Take advantage of the lack of tourist crowds this time of year and visit some of Italy’s most charming towns and cities. These destinations make affordable winter day trips within Tuscany and beyond.
It is generally agreed that Bologna is the food capital of Italy, so wander through the city’s two main food markets, Mercato di Mezzo and Mercato delle Erbe, and indulge yourself. In fact, the region of Emilia-Romagna was recently crowned Italy’s Greatest Gastronomic Treasure by Forbes.com. (Bologna is 37 minutes from Florence by train.)
Although the Twilight series film New Moon took place in Volterra, the Volterra scenes were actually filmed in Montepulciano. While exploring the streets and piazzas shot in the movie, enjoy great quaint shops and restaurants. (Montepulciano is one-and-a-half hours from Florence by car.)
Winter is one of the best times of the year to bicycle or stroll atop Lucca’s famous city wall and take in its beautiful sights. (Lucca is one-and-a-half hours from Florence by train.)
Rome, Venice and Milan, each a two-hour train ride from Florence, are great to visit in the winter for day trips, when you can walk the streets with locals instead of getting lost in the crowds of tourists.