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How to Get to Florence

How to Get to Florence by Air

The Amerigo Vespuci International Airport, also known as Peretola Airport by the locals, is located just 4 km from the city centre. It is one of the two major airports in the Tuscany region. The airport has one terminal and is used for both domestic and international purposes.

Florence is well connected to many cities in Europe. After major renovation in 2006 more and more flights now land at the Amerigo Vespucci airport in Florence, though majority are domestic or chartered services, regular flights to major European cities land here too.

You can either hire a car or a taxi to take to your destination or you can take the ‘Vola in Bus’ or shuttle service from the airport to the railway station.

The Galileo Galilei Airport in Pisa, 75 km from the city, is the other major international airport near Florence. If you are coming to Florence from some international city, not in Europe, then you would probably be using this airport.

You can either the bus or train from here to get to Florence. There is regular service of both.

How to Get to Florence by Rail

You can catch a train to Florence’s Santa Maria Novella from Venice, Rome, Verona, Milan, Trieste, Bologna and Pisa.

There are rail services from Frankfurt (12 hours) and Vienna (10 hours), thrice daily from the first and four times a day from the second. Outside the station, you’ll be able to choose from the local bus service, taxis, cars and moped rentals.

How to Get to Florence by Bus

Buses from places outside Italy and from Rome arrive at the Lazzi station. The SITA station receives coaches from the rest of the country, especially Siena, Arazzo, Castellini and the rest of Tuscany.

The A1 autostrade links Florence with Milan in the north, and Rome and Naples to the south. Drive on the right and keep to the speed limit. This is the home of the fiery scarlet race cars, and Italians aren’t too happy trundling at 90 kph when they could be zipping at 110! At many gas stations business stops on Sundays and pauses at siesta time everyday and most don’t accept credit cards. If you are not an EU citizen you must acquire an International Driving Permit if you’re planning on driving around and all EU citizens driving their own car must carry a Green Card or an International Insurance Certificate.

Getting Around Florence

Getting around Florence is fairly easy, thanks to its extensive transport system.

By Road: All buses start and terminate at the Piazza Stazione, the main bus terminus, in front of the railway station. The ATAF run orange buses ply within the city (though they are restricted from the centre) and to some destinations outside Florence. Tickets may be purchased at tobacconists or vending machines. Sold for a limited duration of time, letting you change as many times as you need within that period, these tickets must be validated at the machine as soon as you get on a bus. Mini Buses operate in the historic city centre along with the Hop-on Hop-off buses. The buses are generally safe but be careful of pick-pockets and keep a watch on your belongings.

You cannot drive a car in the city unless you are a resident and have a permit. The hotel in which you are booked can arrange for you to bring your car temporarily if you give them your license and other information. You can however take the car for trips just outside the city centre.

You cannot hail a taxi in the city so you will have to either go to a stand or call for one. Taxi Radio and Taxi Scoota are the biggest taxi companies in Florence.

You can rent a moped or a mountain bike.

By Cycle: Bicycle rentals are there in various parts of the city. Cycling is one of the most popular ways of getting around Florence. Some of the hotels in town provide their guest with free bicycles. Bike shops also often rent bikes and some of them organize guided bike tours in the countryside. However, the traffic is terrible and you will need to be extra alert while riding your bike.

By Foot: Walking is by far, the best way to take in the sights and sounds of the city. Florence is a small and compact city and is thus, best seen on foot. All the major sites are within walking distance of each other.

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