A few European airlines, including British Airways and Vueling, also serve Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci Airport (www.aeroporto.firenze.it/en; tel. 055/306-15), sometimes called Peretola, just 5km (3 miles) northwest of town. Opened in 2019, a new tram line (T2) is the most cost-efficient way to reach the center from there (1.50€ each way). Trams depart every 4–9 minutes from 5am to midnight. Journey time to Florence’s rail station is 20 minutes. Taxis line up outside the arrivals terminal: Exit and turn immediately to the right to find the rank. They charge a regulated flat rate of 22€ for the 15-minute journey to the city center (24€ on holidays, 25.30€ after 10pm; additional 1€ per bag).
Florence is also connected with Bologna Airport, by the Appennino Shuttle (www.appenninoshuttle.it; tel. 055/5001-302), which runs 10 times each day and takes between 80 and 90 minutes; tickets cost 20€, 8€ ages 5 to 10, free ages 4 and under (25€/10€ if you pay on board, cash only). Buses arrive at and depart from Piazzale Montelungo, between Florence’s Santa Maria Novella rail station and the Fortezza da Basso.
BY TRAIN--Most travelers arrive in Florence by train. This is the Tuscany region’s rail hub, with regular connections to all Italy’s major cities. To get here from Rome or Milan, take a high-speed Frecciarossa or Frecciargento train (1.5 hr.; www.trenitalia.com) or rival high-speed trains operated by Italo (www.italotreno.it). High-speed trains run from Venice (2 hr.) via Padua and Bologna; and also direct from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.
Most Florence-bound trains roll into Stazione Santa Maria Novella, Piazza della Stazione (www.firenzesantamarianovella.it), which you’ll see abbreviated as S.M.N. The station is an architectural masterpiece, albeit one dating to Italy’s Fascist period, rather than the Renaissance. It lies on the northwestern edge of the city’s compact historic center, a 10-minute walk from the Duomo and a brisk 15-minute walk from Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi.
BY CAR--The A1 autostrada runs north from Rome past Arezzo to Florence and continues to Bologna. Unnumbered superhighways run to and from Siena (the SI-FI raccordo) and Pisa (the so-called FI-PI-LI). To reach Florence from Venice, take the A13 southbound then switch to the A1 at Bologna.
Driving to Florence is easy; the problems begin once you arrive. Almost all cars are banned from the historic center for much of the time; only residents or merchants with special permits are allowed into this clearly marked, camera-patrolled zona a trafico limitato (ZTL). You can enter the ZTL to drop off baggage at your hotel or go direct to a pre-booked parking garage (either can organize a temporary ZTL permit when provided with your license plate). Usual ZTL hours are Monday to Friday 7:30am to 8pm, Saturday 7:30am to 4pm. Evenings Thursday through Saturday the ZTL also operates until 3am the following morning. It’s a real hassle, so only rent a car if you’re leaving town to visit somewhere off the rail network.
If you do drive here, your best bet for overnight or longer-term parking is one of the city-run garages. The best deal—better than most hotels’ garage rates—is at the Parterre parking lot under Piazza Libertà at Via del Ponte Rosso 4 (tel. 055/5030-2209). Open around the clock, it costs 2€ per hour, or 10€ for the first 24 hours, 15€ for the second, then 20€ per day; it’s 70€ for up to a week’s parking. Find more info on parking at www.fipark.com.
Don’t park your car overnight on the streets in Florence without local knowledge; if you’re towed and ticketed, it will set you back substantially, and the headaches to retrieve your car are beyond description. If this happens to you, start by calling the vehicle removal department (Recupero Veicoli Rimossi) at tel. 055/422-4142. One more reason you should not drive in Florence.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.