Are you planning a trip to the beautiful country of Italy?
Then keep reading for all the road trip inspiration your heart desires!
After all, the best way to get around this Mediterranean paradise is by car.
And there is no better route to drive than from Florence to Rome.
Check out 15 things to see on a coastal drive from Florence to Rome.
First stop: Florence!
Florence is the capital of Tuscany and is known for its many religious buildings and its pastoral surroundings.
Be sure to spend ample time exploring this famous Renaissance city before officially beginning your road trip.
We recommend two days minimum.
That is because there is so much to see and do in this charming historic city.
Top attractions include the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, and the Statue of David.
Also, be sure to indulge in Florentine cuisine, which includes penne strascicate, bistecca alla fiorentina, and for dessert, schiacciata alla fiorentina.
2. Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro
Once you’ve decided it’s time to leave Florence, head towards the city of Lucca.
Like Florence, Lucca is also in Italy’s Tuscany region.
The city is known for being home to Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, a public square that is surrounded by a ring of historic buildings.
The buildings were constructed in an elliptical shape, the same as the former 2nd century Roman Amphitheatre of Lucca that once existed in the city.
Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is the undeniable centre of urban life in Lucca.
Four gateways provide entrance into the town square
There is a cross in the centre of the square that is carved into a tile, with arrows pointing to each gateway.
Today, the piazza is mostly made up of private residences and outdoor cafes, making it a great spot to go for a stroll and have a coffee.
- Address: Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, 55100 Lucca LU
- Opening Hours: Daily
3. Piazza del Duomo
Next up: the great city of Pisa!
You probably know Pisa as being home to the Leaning Tower of Pisa (more on that below), but before you head to the tower, be sure to check out the Piazza del Duomo.
Piazza del Duomo, which is now referred to as The Piazza dei Miracoli, is one of the most famous architectural complexes in the world.
It spans nearly 9 hectares and construction on it began in 1064.
Over the years, it has become an extremely important site of medieval European art and is considered sacred by the Catholic Church.
The square that is known as Piazza del Duomo is made up of four main sites: the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, the Campanile (AKA the Leaning Tower of Pisa), and the Camposanto Monumentale.
Today, visitors are invited to walk around and into the various buildings to experience this living piece of art and history.
- Address: Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-6pm
4. Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a bucket list destination for many.
Along with the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben, it is one of the most famous buildings in Europe.
That is why this is a must-see on your road trip from Florence to Rome.
Unsurprisingly, the Leaning Tower of Pizza is located in Pisa, Tuscany.
It is located within the Piazza del Duomo complex.
This freestanding bell tower has a roughly four degree lean due to its unstable foundation.
However, experts say that the tower is in no danger of falling over – at least anytime soon.
So for now, it remains open to the public.
Visitors are even invited to climb to the top of the tower, which offers an incredible view of the city and especially of the rest of the Piazza del Duomo.
- Address: Piazza del Duomo, 56126 Pisa PI
- Opening Hours: Daily 9am-6pm
5. Terrazza Mascagni
The next pitstop on your Italian road trip is none other than Livorno.
This coastal region of Italy is a sight to behold, which is why we recommend taking advantage and stopping at the one and only Terrazza Mascagni.
Terrazza Mascagni is a seafront observation deck with incredible views of the coast.
The waterfront terrace is also a beautiful work of architecture, with a dome in the middle and column fences all around.
There are also manicured lawns and gardens on the terrace, as well as plenty of benches.
This is a spectacular spot to watch the sun set or simply enjoy a picnic.
Be sure to bring your camera – the panoramic views from Terrazza Mascagni are unbeatable.
- Location: Viale Italia, 139, 57127 Livorno LI
6. Parc Gallorose
Keep driving towards Rome and you’ll come to Cecina, Italy.
Cecina is home to many attractions, but one of the best is Parco Gallorose.
This live animal park is home to over 120 species of animals.
And their residents come from all over the world, ranging from barn animals like cows and donkeys, to exotic animals like parrots, lemurs, and the African porcupine.
Parco Gallorose was intended as a site for families, which makes it a great place to bring children.
Visitors to the park follow a three kilometre route that takes them through all of the exhibits.
Exhibits are arranged by continent, allowing you to see types of animals that live across the globe.
- Address: Via Aurelia Sud, 65, 57023 Loc. Cedrino, Cecina LI
- Opening Hours: Daily 9:30am-6:30pm
7. Buca delle fate
Although known for its religious and historic sites, Italy also has some pretty incredible nature.
Enjoy it while on your road trip by stopping for a dip at Buca delle fate.
This public beach in the province of Livorno is an undiscovered, uninhabited cove and beach in Maremma.
Since it hasn’t been built up at all, it will feel like your own secret beach.
You may even be the only ones there!
To access the cove, you will have to go on a short but moderately difficult hike downhill that takes roughly 20 minutes.
Once you reach the beach, you can relax and marvel at the amazing rock formations, swim in the crystal clear water, or maybe even have an impromptu yoga session on the sand.
- Address: 57025 Populonia, Piombino Province of Livorno.
- Opening Hours: Daily
8. Acqua Village Follonica
A water park in Italy? Yes, please!
Let loose after being cooped up in the car by stopping at Acqua Village Follonica.
