Florence as a Day Trip from Rome

As much as I love to plan, life sometimes gets in the way.

That is how a recent weekend away in Florence turned into a day trip.

Ponte Vecchio Florence

Luckily, Florence is an easy day trip from Rome.

Just 1.5 hours away by (fast) train, the city is accessible if you are craving a break from Rome, or want to add more sites to you Italy itinerary.

Duomo doors

It has been years since I visited Florence with a friend.

When Jimmy and I realized that we had never seen Firenze together, he booked us a wine tasting in the city as a treat.

Duomo in the rain

We woke up last Saturday and grabbed the 8:15 am Italo train to Santa Maria Novella, Florence’s main train station. By 9:45 I was sipping a cappuccino a few streets down from the Duomo.

In the winter, Florence tends to be colder than Rome, but we tried to ignore the drizzle as we explored.

Arno in Florence

We walked along the Arno to say hello to Ponte Vecchio.

Ponte Vecchio

The crowds in February are manageable and I was charmed by the angles of the waterfront’s windows. A mishmash of structures jets out from the bridge.

shutters on ponte vecchio

On the ponte, love locks weigh down the rails.

love locks

As we passed shops laden with fresh produce, we started to crave a meal of our own and an escape from the rain.

fruit stand florence

We slowly meandered towards our lunch destination da Sergio – also known as Trattoria Gozzi (Piazza di San Lorenzo, 8R).

Da Sergio Florence Menu

Consulting the hand written menu, we started with vino della casa to warm up.

wine in Florence

The cold weather put us in the mood for something hearty and Tuscan.

Jimmy’s Peposo with potatoes was amazing.

tuscan stewed beef

And I can never resist pappardella al cinghiale – wild boar ragu.

wild boar ragu

Filled with leisurely lunchers, the food came quickly but we felt the need to linger and soak up the atmosphere at da Sergio before continuing to explore Florence.

da sergio florence

A more compact city than Rome, Florence is easy to navigate.

Those who plan ahead can book to see David, or visit the Uffizi, or climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo for a gorgeous view of the Renaissance city and to stop to smell the roses.

We, however, were there for the wine.

casa del vino

Located behind the stalls selling leather belts and knock off bags of San Lorenzo’s market is Casa del Vino.

I was instantly sold on this tiny place, with a small marble bar and plenty of locals.

small wine bar florence

You can order a glass of wine and a panino made with 3 local ingredients or sample small crostini. It was hard to leave the cozy space once we settled in.

corner fountain florence

Work obligations meant I had to catch a train back to Rome, leaving Jimmy with an extra day to enjoy Florence solo. Since our trip was cut short, we have an excuse to go back soon.

There are a few main options for train tickets to Rome to Florence, or Florence to Rome (and here is a full guide on how to buy train tickets in Italy):

  • Trenitalia: Trains depart about every 30 minutes from Termini (and sometimes Tiburtina) to Firenze Santa Maria Novella. The frecciarossa and frecciargento take 1 hour and 30 minutes.  You can opt for the regionale veloce (leaving every 2 hours or so), and this will save you some cash but will also take 3 hours and 52 minutes to arrive– seriously cutting into your exploration time.  Tickets on regional trains are also unreserved so you may end up without a seat.
  • Italo Treno: Trains depart from Roma Termini, stopping next in Roma Tiburtina, about every hour or half hour depending on the time of day.  The trip takes 1 hour and 30 minutes, and the trains usually offer pretty decent free wifi. Usually.  I tend to prefer Italo treno, and book a first class ticket when I can justify the expense, just to have a bit more leg room.
  • ItaliaRail: Pulls together all available options across companies and allows you to hide the slow trains from your search results so that there is no chance of making a mistake. It is also 100% in English. Plus, if you think that your travel dates or times might potentially change, you can pay a bit more up front for a flexible ticket, or add trip insurance to your purchase.

In all cases, the sooner you buy your ticket, the better. Trenitalia and Italo Treno both regularly run discounts if you sign up for their emails (in Italian). However, ItaliaRail is by far the easiest to use. Just don’t wait too long to book – much like airplane tickets, prices tend to go up the closer you buy the ticket to your departure date.

For us in February, we scored fast train tickets for just €16 each way, making a day trip from Rome to Florence an absolutely affordable option too.

Buon viaggio!

people eating lampredotto in Florence Italy

Note: This post may contain affiliate links to companies which I personally recommend. I may earn a commission if you choose to purchase with them. 



12 thoughts on “Florence as a Day Trip from Rome

    • Natalie says:

      If the menu changes often enough that there is no point in having it printed, then that is a sign of a place I want to dine! I hope that your friend has a lovely trip to Firenze!! You must be counting down the days until your trip 🙂

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  3. Catalina says:

    Hi, really glad to find your blog and enjoying reading your stories. I am planning to visit Rome in June and wonder does the train station in Florence is right at downtown or do I need to take other transportations to the main sightings? Thanks!

    • Natalie says:

      Hi Catalina! The station is only a 10 minute walk to the Duomo so I would say that there is no need to take a taxi.

  4. Lori says:

    Thrilled to find this post. I’m headed to Rome in a couple weeks for a solo trip and I’ve been considering a day trip to Florence. It’s a definite now. This was very helpful!

  5. Susan says:

    We recently took the “fast train” from Florence to Rome. It was fantastic! Such a wonderful way to travel. I hope to return in the near future 🙂

  6. Georgia says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I’ll be visiting Rome for 4 days in December, and I’ve been contemplating a day trip to Florence. After seeing your pictures of Florence on a rainy day, I’ve decided I’ll stay in Rome so I can be close to my hotel in case I want to take a hot bath or a nap. If it were warmer, I’d probably go. I’m saving your article for future reference.

    • Natalie says:

      I hope you enjoy your December trip to Rome! Florence is beautiful even in the rain but I understand not wanting to travel as much in bad weather.

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