One of the best ways to see Italy’s beautiful interior is by embarking on a Rome to Florence day trip via a high-speed train. Why? Not only because you get to see stunning countryside scenery from one major Italian city to another, but you do this in just under two hours!
You may think that you have to choose between Rome or Florence when visiting Italy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Both these cities offer an extraordinary experience.
Rome is the quintessential capital, brimming with ancient history and dotted with world-class landmarks like the Colosseum. On the other hand, Florence offers a unique Tuscan experience, complete with top-of-the-pile Renaissance art and architecture. So it’s best to see both cities.
Now, without wasting time, let’s dive into this ultimate day trip itinerary from Rome to Florence on board a high-speed train.
Best Rome to Florence Day Trip Itinerary: High-speed trains + tours
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About our experience + using this guide
We have traveled to Florence on 2 occasions – once on a guided tour, and a high-speed train. High-speed trains in Italy are safe and perfect for a day trip with or without a guide.
For a day trip from Rome to Florence (without a guide), we recommend getting on an early train and returning on one of the last rides (after sunset). We have listed all the possible ways to get to Florence below, with our suggested tours, as well as sharing our itinerary stops.
Rome to Florence Day trip stops with Google Map
- Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
- Mercato Centrale
- Palazzo Medici Riccardi
- Galleria dell’Accademia (30+ minutes, book tickets early)
- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
- Piazza del Duomo (lunch/snack break)
- Palazzo Vecchio – Piazza del Signoria (quick stop, but guided tours are available)
- Uffizi Gallery (60+ minutes, book tickets early)
- Ponte Vecchio (quick stop)
- Sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo
For museums, you will have to account for 30 minutes to an hour for exploration (considering you are on a day trip). We have also provided extra options like a cooking class and additional stops which you can swap for.
Getting to Florence from Rome via a high-speed train
There are several ways you can travel to Florence from Rome. Driving and flying are two common options, but taking a high-speed train is the most popular way to do this day trip.
You’ll find many train stations in Rome. Termini Station is centrally located and by far the largest depot. It offers more routes and plenty of facilities, including a tourist information office.
High-speed train tours from Rome to Florence typically depart from Termini Station and arrive at Florence’s Santa Maria Novella Station. This train ride covers 260.7 km (162 miles) and takes about 90 minutes.
If you’re not joining a guided day tour, you can expect to pay around $32 for a ticket.
Rome to Florence Day Trip Itinerary
After arriving in Florence, you’ll either explore the city with an expert guide or alone, depending on the tour package you booked. These are both great options, but if you’d like to learn about the history and culture of Florence, taking a guided walking tour is probably your best option.
If you’re exploring Florence solo, we’ve created an easy-to-follow itinerary that ensures you get a fully immersive experience of the birthplace of the Renaissance. Have a look below.
1. Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
Conveniently located about a minute away from Florence’s main train station, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella is ideally the first stop you should make after your arrival.
This 13-14th century church has a stunning marble facade, and inside, you’ll find extraordinary religious artworks like Masaccio’s Trinità (Holy Trinity) and the Crucifix by Giotto.
Walk across the piazza to the Museo Novecento, where you’ll see interactive exhibits and artworks from the 1900s onwards. Before you head to the next attraction on this itinerary, be sure to check out the Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, one of the oldest in the city.
There is nothing like it, the pharmacy boasts a frescoed interior featuring ancient books and statues.
2. Mercato Centrale (The Central Market)
If you want to experience the typical day in the life of a local in Florence, there is no better place to do this than at the Central Market. Famous for its inexpensive leather goods, fresh produce, and artisanal inventory, this market is the best spot for eating and souvenir shopping.
On the ground floor, you’ll find a locally-made products and fresh foods market boasting several stalls. This part of the Central Market opens from Monday to Saturday, from 7 am until 2 pm. You’ll have limited time, so we suggest you explore this floor before heading up.
The first floor of the Central Market is where you’ll find a food court. It features several small restaurants, tasting rooms, and wine bars where you can indulge in local specialties like lampredotto, porchetta, and trippa. This part of the market opens daily, from 8 am to midnight.
Of course, you’ll also find typical Italian dishes here, like pizza, roast fish, fried vegetables, and buffalo mozzarella. We recommend you have lunch here to fuel up for the adventure ahead.