This Italian water park guarantees a fun time for all ages.
It is located in Follonica, Italy and is a tropical theme park set in the Maremma countryside.
The park first opened in 2004 and since then, has become a must-visit destination in the region of Tuscany.
Acqua Village Follonica has everything from a wave pool and water slides to a children’s pool.
There is also a sandy beach area where visitors can play beach volleyball or Brazilian football.
There are numerous restaurants, cafes, and eateries on-site.
- Address: Via Raffaello Sanzio, 58022 Follonica GR
- Opening Hours: Daily 10am-6pm
9. Natural Reserve Diaccia Botrona
Next, it’s time to experience a rather unique side of Italy’s nature at Natural Reserve Diaccia Botrona.
Natural Reserve Diaccia Botrona is a nature reserve made up of winding walking trails and observation decks.
It is located in a sprawling wetlands area in Pescaia, Italy.
Beyond the beautiful marshes, this reserve is home to a large flamingo colony.
So if you’ve ever wanted to see peachy pink flamingos in the wild, this might be your chance!
The park is open 24 hours a day and spans over 1,000 hectares.
Be sure to plan to spend at least an hour exploring this fascinating natural region.
- Address: Via Casa Rossa Ximenes, 58043 Castiglione della Pescaia GR
- Opening Hours: Daily
10. Fortezza Spagnola
Transport yourself to the middle ages by planning a stop at Fortezza Spagnola.
Fortezza Spagnola is a fortress in the coastal town of Porto Santo Stefano.
The name of the site literally translates to Spanish Fortress, which is fitting because it was built by the Spanish in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
The fortress looks out over the sea but the entrance and gateway into it is on the side opposite the water.
Although it has served as a fortress throughout history, most recently during the Second World War, it is no longer an active military base today.
Instead, the historic site has been turned into a museum, with exhibitions focusing on the archaeological findings that have been discovered in the region.
- Address: Piazza del Governatore, 58019 Porto Santo Stefano, Monte Argentario GR
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:30am-12:30pm, 3pm-6pm
11. Necropolis of Tarquinia
Calling all ancient history buffs!
We bet you didn’t realize that on this road trip from Florence to Rome you would come across the remains of the ancient Etruscan civilization.
But, it really is possible!
If you’re fascinated by ancient history, especially Ancient Rome, then be sure to stop in Tarquinia.
Tarquinia, Italy is home to the Necropolis of Tarquinia, which is home to over 6,000 tombs.
The oldest of the tombs date back all the way to the 7th century BC.
Further, some of the tombs contain frescoes, which makes this one of the earliest examples of Etruscan art.
- Address: Via Ripagretta, 01016 Tarquinia VT
- Opening Hours: Daily 8:30am-7:30pm
To cool off while driving through the hot Italian countryside, look no further than Aquafelix.
Aquafelix is a water park in Civitavecchia, Italy that first opened in 1995.
The park is geared towards people of all ages, including both adults and children.
Beyond the water slides, Aquafelix is also home to waterfalls and relaxing rafting areas.
There are numerous dining options, as well as lots of picnic tables, sun loungers, and umbrellas so families can just sit and relax when they’re not swimming.
If you’re looking to cool off and stretch your legs along your drive, then Aquafelix is the place to stop.
- Address: Casale Altavilla, Via Terme di Traiano Località, 00053 Civitavecchia RM
- Daily: 10am-6:30pm
13. Santa Severa Castle
Santa Severa Castle is literally a castle on the water, and it’s as magical as you can imagine.
The castle is located in the Lazio region if Italy, on the Tyrrhenian coast in the north of Rome.
Santa Severa Castle dates back to the 9th century and is located in a tiny, picturesque coastal village.
The site currently stands where the Etruscan port of Pyrgi was once located, which is why the Pyrgi Tablets were discovered here in the 1960s.
Santa Severa Castle is an important historic site, not to mention a beautiful sight to behold owing to its architecture and seaside locale.
- Address: Strada Statale 1, 00058 Castello Santa Severa RM, Italy
- Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9am-6pm; Weekend 10am-7pm; Monday closed
14. Ostia Antica
You’ve reached Rome, but before you drive all the way into the city, why not make one last stop?
Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site near the town of Ostia.
The site is 50 hectares in size and is known for the incredible job that has been done to preserve its many historic buildings.
Beyond buildings, Ostia Antica also has several frescoes and mosaics for visitors to see.
Today, people can walk through the grounds as well as explore Museo Ostiense, where the site’s many excavations are on display.
There is also a restaurant on-site and sometimes public events are hosted here.
- Address: Viale dei Romagnoli, 717, 00119 Roma RM, Italy
- Daily: 8:30am-4:30pm
We saved the best for last!
Congratulations – you’ve reached Rome, Italy, the country’s capital and one of the most beloved cities in all of Europe.
There is so much to see and do in Rome that we recommend really savouring the city, and spending at least a few days here.
From shopping on Via del Corso to snacking on gelato at all hours of the day, you are sure to fall in love with the Eternal City.
Other must-see sites include the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and the Spanish Steps.
We hope this list has inspired you to plan a road trip from Florence to Rome, rather than simply catching a flight or a train.
From the Leaning Tower of Pisa to water parks and historic fortresses, there is so much to experience from travelling by car in Italy.