Being abroad for about two months now has given me plenty of time to partake in some exciting excursions. While some have been more of a trek than others—like when I flew to Amsterdam, London and Edinburgh for spring break—some of my favorite days have been spent taking day trips throughout Italy. Italy is so versatile and beautiful, and I definitely want to take advantage of everything that my host country has to offer while I can! For anyone considering studying abroad in Florence, here are my rankings of day trips I have taken throughout Italy.

4. Siena

My friends and I took a trip to Siena on a rainy Saturday. While I can imagine that Siena is gorgeous in the sun, the rain is probably why it falls at the bottom of my list. Despite the gloomy weather, we still enjoyed our entire day in this town. With no real plan, we just walked around all day and explored sights that we came across. The highlight of this trip was definitely going into the Duomo di Siena. This is a beautiful cathedral, from the inside and out, and only costs five euros to enter and walk around—totally worth it! This was definitely the most beautiful cathedral I have ever been in. Everything from the floors to the ceilings is decorated in the most stunning art and architecture. Truly a highlight of the trip and a must-see if you find yourself in Siena!

3. Pisa

While most people will tell you that Pisa is overrated and only half of a day trip, I completely disagree! My day trip to Pisa was one of my favorites and I honestly wish I spent more time there. While it is small, Pisa has a bunch of shopping attractions, restaurants and pop-up markets. We stumbled across a very cool store called Vlab Vintage and spent so much time there looking through all of the vintage clothing and accessories that they had. Of course, the majority of us didn’t leave the store empty-handed. After this, we grabbed pasta for lunch and ate it on an outdoor patio with the sun shining down on us. Truly a picturesque Italy moment!

I was anticipating that the Leaning Tower of Pisa would be overrated, but it was actually stunning to see in person. We spent a lot of time here admiring the tower and the surrounding buildings, and of course taking the classic touristy photos with the tower. This was overall a great day and I would definitely recommend it! 

2. Bologna

My day trip to Bologna was my first excursion outside of Florence that I took during my second week abroad and it set a pretty high standard! Only a 40-minute train ride out of Florence, this city is so accessible and convenient. Bologna is beautiful, especially because it was a very bright and sunny day for early February. There are so many adorable colorful buildings, gorgeous churches and piazzas and a lot of places to shop around. 

Of course, we couldn’t come to Bologna and not try the food that they are known for. My friends and I got tortellini for lunch and had lasagna bolognese for dinner, which was without a doubt the best bolognese sauce I have ever tasted!

Something unexpected that made this trip so special was stumbling across a street performer called Walking Francis. He was incredibly talented and had a similar vibe to Hozier and Mt. Joy, who are two of my favorite artists. My friends and I stuck around for his entire hour-long set, singing and dancing along with him and the crowd. It felt so special! Overall, Bologna was so charming and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a quick excursion out of Florence. 

  1. Livorno

The long-awaited number one! This might be a hot take, considering this town is very small and not a frequent day trip destination, but it was the most gorgeous place I’ve seen in Italy so far. My roommate and I made a last-minute plan to take a trip here to fill our day and I could not have been happier with the location we picked. We came in with zero plan, with the only goal of seeing the water. We found a pasta place for lunch (thanks to TikTok) and I had such delicious shrimp and zucchini pasta for so cheap! 

After this, we shopped around for a while and walked to Terrazza Mascagni to see the Ligurian Sea. Terrazza Mascagni was one of the most beautiful, picturesque places I have ever been to. It is a huge tiled walkway right along the water, and a man was playing the piano right in the middle of the piazza! The ambiance was stunning as the sun was setting and I truly felt like I was in a movie. The only downside was that the water was an hour-long walk from the train station, but it was completely worth it for that view. I’m still in awe!

No matter what day trips you embark on, you really can’t go wrong in Italy. Each place was gorgeous for a different reason and I feel so grateful to be able to explore such beautiful new places every weekend! If you ever find yourself looking for a day trip out of Florence, keep these recommendations in mind!

About The Author

-- Junior I Assistant Vine I English Creative Writing --

Jacqui is an English: Creative Writing major in Fairfield University's class of 2025

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