After visiting the famous museums, basilicas, and outdoor markets in Florence, it might be time for a change of pace. Consider one of these day-trips either in luxury or on a budget:
Cinque Terre is five villages along the Italian Riviera coastline with pastel houses dangling from the cliffs. These scenic villages, founded by locals in the Dark Ages hiding out from marauding pirates, are linked by a train, a ferry and a hiking trail.
The Luxury Way: Take a small group tour. A guide will walk you through the Lovers Lane trail, take you on a boat trip along the coast, share some of the most scenic spots and help you explore the 5 villages in a memorable way.
The Budget Way: Take the train from Florence to La Spezia, where you change to a regional train that makes all the local stops in the Cinque Terre.
Siena, the age-old rival of Florence, takes you back to the Middle Ages with its Gothic Duomo and Piazza del Campo where the Palio horse race is held each summer.
The Luxury Way: Hire a guide. A guide will conveniently pick you up at your hotel and drive you to Siena. Most guides include a short stop in the medieval village San Gimignano, too. The drive takes you through the ever changing scenery of the countryside with vineyards and olive trees.
The Budget Way: Take the train to Siena. Plan ahead and check the train schedules. Trains run at varying times and frequencies depending on the day.
A day in Chianti offers a unique landscape with green rolling hills, fields of vineyards and olive trees, medieval villages, stone farmhouses and country villas.
The Luxury Way: Hire a private driver. Leaving from your hotel, your driver will take you to the heartland of Classico Chianti. Along the way, you will stop in small villages to walk through ancient piazzas, wineries for tastings of the latest vintages, and nosh on rustic Tuscan fare.
The Budget Way: Rent a car. Map out your destination ahead of time, rent a GPS and set out early. It's OK if you get lost (and you will!); take it in stride and take in the magnificent scenery!
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