Tuscany from Rome: seven ideas for a fulfilling day trip
If you asked me whether it is possible to visit Tuscany from Rome on a day trip, I would say yes, without hesitation. And just in case you are wondering if the trip is worth the commute, the answer is positive as well. Tuscany borders the region where Rome is located and is an easy, convenient trip either by private car, train, or bus. If you don’t have much time on hand to explore, consider some of my favorite getaways from Rome to Tuscany. Options are varied and can satisfy everybody. Have a look at my favorite independent wine tour in Chianti and get to know where to relax in the thermal baths in the heart of Tuscany. You’ll be grateful you added a trip through the hilly Tuscan countryside to your busy Rome itinerary. Spending some time in Tuscany will help you unwind from the buzz of the crowded Rome center and discover beautiful nature, glorious history, and mouth-watering cuisine in central Italy.
How to get to Tuscany from Rome
High-speed trains Trenitalia or Italotreno can take you to the main cities of interest like Pisa, Florence, Siena, Arezzo, Grossetto, or Orbetello. Most of the villages in the countryside can be reached by bus Flixbus or Baltour-Sena. The best way to experience Tuscany from Rome, if you don’t mind driving, is by private car.
How far is Tuscany from Rome?
Tuscany should be the next stop after Rome on your Italy bucket list! By driving, you can reach the border with Tuscany in less than 2 hours. Going from Rome in the direction of Florence, the first village you meet is the charming Pitigliano, which lies 159 km north of Rome. Let’s now talk about seven of the best trips you can take in Tuscany from Rome.
Tuscany wine tour from Rome | Sant’Andrea in Percussina
Go on a Tuscany wine tour from Rome
Most travelers to Italy associate the name “Tuscany” with a mental image of sunny hills adorned with olive trees and vineyards. This fits well the reality of only a part of the Tuscan territory. If you don’t have enough time to explore Tuscany until you find your little slice of Eden, make sure you go straight to the Chianti area. I wouldn’t choose to travel by public transport if the aim is to find the right vineyard, walk around and taste wine. You need to drive for about half an hour/an hour from the main train stations in Florence and Siena to reach the countryside anyway… Rent a car instead, and enjoy driving slowly through the wonderful landscape.
As for personal experience, I recommend a visit to the tiny village of Sant’Andrea in Percussina, a half-hour drive from Florence.
There you’ll find the ancient mansion and vineyards of a very famous Italian. When my travel buddy told me we were headed to the place where the Italian writer considered to be the inventor of modern political thought, Machiavelli, grew up, I thought we would only visit a boring museum. My friend is really passionate about philosophy and history and was very excited to explore this village. We arrived there early in the morning; it was our first stop in Tuscany for the day. What we found was absolutely incredible. The villa of Machiavelli or “Albergaccio” is in perfect condition and still displays the original furniture. For only €10 a ticket we got a guided tour of the house and the cellars. The view from the villa and gardens is breathtaking. The current manager of Machiavelli’s properties continues to produce wine and run the restaurant. This is a truly unique wine tour that offers much more than just wine tasting.
Stroll around the village of Pitigliano and Sovana in the Tuscia region
Have you heard about the “Tuscia” region before? It consists of many of the quaint towns near Rome, scattered between the provinces of Lazio, Tuscany, and Umbria. The landscapes of southern Tuscany in the proximity of Lake Bolsena are dominated by dramatic gorges rather than harmonious hills with farmhouses. The medieval villages are nestled on tuff cliffs and surrounded by forests of thick Mediterranean vegetation. Pitigliano and Sovana are among the most enchanting villages you will meet on your way from Rome to Tuscany. Life flows slowly in the desolated valleys, where you can shop for handicrafts and vintage clothes. Young people from this region prefer to move to big cities nearby to study or to find more exciting entertainment. Try the local products like porcini mushrooms and truffles, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and wine. Hike inside the mysterious cut roads “vie cave” that the Etruscans excavated with incredible technology around their burial cities. This destination can be a paradise for the lover of archeology and forest bathing. The Tuscan villages of Pitigliano and Sovana are some of the best day-trips from Rome and I visit them every year.
Explor Val d’Orcia
The Orcia Valley in Tuscany was recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site in order to acknowledge the degree to which the arrangement of its agricultural landscape has influenced the history of landscape design since the 14th century. The Val D’Orcia stretches between the slopes of the Amiata Mountain and is crossed by the Orcia River. The colors and shapes of the landscape in which the Renaissance villages of Pienza, San Quirico, Bagno Vignoni, and Montalcino are located appear on some iconic postcards from Tuscany. Nature here transmits tranquillity and invites one to relax. There are, of course, vineyards where you can taste local wines like the Brunello di Montalcino, but also sanctuaries and abbeys, and the Via Francigena Road passes through here. Thousands of hikers and pilgrims explore the Val D’Orcia by foot from summer to autumn. To reach the main landmarks in the Val d’Orcia, you could take a bus from Rome, but independent exploration by private car is recommended. You’ll feel the need to stop and take a picture, or to journey via a country road and go explore a villa or an off-track village like Monticchiello.
