Last updated on October 27th, 2023
Are you looking for ideas for day trips from Florence that are family-friendly? Whether you’re trying to escape the Florentine summer heat or just want to explore a little more of Italy, I’ve got you covered!
We’re a local family and these are day trips that we take and love. And, they’re realistic day trips from Florence that you can take – something I know is so important when you’re traveling with little ones.
For each of these 12 fabulous Florence day trips, I’ll fill you in on:
- The best way to get there and back (and other options)
- How long it will take to get there from Florence
- The best time to go (for example, beach towns aren’t the best in December)
- What to see and do when you’re there
I’ll also give you tips on how to decide what type of transport to use, and general advice for daytripping from Florence with your children, based on our family’s experiences.
Ready? Andiamo – let’s go!
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Table of Contents
Map of the Best Family-Friendly Day Trips from Florence
Main Transport Options for Day Tripping from Florence with Kids
Florence is well-connected to other cities by train, and it’s also an easy place to rent a car, organize a private driver, or join a group tour. Yes, there are other options, like taxis and buses, but let’s look at what I’ve found are the best transportation options for your day trip from Florence with children.
Take the Train
This is the easiest way to take a day trip from Florence. You can reach big cities and many towns. You just need to make your way to the main train station (Florence Santa Maria Novella), which shouldn’t be a problem if you’re staying in the city center (a must if you’re visiting Florence with kids – you don’t want to be relying on buses and trams to get to/from the center).
You can buy your tickets ahead of time using the Trenitalia or Italo apps, or buy them at the ticket windows or ticket machines at the station.
Good To Know: If you need to pick up last-minute snacks, there’s a small Conad supermarket across the street from the train station.
Read more about Train Travel in Italy
Rent a Car
To be honest, renting a car isn’t my favorite option for a day trip, but for some destinations it’s your best option (like the Val d’Orcia, Collodi, and Monteriggioni).
You can rent a car in the city center or at the Florence airport.
Read more about Renting a Car in Tuscany
Go on an Organized Tour
This makes things easier for you (someone else does all of the planning!), but it will cost more. But, there are a ton of organized tours for day trips from Florence. Just make sure you verify that kids are allowed – some tour operators or tours have age minimums.
Hire a Private Driver
This is the most hands-off but most expensive option for taking a day trip from Florence. You can personalize your day and be picked up and dropped off at your hotel – super handy when you’re traveling with kids (especially if yours fall asleep at the end of the day like mine do!). I have a list of recommended private drivers.
Read more about Visiting Tuscany Without a Car
Best Family-Friendly Day Trips from Florence
These are our family’s 12 favorite day trips from Florence and day trips that clients and visiting friends and family have loved. I have done these with my three boys and my 9-year-old double-checked my list and made sure he agreed with my choices!
After the list, I’ve also mentioned day trips from Florence that I don’t recommend doing with kids (and why).
Pisa Day Trip with Kids
Pisa is a classic day trip from Florence, but it makes me a little sad when families quickly visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa and then leave. Pisa actually has a few fun things for kids besides the tower, so I encourage you to stick around and explore with your little ones.
What to See & Do in Pisa with Kids
- Take photos at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and climb up if your kids are old enough
- Explore the rest of the Piazza dei Miracoli
- Check out the Botanical Garden
- Sit in a military vehicle and explore the Italian Paratroopers Museum (this is a hidden gem in Pisa – my kids love it!)
How to Get to Pisa with Kids
- Train – Hop on the regional train at Florence SMN train station and in under 1 hr you’ll be in Pisa!
- Guided Tour – Pisa Half-Day Tour from Florence; Guided Tour of Pisa from Florence (ages 8+)
When to Day Trip to Pisa with Kids
It’s easiest to visit outside of the busy summer months. If you do day trip to Pisa in the summer, try to take an early train so you can visit the Piazza dei Miracoli before most of the crowds arrive.
Beaches Near Florence Day Trip with Kids
If you’re in Florence on a hot summer day, you’re likely daydreaming about the beach. And your kids are too. Luckily, you can make it a reality because we’re not that far from the coast! I’ve got an entire post on Beaches Near Florence, but here’s a quick look at making a day trip to the beach from Florence.
