Florence is usually a top destination choice when it comes to planning a holiday in Italy—you could spend an entire week just seeing the sites and enjoying the local cuisine alone. But why limit yourself to seeing just Florence? With a rail system that can get you almost anywhere, you’d be missing out if you didn’t explore more of the city’s surrounding areas. Pair your visit to Florence with one of these other destinations to create the perfect Italy holiday.
The rolling hills of Tuscany are what many people envision when they think of Italy. And with Florence being IN Tuscany (Tuscany is a region, and Florence is the capital of it) it would be a shame to miss out on exploring the countryside that surrounds it. Stay in a Tuscan town such as Lucca or Siena and you’ll be able to travel around the region easily, or choose to stay in a countryside villa or apartment to feel like you’re in the heart of the region and a bit more secluded.
Hop on a high-speed train from Florence to Naples (which takes less than three hours and is direct) and you’ll be at the centre of the Neapolitan Riviera. After you’ve eaten in the birthplace of pizza and explored what the city has to offer , you’ll be in the perfect spot for some day trips to Pompeii, Ischia, and the Amalfi Coast.
Rome and Venice
This is the itinerary I always suggest for Italy first-timers—these are three of Italy’s must-see cities! Culture buffs will love the Italian art and architecture, history lovers will soak in the hundreds of year’s worth of stories and facts, and foodies will eat, and eat well.
It’s best to either start in Venice and go south (via Florence and onto Rome), or start in Rome and do the opposite. It’s possible to fly out of both Venice and Rome easily, so no need to travel back to your starting point for your return flight home.
I love combining city and beach when on a holiday—the contrast makes you appreciate both a bit more. Once you’ve toured the Uffizi Gallery, devoured a Florentine Steak, and taken your fill of photos on the Ponte Vecchio, I think you’ll appreciate some downtime on Tuscany’s coast. You can relax on the beach, learn the art of the passegiata (afternoon stroll), and enjoy your meals sea side. Viareggio is the most popular destination on the coast and is famous for its promenade—but if you’re looking for something a bit more exclusive, Forte dei Marmi and Lido di Camaiore are great choices.