Beach “LA Feniglia” in the Argentario Peninsula, Tuscany.
Discover the Argentario Peninsula: best way to visit Tuscany from Rome in the summer
Italians consider the Argentario Coast (literally “Silver Coast”) as one of the most beautiful coastal destinations in central Italy. Nonetheless, places like La Feniglia, Cala Gesso, and Porto Ercole are among the best beaches and beach towns near Rome. If you have one full day on your hands, you’ll be able to reach by car the Argentario Peninsula and explore a few of the stunning places of the Tuscan coast. For instance, you could spend some hours on the 7 km-long La Feniglia Beach, where the painter Caravaggio died, or swim in the blue-green waters of one of the hidden bays at the foot of Mount Argentario. In the evening, end your day tasting the local seafood or a pizza at one of the restaurants by the sea in tiny charming Porto Ercole. The perfect time of the year to visit the Argentario region is summer or the beginning of autumn.
How to get to the Argentario Peninsula
Take a Trenitalia train from Roma Termini Station to Orbetello-Monte Argentario (€10) , then take a public bus to Spiaggia La Feniglia.
Unwind at the Chianciano Terme thermal baths
Just two hours by car from Rome lies the gorgeous Thermal Park of Chianciano. The thermal spring holds the Etruscan name “Sillene.” Its water has been employed in curative treatments for centuries. The water is taken both internally and in bath or mud therapy. The contemporary offer of Chianciano Thermal Park includes a sensory spa that uses a blend of Western and Eastern treatments, four open-air and three indoor thermal pools (all connected), and a thermal pool for children. Water gushes from the earth at 39 degrees, while the temperature in the pools goes from 33 to 36 degrees. A trip to this thermal location will enable you to enjoy the benefits of the main natural attractions in central Italy, hot springs!… And this place is an option to prefer to the overcrowded Saturnia hot springs.
Sunny Tuscan hills near San Gimignanq
Take a day trip to Florence from Rome
A lot of travelers will tell you that there are so many things to see in Florence that you need at least two or three days to get the best out of your visit, and I agree with them. However, if your days in Italy are limited, you can still see Florence in one day and have a wonderful time. Florence is a livable, visitor-friendly city that will make you forget Rome immediately. The splendor of the Renaissance architecture of Florence’s historical center, culminating in the jaw-dropping Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, is enough reason to start planning a short trip. The only red flag could be the weather during midsummer. There isn’t a hat or fan that can help against August’s mugginess… Be prepared to walk for 4 to 6 hours on a self-guided walking tour that must include the Church of Santa Maria Novella right next to the main train station, the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Piazzale Michelangelo. If you manage your schedule strategically, you can easily fit in a visit to the gorgeous Uffizi Gallery or to the Academia Gallery. And don’t forget to have a meal with fresh Tuscan local products, like those served by the organic trattoria Le 5 e 5 near Ponte Vecchio.
How to get from Rome to Florence by train
Take a high-speed train from Roma Termini to Firenze Santa Maria Novella, it takes you one and a half hour and it costs less than €30 one way on a weekday if you get it at least the week before departure.
Inside the ruins of San Galgano Abbey’s cathedral in Tuscany
See the San Galgano Abbey and the sword in the stone
The ruins of the Grande Abbazia di San Galgano, 20 km south of Siena, Tuscany, are evocative and beautiful, waiting to be portrayed on your camera. They become unmissable, though, when you know that the abbey was erected just a short walk from the hermitage with the “Italian” sword in the rock… The sword could actually be the one that the legend told us about, as its metal has been analyzed and resulted from the Middle Ages. Saint Galgano is the one who inserted the sword, celebrating his conversion from a knight to a servant of the Lord. The entry to the chapel with the sword is free of toll, while there’s a fee to visit the abbey. Visiting both places takes not more than two hours. You could easily couple this tour with the village of San Gimignano, which is highly touristic and only a 50km drive from the abbey. The abbey is open from April 1st to November 1st.
How to get to the San Galgano Abbey from Rome
The most convenient way is to rent a private car or to join an organized tour, as by public transport it would take you at least 5 hours ( Trenitalia train from Rome to Siena and bus no. 122 to San Galgano Abbey.
Address: Strada Comunale di San Galgano, 164.
The sword in the stone
These are the day trips to Tuscany from Rome that I absolutely recommend either is this is your first time in Italy or not… Do you have anything else in mind? Let me know in the comments!