What to See & Do at the Beach Near Florence with Kids
- Play in the sand and swim in the sea, of course!
- Experience Italian beach clubs
- Ride the cars in Forte dei Marmi
Read more in my guide to Forte dei Marmi with Kids
How to Get to the Beach Near Florence with Kids
- Train or Car – Depending on where you’re going, you can take the train or drive. The easiest beach to reach by train from Florence is in Viareggio – it takes less than 1 hr 30 min.
When to Day Trip to the Beach Near Florence with Kids
Stick to summer months when kids can enjoy the beach and swim in the water. It’s more expensive and crowded, but it’s also a fun experience to see how Italians do ‘beach life.’
Bologna Day Trip with Kids
A family day trip from Florence to Bologna is easy and fun – as a mamma or papa, what more could you want? Bologna has excellent food, a lively center, a kid-friendly history museum, and more.
It’s also so close that you don’t need to spend morning ‘til night there. You can take a late morning train, spend a few hours, and hop on the train back to Florence.
What to See & Do in Bologna with Kids
- Check out the Biblioteca Salaborsa, one of our favorite libraries for little ones
- Run around at the playground in Giardini Margherita
- Have lunch in the Mercato di Mezzo
- Climb the Asinelli Tower with older kids
Read more in my guide to Bologna with Kids
How to Get to Bologna with Kids
- Train – Take the fast train from Florence SMN to Bologna Centrale – it’s a quick 40 minute ride.
When to Day Trip to Bologna with Kids
I prefer family trips to Bologna in the spring and fall. Bologna gets hot in the summer. If it’s raining, you can stroll under Bologna’s signature porticoed streets. Winter is nice too, especially if you can visit during the holidays.
Monteriggioni Day Trip with Kids
Monteriggioni remains one of my favorite day trips with kids, especially with visiting friends and family. It’s special from the moment you see it from your car window, towering on the hill in front of you.
The medieval ‘castle’ town is perfect for a day or half-day visit from Florence.
What to See & Do in Monteriggioni with Kids
- Check out the cool armor in the Monteriggioni in Arme Museum
- Walk on the walls
- Get gelatoon the main piazza
- If you’re around in July, go to the village’s Medieval Festival
Read more in my guide to Monteriggioni
How to Get to Monteriggioni with Kids
- Private Driver – See my list of recommended drivers
- Guided Tour – Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni Tour from Florence
- Bus – You can take a bus (1 hr 15 min) but it doesn’t drop you off right in Monteriggioni. You need to walk 10-15 minutes to town on a gravel path (the last part is uphill)
- Car – It takes about 1 hr to drive from Florence to Monteriggioni
When to Day Trip to Monteriggioni with Kids
It’s amazing to visit during July-ish when the sunflowers are in bloom in the fields in the area. Otherwise, spring, summer, and fall are best. Monteriggioni is a little too quiet in the winter (but it’s doable and the main places are open).
Siena Day Trip with Kids
One of my favorite memories of my first visit to Italy is sitting in the center of the Piazza del Campo to watch the Palio (bareback horse race). I’d never repeat that with kids, but I do think it’s a fun thing to let them watch a video of before visiting the city.
Siena comes alive for the Palio and the excitement and emotions are indescribable!
Even if you can’t visit for one of the actual races – the period around them, and even the rest of the year – the city is constantly buzzing with Palio energy.
What to See & Do in Siena with Kids
- Let your kids hang out and explore the Piazza del Campo
- Climb the Torre del Mangia, one of our favorite tower climbs in Tuscany (and Italy)
- Admire the floor (really) in Siena’s cathedral
- Try ricciarelli cookies
- Let your kids find their favorite Palio flags
Read more in my guide to Siena with Kids
How to Get to Siena with Kids
- Bus – Hop on a direct bus to Siena and you’ll arrive in 1 hr and 15 min. You can also take the train, but the bus drops you closer to the center.
When to Day Trip to Siena with Kids
The most exciting time to be in Siena is around one of the Palio races (July 2 or August 16). I also like Siena around the holidays but know that Siena feels a little dark and quiet in the winter.
Lucca Day Trip with Kids
If Florence feels crowded or a little ‘too much,’ make your way west to Lucca for a more ‘chill’ Tuscan city. While there are definitely visitors in the city on a daily basis, you’ll notice locals doing their thing alongside them.
As a parent, I appreciate Lucca’s playgrounds and the relaxed vibe of the city.
What to See & Do in Lucca with Kids
- Ride bikes on top of the city walls (don’t worry, it’s not dangerous like you’re imagining)
- Get a gelato at Gelateria Veneta and sit outside and people-watch while you enjoy it
- Climb Torre Guinigi and say hello to the tree!
- Check out the unique Piazza del Anfiteatro
How to Get to Lucca with Kids
- Train – Hop on a direct train to Lucca and you’ll arrive in just under 1 hr and 30 min.
When to Day Trip to Lucca with Kids
Any time is a lovely time to visit Lucca. However, if you’re set on cycling on the city walls, it’s more fun if it’s not raining (but you can still do it).
San Gimignano Day Trip with Kids
San Gimignano is known as the ‘medieval Manhattan’ with its towers sticking up all over the town. Kids love walking the streets (even the hilly parts!) and checking out all of the souvenir shops. Plus, San Gimignano is home to one of Tuscany’s most famous gelaterie!
What to See & Do in San Gimignano with Kids
- Climb the Torre Grande and take in the views of the Tuscan countryside
- Get a unique flavor (or two!) of gelato at Gelateria Dondoli
- Older kids may be interested in the Torture Museum
- Take a peek at San Gimignano in Miniature
- Find the medieval weapons in the Palazzo Comunale (my kids’ favorites are the crossbow and war helmet)
- Window shop along the main drag
How to Get to San Gimignano with Kids
- Bus – It takes around 1 hr 30 minutes, with one change in Poggibonsi. Don’t worry, it’s doable with kids!
- Drive – If you’re staying in the center, it’s easiest to take the bus. But, if you’re on the outskirts and have a car, you can reach San Gimignano in about an hour.
When to Day Trip to San Gimignano with Kids
My kids are happy to visit San Gimignano – rain or shine. It’s definitely busy from the late spring through the fall when the city fills up with bus day-trippers (that’s you) during the day.
Pistoia Day Trip with Kids
Pistoia, northwest of Florence, is an overlooked gem in Tuscany. The city boasts less-crowded, yet still beautiful streets (so nice if you’ve got kids with you!). And, if you’ve got your own wheels, you can head to the nearby Pistoia Zoo, our small local zoo.
Read my guide to the Pistoia Zoo
What to See & Do in Pistoia with Kids
- Explore underneath Pistoia on the Pistoia Sotteranea (Pistoia Underground) tour
- Let your kids play at one of Pistoia’s many playgrounds
- Go on a gelato crawl to find the city’s best gelato
- Find the animals made of plants and bushes at the Pistoia Nursery Park
How to Get to Pistoia with Kids
- Car – It’s about a 45 minute drive from Florence to Pistoia (with no traffic); you’ll need to drive if you want to visit the zoo
- Train – You can reach Pistoia in just 40 minutes
When to Day Trip to Pistoia with Kids
You can visit any time of the year, but if you’re planning on visiting the Pistoia Zoo, keep in mind that we find the animals seem to hide a little bit more in the winter and during the hot part of the day in the summer.
Collodi Day Trip with Kids
Did you know Pinocchio is from Tuscany? The author of Pinocchio, local Carlo Lorenzini, took the village name as his own – his pen name is Carlo Collodi.
You’ll see reminders of Pinocchio all over the medieval village, from a huge statue in town to a theme park based on him. This is an easy and fun day trip for kids – and kids at heart.
What to See & Do in Collodi with Kids
- Explore Pinocchio Park – let your kids watch a puppet show (it’s in Italian but still fun), walk through the Pinocchio forest, see Pinocchio sculptures, zipline across the river
- Visit the Butterfly Garden
- Go on a walk around the Garzoni Gardens
Read more in my guide to Pinocchio Park
How to Get to Collodi with Kids
- Car – It’s about a 1 hour drive from Florence to Collodi (with no traffic)
- Private Driver – See my list of recommended drivers
Read my detailed guide to Taking the Train from Florence to Venice
When to Day Trip to Collodi with Kids
You can visit year-round, but be sure to check the Pinocchio Park opening days and hours on the official site. I think it’s more fun to visit when there are other kids around (especially in the summer). Since most of Pinocchio Park is outdoors, I’d try to time it for a sunny (not rainy) day.
