Florence’s small but busy Amerigo Vespucci airport aeroporto.firenze.it also known as Peretola, after its location, is only three miles north-west of the centre. With luggage, a taxi into the centre should cost around €25.
The “Vola in Bus” line runs into the central coach station around half an hour, leaving every 30 minutes, for the airport between 5.00am and 00.30am and from the airport between 5.30 am and 11pm with some seasonal variation (tickets €6/€10 return).
Most low-cost carriers use Pisa’s Galileo Galilei airport pisa-airport.com), 62 miles west of Florence. It is connected to Florence via a bus service run by Autostradale (autostradale.it) up to 20 times per day. Frequent trains also run between Pisa Centrale station and Florence Santa Maria Novella (journey time an hour). Florence’s main Firenze Santa Maria Novella station is very central: you should be able to walk to most centro storico hotels from here unless you have piles of luggage. For train times and fares, consult the Trenitalia website: trenitalia.com
The whole area of the historical center of Florence is part of the Unesco Heritage sites and has very strict rules about driving and parking. This area is known as ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato), which literally means Limited Traffic Zone. Only cars with special permits are allowed to drive and park within its limits. Cars without permits can expect to pay fines – starting at 100 Euros and up.
The ZTL is surrounded by several ‘access passages’ which are controlled by telematic doors and marked by special signs. These access passages are equipped with devices that automatically ID the license plate of the car and send the information to a central data base.
NON-RESIDENT and TOURIST ACCESS
Non-authorized cars are prohibited from driving within the ZTL at the following times:
- Monday to Friday, from 07:30 to 19:30
- Saturdays from 07:30 to 18:00
From the first Thursday of April to the first Sunday of October you can’t enter the ZTL at these hours as well: every night, from Thursday to Sunday, from 23:00 to 03:00
Each time a non-authorized vehicle enters the ZTL (whether to drop off the luggage or any other motive), during the restricted hours, it gets automatically fined. This happens to all non-authorized license plates, identified by telecameras on the limits of the ZTL. Thus, it’s a standard procedure to get fined once you enter the ZTL, during the specified hours and days. In order to cancel such ticket one needs to park the car inside a private garage (at least for one hour) and ask the garage assistant to cancel it. Every private garage inside the ZTL has authorization for that, which is done immediately, online. Furthermore, only residents can park on the streets inside the ZTL. Therefore if you want to leave your car inside the ZTL you must pay for a private garage the entire period of your stay. You cannot park it on the streets.
Tuscan cooking is historically at the root of Italian cuisine, and Florence has a strong claim to being the birthplace of Italian gastronomy. Today, while there are plenty of grand gourmet restaurants, this is also a city where you can still eat simple, hearty local dishes at extremely reasonable prices. Sit down at the red-checked table of an ancient trattoria, grab a place at a fiaschetteria (wine bar) or even stand up at a traditional trippaio (tripe stand), and you can feast off a style of cuisine using local products that hasn’t changed in centuries. There are wonderful dishes for vegetarians – ribollita soup, barley salad, pappa con pomodoro (bread soaked with tomatoes) – while meat lovers will find themselves in paradise, from the classic Fiorentina T-bone steak, to tasty offal dishes, slow-cooked stews and rich game ragù.
You can do that on the official web-sites:
There are two main outlets located in province of Florence. The schedule, stops and departing points you can find here: