Getting to Florence

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You’re planning a Tuscan holiday, so how do you go about getting to Florence to start it? You know that when you’re going to London, Paris, Rome or New York, you can fly directly into those cities from almost anywhere in the world. What about Florence?

It really is pretty easy. We’ve driven in, flown in, and taken the train into Firenze depending on our itinerary.

OK… so you can’t fly non-stop there from New York, but getting to Florence by air is an easy connection through Paris, London… and of course from Rome and Milan. And the Vespucci Airport is a cute little easy-to-navigate airport fairly close to town (only 4 km or 2.5 miles away).

Florence is a major connecting point on the Italian railway network, so getting to Florence by train is easy from almost anywhere in Italy. The Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station (Firenze SMN) is within easy walking distance to the center of town.

We actually took the train from Florence to Rome. Getting tickets at the station was easy. They even told us that our group of four qualified for a group discount! The train takes only an hour and a half, and if you want to, you can stop and see Orvieto on the way.

Getting to Florence by road is easy…. there are a couple of major motorways that link it in all directions to the rest of Italy. Getting INTO Florence with your car presents the same problems as getting into any big city.

The touristic city center may be small, but the city is good size, and you’ll encounter traffic and congestion. Once you get close to the old city center, you’ll run up against one-way streets and pedestrian only zones.

We’ve included Florence in a couple of driving trips through Italy. The first time, we drove in with only a street map, and we got lost and frustrated trying to find the hotel and then the garage. That’s not a good way to get into town.

We learned a lesson there, and you can learn from us…. Get good directions before you drive into town. Stop and ask questions if you get lost or run up against a pedestrian street getting to your hotel.

The last time we drove into Florence it was easy. We ran into one of those restricted zones about a block from our hotel, so we did have to stop. I ran around the corner and asked what to do about the pedestrian zone.

They told us that guests can drive in to drop off luggage, and they told us how to get to the front of the hotel…. then they had valet parking so we didn’t have to worry about finding a garage for the car… and it wasn’t more expensive than finding that garage on our own would have been. There’s a tip that will save you lots of grief!

Getting to Florence, however you choose to do it, is easy… Whatever works for your itinerary… plane, train or car. Go for it.