3. Palazzo Medici Riccardi
The House of Medici is one of the most influential banking families and political dynasties that existed in Italy. Famous for funding the Renaissance, this art-loving family built and expanded many buildings in Florence, including the Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
So, if you’re a history buff eager to learn more about this mighty family, visiting the Palazzo Medici Riccardi is a must. The palace is famous for its magnificent Magi Chapel, which features frescoed walls painted by Benozzo Gozzoli. Donatello and Michelangelo also worked here.
Other highlights you’ll love to see at Palazzo Medici Riccardi include the arch-filled internal courtyard, the manicured Medici garden, and the Hall of Mirrors, boasting golden walls.
4. Galleria dell’Accademia
You cannot possibly spend a day in Florence without seeing the city’s extensive collections of art, paintings, and sculptures. The Accademia Gallery is one of the best places to admire world-class artworks.
This art museum is famous for housing Michelangelo’s David statue, and it displays the largest collection of the artist’s works in the world. But there is more to see at Accademia Gallery, including the Coronation of the Virgin by Jacopo di Cione and the Tree of Life by Pacino di Bonaguida are other masterpieces you must see.
Accademia Gallery is one of Florence’s top attractions, so book a skip-the-line guided tour to bypass the long queues. You’ll have a multilingual guide who shares insights on the museum’s outstanding Gothic and Renaissance artworks.
Pro tip: When booking a ticket, choose a time slot that works for you – keeping in mind the travel time from Rome to Florence, and walk to the museum.
5. Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence Duomo)
Florence is well-endowed with majestic churches. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is one of the most beautiful churches in the city and a must-see if you admire Gothic architecture. It is the fourth-largest church in the world, so there’s plenty to see.
A skip-the-line tour of the Florence Duomo takes you through the church’s famous frescoes, private passages, and rooftop terraces, where you’ll get a close-up of Brunelleschi’s dome. The cherry on top will be the sweeping views of the city you’ll get from Cupola del Brunelleschi.
Tip: Typically the guided tours are for 2.5 to 3 hours, if you are pressed for time, we recommend visiting the Douomo from the outside. Or you can skip one of the museum visits.
6. Piazza del Duomo + Giotto’s Bell Tower
Just steps away from the cathedral, you’ll find the Piazza del Duomo. This lively square is arguably the most famous in Florence, being surrounded by many top attractions.
Sitting in the heart of Florence, this piazza boasts must-see architecture like the Giotto Bell Tower.
Around the square, you’ll find plenty of things to enjoy. From vibrant street artists to cafes, cocktails, bars, and pizzeria where you can indulge in tasty treats. You’ll want to take your time here so you don’t miss out on seeing some of Florence’s top attractions.
This is also the perfect place to catch a breather and grab a drink and pizza before continuing.
7. Palazzo Vecchio
Boasting a brick-faced facade and a gigantic clock tower overlooking Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio serves as Florence’s town hall. Its interesting history and great architecture are some reasons why people visit this place, but its art collection is also something to look out for.
A skip-the-line entry ticket to Palazzo Vecchio offers you a secret passage tour through the palace. You’ll see many Renaissance artworks, marvel at secret Medici rooms, and find off-the-beaten-path locations in the Palazzo Vecchio Museum, like a mysterious stairway.
Pro tip: We recommend just going on a stroll at the piazza in the interest of time.
8. Uffizi Gallery
One of the most prominent art museums in Florence (and arguably in Italy) is none other than the Uffizi Gallery. Located minutes away from the Piazza della Signoria, this gallery is famous for its great collection of paintings and sculptures dating back to the Middle Ages.
Get yourself a skip-the-line entrance ticket and admire masterpieces from the likes of Giotto, Michelangelo, and Da Vinci. Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” is also among the relics you’ll see here. Uffizi Gallery is unique compared to other art museums in Florence.
Walking through the gallery is like going back in time. As you stroll through artworks chronologically arranged from the 13th to the 18th century. There are also archaeological collections in the Uffizi Gallery, such as Roman and Greek sculptures.
Pro tip: Just like the Accademia Gallery, you will have to book tickets ahead of time and have to choose a slot. Based on the ticket availability you will have to adjust this itinerary.
9. Ponte Vecchio
Walk over to the Ponte Vecchio, and enjoy the view of the River Arno. The Old Bridge is known for the shops that are built along it, but we loved it more for the uninterrupted views of the river and its surroundings.
(Located near the Ponte Vecchio is the Pitti Palace and can spend some time at the Boboli Gardens here – we have included that as an option below).
10. Sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo
Finally, your day trip from Rome to Florence ends with one of the most magical sunsets in Italy. This square is an excellent spot for panoramic views of Florence and beyond. The 360-degree views and skyline scenery are even more stunning at sunset time.
This could be the highlight of your trip, so be sure to arrive early (at least an hour before sunset) so that you can get the best spot. The square boasts a huge replica of the David statue at the center, as well as stalls selling football shirts, crafts, and many other Italian souvenirs.
More Things to Do in Florence Italy
We have included additional activities that you can swap for any of the itinerary stops above.
Museo Leonardo Da Vinci + Interactive Museum
As the birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence has provided the world with many artists, sculptors, scientists, and engineers, and Da Vinci is one of the most famous among them.
The intellectual is credited with conducting many experiments and creating futuristic inventions that were groundbreaking during the Renaissance. And you can see and marvel at most of these extraordinary items at the Leonardo Da Vinci Interactive Museum.
Book a guided tour of the museum and get a sneak peek into the genius mind of Leonardo Da Vinci as you roam through his artworks.
Tuscan cooking or pasta-making class
For a classic Florentine experience, take a cooking or pasta-making class and learn how to make delicious homemade Italian dishes. There are several tour providers around Florence, and they range from three-hour classes to full-day tours.
If you’re spending two days in Florence (or more), we suggest you take the full-day cooking class at a Tuscan farmhouse led by an expert chef. You’ll learn how to make meals like bruschetta and roast pork and desserts like tiramisù from scratch.
This cooking experience is perfectly paired with a visit to a local market and a scrumptious 4-course lunch. If you don’t have a lot of time, then join this pasta-making class so you have enough time to complete this itinerary.
Palazzo Pitti + Boboli Gardens
Cross over the Arno River at Ponte Vecchio and head over to Pitti Palace. This exceptional palace boasts remarkable Renaissance architecture, splendid frescoes, gilded ceilings, and elegant furniture that makes even billionaires jealous.
A guided tour of Palazzo Pitti takes you through the residence’s expansive courtyards and the immaculate Boboli Gardens. You’ll also get to marvel at the Medici Family’s extensive artwork collection at the Palatine Gallery and learn about their grand-dual residency at the palace.
Rome to Florence day tours via high-speed train
If you are unsure of doing this yourself, we highly suggest that you join a guided tour when taking a day trip from Rome to Florence. These tours offer roundtrip tickets, a local guide, and skip-the-line tickets to main attractions.
You’ll also get some free time to wander around the picturesque medieval streets of Florence. If you prefer to have more time to yourself, then a private tour will be useful such as this one
Here are a few of the best options for a scenic high-speed train day trip from Rome to Florence.
From Rome: Day trip to Florence by high-speed train (3.5/5 – 191 reviews)
Boarding from Termini Station at 7:30 am, this high-speed train day tour sees you traversing through Italy’s gorgeous countryside. You’ll catch glimpses of charming villages and towns from the window of your standard-class carriage along the way.
Upon arrival, you’ll meet your tour guide and begin exploring the Renaissance city. At the Piazza del Duomo, you’ll spot classic Florence attractions like the Gothic-style Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the towering Campanile di Giotto, and the octagonal Baptistery of St. John.
From there, you’ll explore the city’s bustling squares, such as the Piazza della Repubblica. This circular piazza boasts an enormous fountain at its heart, encircled by historic cafes and quaint boutiques. Continue to the eclectic Ponte Vecchio before heading to the artistic Uffizi Gallery.
At around mid-afternoon, your tour guide will indicate that it’s time to return. You’ll head back to the Santa Maria Novella Station to board the departing train to Rome.
Rome to Florence: High-speed train day trip (4.7/5 – 26 reviews)
On this tour, you’ll depart from Termini Station in Rome at 7:50 am. We suggest you reserve a window seat for optimal views of the scenic Italian countryside. When you arrive at the Santa Maria Novella Station, you’ll be met and welcomed by an English and Spanish-speaking greeter.
This high-speed train tour is a bit different than the previous one, though, as you’ll get to explore Florence at your own pace. There is no set itinerary, so you can simply wander through the medieval streets, spotting Gothic and Renaissance architecture and indulging in local cuisine.
The Historic Centre of Florence is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, packed with hundreds of years of cultural and artistic prowess. You’ll find many churches, museums, piazzas, and galleries housing artworks from the likes of Michelangelo and Sandro Botticelli.
You’ll have the entire day to experience the city’s best attractions, so make sure you catch the sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo, which is one of the best things to do in Florence at night. Your train departs from Santa Maria Novella Station at 6:38 pm, but this is subject to change.
Note: From April, trains depart from Rome at 7:30 am on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Rome to Florence day tour (4.5/5 – 28 reviews)
Our third suggestion for a Rome to Florence high-speed train day tour also departs from Termini Station at 7:30 am and arrives at the Santa Maria Novella Station. You’ll have the option to pick between a self-guided tour and a guided walking tour with a professional multilingual guide.
The guided tour includes skip-the-line access to the renowned Uffizi Gallery. You’ll spend time admiring magnificent art collections with masterpieces from artists like Giotto, Botticelli, and Cimabue. Afterward, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the city’s rich tapestry of historical treasures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Wander around the enchanting piazza, delight in mouthwatering Tuscan cuisine at local cafes, and marvel at the city’s breathtaking architecture. End your day with a stroll back to the Santa Maria Novella Station. Your train will arrive back in Rome at around 7:30 pm.
Note: This tour requires you to arrive at the meet-up spot in Rome, in front of Caffè Trombetta, at least 30 minutes before the train’s scheduled departure time.
Staying longer? Consider taking these day trips from Florence
Florence can be considered a gateway to charming towns and other major cities in Northern Italy. If you’ll be in Florence for a few days, we suggest you take some of these day trips.
Florence to San Marino day trip
Surrounded by Italy, San Marino is one of the smallest countries in the world. But don’t let that fool you. This microstate boasts a lot of history and culture comparable with any other nation. Take a day trip from Florence to San Marino and discover its hilltop, medieval old town.
Day trip from Florence: Siena, San Gimignano, Pisa, and lunch at a winery
If you love history, art, and decadent Tuscan food and wines, this day trip is perfect for you. On this Tuscany day tour, you’ll enjoy wandering around the medieval city of Siena, marveling at the towers of San Gimignano and admiring the dramatic architecture of Pisa.
Cinque Terre day trip from Florence with optional hiking
The seaside paradise of Cinque Terre is about two to three hours away from Florence. This string of UNESCO-listed hillside towns boasts colorful houses, pristine white-sand beaches, and a rugged coastline perfect for hiking.
Chianti wine tour from Florence
Wine lovers will love exploring Tuscany’s lush vineyards and tasting exceptional wine. This amazing wine-tasting day trip takes you to the Chianti Wine Regions, where you’ll indulge in award-winning wines and traditional food while overlooking rolling hills of grape-filled vineyards and villas.
Rome to Florence high-speed train day trip: FAQs
Day trips often require a lot of planning. From arranging transportation to creating a well-thought-out itinerary, it can all be quite overwhelming. But don’t stress, we’ve put together a few frequently asked questions about day trips from Rome to Florence to help you out.
Is it worth it to do a day trip from Rome to Florence?
Absolutely! As we mentioned before, Rome and Florence offer different experiences in Italy. Although you’ll find that both cities have ancient landmarks, museums, and galleries, each of these highlights displays the city’s unique culture, history, and heritage.
What is the best route from Rome to Florence?
The best way to travel from Rome to Florence is via a high-speed train from Termini Station to Santa Maria Novella Station. This takes about 90 minutes, one-way.
How many trains a day from Rome to Florence?
This is a very popular day trip from Rome, so you can expect more than 60 trains per day traveling between the Italian capital and Florence. More than one train leaves Rome each hour, but this is less frequent on weekends and during the holiday season.
Do I need to book a train from Rome to Florence in advance?
Yes. Booking your train ticket beforehand will save you lots of time at the station. During the peak season in Italy, these train tickets are very sought-after, and that can cause some delays.
Wrapping up the best high speed train day trip from Rome to Florence
Taking a day trip from Rome to Florence is one of the best ways to see the nation’s lush countryside and spend time in one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. And there is no better way of doing this than by taking a high-speed train from the capital.
Florence is the undisputed cradle of the Italian Renaissance. It’s known for being home to world-class art, historical landmarks, and medieval architecture that will blow you away. And if you’ll be spending two or three days in Florence, there are more epic day trips awaiting you.
Whether you want to take a leisurely stroll around Florence while admiring its Renaissance architecture or you’d like to indulge in Tuscan cuisine, nothing beats a day trip from Rome.
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