time to reach the train station from your last destination in Florence.

I recommend you book a train ticket with a flexible return time in case you want to stay a bit longer.

If you opt for a tour or self-driving this is less relevant to you, just ensure you leave enough time to safely return home. 

Have a blast!

Finally, remember to savor the experience and immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of Florence. Take in this remarkable city’s art, architecture, and ambiance, making lasting memories before returning to Rome.

And remember to take plenty of photos!

FAQ’s: Day Trip from Rome to Florence

To finish up, let’s cover a couple of additional questions you may have on your day trip from Rome to Florence. 

Is it worth doing a day trip to Florence from Rome?

Absolutely. A day trip to Florence from Rome is well worth doing. Despite the limited time, you can still experience the beauty and cultural richness of the city. 

Feast your eyes on Florence’s Renaissance art showcased in museums like the Uffizi Gallery, marvel at the iconic Florence Cathedral with its breathtaking dome, and explore the historic center that allows you to soak in the city’s charm. 

Florence carousel

Plus of course, you have to indulge in Tuscan cuisine to experience the local flavors and traditional delicacies. 

While more time would be ideal to fully explore Florence, a day trip provides a taste of its highlights and leaves you with lasting memories of this captivating city.

Trust me, you’ll be left wanting to explore more!

Is it better to fly or take the train from Rome to Florence?

When traveling from Rome to Florence, taking the train is far superior to flying. 

Not only does it offer a comfortable and enjoyable journey through picturesque Italian landscapes, but it also provides the convenience of city-center to city-center travel. 

With high-speed trains like the Frecciarossa and Italo, the travel time is only around 1.5-2 hours, which is faster than flying once you factor in airport transfers and security procedures.

Plus taking a train eliminates the hassle of airport congestion, risks of delays, and long check-in lines.

You have the freedom to move around, relax, and appreciate the scenic beauty along the way. This is a big plus in my eyes!

If you want a stress-free and pleasant experience, the train is undoubtedly the better choice for your Rome to Florence journey.

No matter how you spend your day, a day trip from Rome to Florence is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

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