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Trains, Buses, Cars & Airports

Florence to close Piazzale Michelangelo to parking

Published on February 11, 2014 6:35 PM | Comments

Street Lamps at Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence
Street Lamps at Piazzale Michelangelo

The Florentine has this story out - that the Piazzale Michelangelo will no longer be a parking lot.

This is a terrible idea. Firstly, the area is already dangerous, especially on the weekends as Italians from all around Florence stream into the city to party. The situation up there on nice weather weekends is crazy - and there is already tons of illegal parking going on. Forcing these people to go even deeper into the residential areas around the Piazzale and/or to park along the viale (which lost width when they redid the sidewalks during the last couple of years, etc.) is a recipe for disaster.

Secondly, it was one of the only places where you could safely park for free if you were coming to Florence for the day in a rental car. Taking this option away from tourists is just cruel.

And lastly - let's face it - this piazza is a parking lot for crying out loud. What exactly is going to be gained here by removing the parking spaces? It is not in the center of the city, it is not surrounded by no car zones, etc. This one has me scratching my head.

Lazzi bus station renovation

Published on June 21, 2012 10:47 AM | Comments

The Lazzi bus terminal in the center of Florence is being renovated, see the image below. You can see the location of this station on the bus station map of Florence on Florence-On-Line.


Favorite Florence Train Station

Published on February 4, 2012 11:14 PM | Comments

Okay this is another easy one - most people probably don't even know there are more than one train station in Florence (but there are, like Firenze Rifredi and Firenze Campo di Marte) - so I will stick to the obvious for this favorite.

Favorite Florence Train Station: Firenze Santa Maria Novella or "SMN". See this link for some of the reasons why.

Also choose to highlight this as a favorite today to mention the new(er) luggage storage area (see photos below). It is located about 100 meters down track 16. If you are facing the tracks, it is the last line on the right. The new sign is sort of small and hidden by an older one at the moment so it is a bit hard to see. The old luggage storage was in the same area but the office was much closer to the terminal part of the building. Not sure why they changed this, but they did.




ATAF (bus) strike planned for Friday, December 16th

Published on December 13, 2011 9:21 AM | Comments

The notice is only in Italian - but don't plan on using buses this Friday!

Taxis in Florence

Published on September 29, 2011 8:31 AM | Comments

I want to start a series of posts of simple but important tips for the traveler to Florence.

#1 is how to get a taxi in Florence:

Important tip - you CAN NOT hail a taxi in Florence! You'll see people all the time waving frantically, gesticulating angrily, etc. etc. as taxis pass them in the street. This will not work (as a rule - sometimes if the taxi is already stopped to let someone else out, you can slip in). If you want a taxi, you have a few choices:

1. Find a taxi stand (these change all the time, but the major piazzas, as well as the train station are the places to start. There is a newer stand behind the Duomo, one in Santa Croce - which is often empty - Piazza Repubblica, Piazza San Marco, Piazza San Giovanni, etc.). I think they are a bit harder to find in the Oltrarno.

2. Call from your cell phone - there a few services, the easiest one for me to remember has always been 055 4242. Most operators speak enough English to help you. You need to tell them where you are, and where you want to go. Other numbers are 055 4390, 055 4798 and 055 4499.

3. Ask someone where you are (assuming it is bar, restaurant, hotel, etc. ) to call one for you.

If you want to help support an association of women taxi drivers, try InTaxi Firenze.

And here is a PDF from the Comune of the fares (tariffs).

Europcar discount for Facebook users

Published on June 30, 2011 4:41 PM | Comments

Europcar is offering a special 10% discount if you book your Italian or European rental car on Facebook:

Europcar Spring Sale

Published on March 24, 2011 11:10 PM | Comments

Europcar is a great choice if you are coming to Florence - we have used them several times without issue. And their online discounting and pricing is pretty good. They are having a Spring sale:

Corsie riservate

Published on February 22, 2011 11:33 PM | Comments

I spend a lot of time talking about Florence's archaic driving zones - the dreaded ZTL - because I think many of the complaints about it are somewhat unwarranted. But this one, the "Corsie riservate" is sort of bogus, since they are usually not that well posted and really do "fool" foreigners (and Italians). I am posting the map below in response to a TripAdvisor user who did their homework, thought they had it all right, and still got a euro 100 plus ticket once back home in the states. You CAN NOT drive on these roads, ever (ever meaning whenever the sign says you can't - I don't know for sure if this is a 24/7 thing or is based on specific hours). The "Corsie riservate" are different from the ZTL so you just need to know about them. If you are coming from the south - Chianti, Siena, etc. and heading into Florence on the via Senese, you need to bear right where you see the red circle, drive up the via del Gelsomino, and then turn left at the traffic light (second light I think) and down the Poggio Imperiale to the circle at Porta Romana. Basically you can stay on that dotted gray route (which is not exact but close - follow the blue and white arrow one way signs!) and come over the ponte Vespucci, hang a right, through the ZTL (which you can enter since you are in a rental car and returning it), left at the piazza, and left again onto borgo Ognissanti and to the various rental car places (or if you rented from Avis and Hertz you can just go straight once over the bridge). In theory you can enter the ZTL anywhere as long as you go right to the rental car place - I provided the gray dotted route as an example and because that entrance is the closest one to most of the car rental companies. In any case - just pay attention, and don't drive through any signs with a red circle until you stop and read them first!


See this map, click on "Mobilita" in the left hand column, and then chose the controls you want to see.

Santa Maria Novella Baggage Fees

Published on November 16, 2010 4:11 PM | Comments

This is in response to a TripAdvisor travel forum post about getting overcharged at the luggage counter in the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence.


Trenitalia Fall Fare Sale

Published on September 22, 2010 3:46 PM | Comments

Lots of conditions to meet, etc. but some good prices here if you have time and a plan:


With PROMO AUTUMN travel from 1 October to 11 December in 2nd class, very special rates:

from 19 € frecciabianca trains, night trains (seat only) and Intercity

from 29 € Frecciargento on trains to and from Puglia, ES *, ES * Fast and the service Berths

from 49 € trains Frecciarossa, Frecciargento service and sleeper.

What are you waiting, you can purchase tickets in ticketless mode, until midnight on the day before departure.

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