Venice Day Trip with Kids
Dreamy Venice is dreamy on a day trip too! While I love the evenings in Venice, kids will find plenty to explore and love. My kids have been to Venice numerous times and they’re still thrilled to return every.single.time.
We do this day trip from Florence and since you’re just there for the day, you can even skip bringing a stroller (although I usually bring ours for those late-afternoon slumps and naps).
Good To Know: A Venice day trip could be a good last-minute option for a rainy day in Florence.
What to See & Do in Venice with Kids
- Ride on the vaporetto (water bus) or a gondola
- Watch a glass-blowing demo Murano Island
- Learn about Venetian masks and have your kids make their own
- See Venice from above (climb a tower or go to the T Fondaco dei Tedeschi rooftop terrace)
- Visit the Biennale if you’re around on an even year – the art installations are amazing!
- Play with local kids at a Venice playground
Read more in my guide to Venice with Kids
How to Get to Venice with Kids
- Train – Hop on the fast train (Italo or Trenitalia) and you’ll be in Venice in 1.5 hours.
Read my detailed guide to Taking the Train from Florence to Venice
When to Day Trip to Venice with Kids
Honestly, I love Venice most in the winter when it’s quiet and waaaay less crowded. But spring and fall are also lovely. I know that most families have vacation time in the summer, but know that Venice can be very hot and crowded during June, July and August.
Rome Day Trip with Kids
“Ah, Rome – you could spend months exploring and not see it all.” I hear that often, and it’s true, but you can also visit for a day and have a blast – even with kids in tow. How do I know? Because we do it!
Get up early and take the fast train from Florence SMN to Rome Termini and begin your exploration!
Choose one or two (max) things you’d like to see or do with your kids in the Eternal City. Helpful Tip: The key to a happy day trip to Rome is to not try to do too much.
What to See & Do in Rome with Kids
- Explore the Colosseum and Roman Forum
- Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain
- Choose something in the Vatican Museums that interests your kids (for example, my 9-year-old loves the Egyptian section)
- Visit one of the markets, like the one in Campo de’ Fiori
- Find your favorite gelateria. I always go to Fatamorgana in the Monti neighborhood. It’s in a quiet spot and there are always families there, especially after school gets out!
How to Get to Rome with Kids
- Train – Hop on the fast train (Italo or Trenitalia) and you’ll be in Rome in 1.5 hours.
When to Day Trip to Rome with Kids
This is an excellent day trip any time of year. I prefer the spring and fall (when it’s not as hot or crowded as the summer) or around Christmas time for the holiday spirit.
Val d’Orcia Day Trip with Kids
The Val d’Orcia is likely what you think of when you imagine Tuscany – velvety rolling hills and cypress-lined drives. It’s in the southern part of Tuscany, and there’s plenty for families to do in the UNESCO World Heritage valley.
It’s not exactly next door to Florence, but if you’re willing to get up early and get back to Florence in the evening, it can be a fun day for everyone in the family. I do day trips with my kids to the Val d’Orcia in all seasons!
What to See & Do in the Val d’Orcia With Kids
- Pienza – Sample pecorino cheese at its source; walk the ‘love’ lane and ‘kiss’ lane; play at the town playground; find the Gladiator movie set
- Montepulciano – Explore the medieval town, including the underground passageways and the Piazza Grande (Twilight fans will recognize the piazza!); take your pick of playgrounds; visit the amazing Christmas market and kids area if you’re around during the holiday season
- Picnic in the Countryside – Either stop in at a farm for a prepared picnic (Podere Il Casale and Cugusi are popular options) or grab your own picnic supplies at a supermarket
- Bagno Vignoni – Dip your legs in the hot springs; have a walk and a snack in the tiny, traffic-free center
- Go for a Walk – The Val d’Orcia is dotted with gravel roads and because the landscape is so wide open, you’ll be treated with gorgeous views in all directions. Find your favorite cypress trees and small villages like Monticchiello!
