Exploring greater Tuscany and beyond from Florence is easy. Florence is located centrally and really close to most of the Italian wonders of the north. The Italian train network is easy to navigate and offers some great last minute deals and there are a couple of budget airlines that fly out of the Florence airport. Not to mention you can catch a cheap train to Pisa for access to even more budget airlines.
First to look at the train options, visit trenitalia regularly for deals. Being flexible is also a great idea, often booking the day before means you can get a much cheaper ticket than if you booked in advance. And they also have a 2 for 1 deal on saturdays for many destinations: refer to their specials page to see if the offer is still current.
We saved our travel around the region for Saturdays and always got 2 for 1 deals, we visited Bologna, Parma, Prato, Pisa and Lucca to name a few. Other destinations we chose to hire a car so that we could take a longer break. But the train is definitely much faster.
A word of advice though some of these destinations have slower trains so check the travel duration time, you don’t want to be spending all day on the train after all.
As mentioned though Florence is also a great place to be stationed if you want to drive around Italy. There are many car hire companies and navigating the roads is fairly easy if you use google maps. Just shop around for a good price, and might I suggest going for the small car option and requesting a Fiat 500. You are in Italy after all and nothing feels better than travelling her roads in a Fiat 500. Very nostalgic indeed.
The third option for travel are the airlines, the Florence airport is quite small and there are only a handful of airlines that fly out of there. Thankfully some of them are budget. Vueling, CityJet, Air Dolomiti and HOP.
If you are looking at other airlines, both the Pisa and Bologna airports offer many more options and from Pisa both Easy Jet and Ryan Air are available as well. You could easily get a cheap train ticket to both Pisa and Bologna and the train only takes an hour or so.
Happy travels exploring more of Italy or more of Europe.