- Eat Gelato – Have some of the best gelato in Tuscany at Sgarbi (Montepulciano) and Buon Gusto (Pienza)
- Climb a Tower – If your kids are like mine, they’ll love the climbs up Montepulciano’s tower and Montalcino’s fortezza.
How to Get To the Val d’Orcia with Kids
- Drive – It’s a 1 hr 30 min drive from Florence to Pienza
- Guided Tour – Val d’Orcia Cheese and Wine Tasting from Florence
- Private Driver – See my list of recommended drivers
When to Day Trip to the Val d’Orcia with Kids
You could explore year-round, but the towns are sleepy in the winter (except for around Christmas). Fall can also be muddy – keep that in mind if you want to go on walks or explore the countryside with your kids.
Unrealistic Day Trips from Florence (with or without kids)
- Cinque Terre – I often see this recommended as a day trip from Florence. I wouldn’t recommend it. The villages of the Cinque Terre are beautiful, and a day trip will feel too rushed – especially because everything takes longer with kids. You won’t have enough time to soak up the area or enjoy the hikes between the villages. If it’s your only option, the best thing to do is take an organized bus day trip. Otherwise, try to plan an overnight trip.
- Genoa – Too much time to get there and back.
- Portofino – Too much time to get there and back.
- Perugia – Not enough oomph to justify the 4+ hours on the train or the long drive (even if the Perugia Chocolate Factory is nearby).
- Saturnia – Too much time to drive there and back (but a lot of people do it).
- Pitigliano – Too much time to get there and back.
- Orvieto – I went back and forth with this one. There are so many fun things to do with kids in Orvieto, but it’s a long trip on the train, and I think too long to make it worth it for just a day.
- San Galgano – 1 hr 20 min by car, ok if you combine it with another nearby destination (like Siena). Not worth the drive on its own unless your kids are really into the Sword in the Stone.
- Urbino – Too far for a day trip, and not super kid-friendly.
- Giardino dei Tarocchi – Unfortunately, it’s too far for a day trip. But, if you can swing a night or two in the Maremma, don’t miss this colorful sculpture park and neighboring Capalbio.
Tips for Taking a Day Trip from Florence with Kids
Take as little as possible on public transport. It’s too hard to keep track of a lot of ‘stuff’ and your kids. I try to bring a small backpack (I use this Fjallraven pack) – I make sure I have a few diapers, wipes, packaged snacks, some water, and an external phone charger. Depending on the time of year, I may bring an umbrella or light layers for everyone. If we’ll be walking a lot, I bring my stroller. I try not to bring extra bags or too many ‘just in case’ items (in an emergency you could always buy what you’re missing).
Plan your transport (by train, car, bus, etc). While ‘flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants’ can be fun when you’re kid-free, it’s a recipe for disaster while traveling in Italy.
Have a rough plan for the day (1-2 things to see, where the playground is, a lunch option) and let the rest of the day be relaxed. Kids find things that are fun and interesting to them.
Bring a kid activity along for the car ride or waiting in a restaurant. I try to have something basic like blank paper and a pen or crayons – something that all ages can use.
If you’re traveling by train, be sure to check the return train trip back to Florence SMN train station and work backwards from there. You don’t want to miss the train back because other options will be expensive (taxi) and you’ll need car seats.
I hope this has helped you find a day trip from Florence you’d like to take with your kids and that you feel prepared. Divertitevi – have fun!
You may want to also check out these posts for your time in Florence
Florence with Kids
Best Museums in Florence for Kids
Toy Stores in Florence
Best Gardens in Florence
Piazzale Michelangelo with Kids
Boboli Gardens with Kids
Accademia with Kids
Florence Day Trips with Kids FAQ
Yes, Chianti can be a fun day trip with kids, but I had to limit my list! If you want to visit the area, it’s best to rent a car (or hire a private driver) and spend time in some of the small villages like Gaiole in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, or Castellina in Chianti. My kids also love visiting Brolio Castle.