Getting to Florence by air - Airports

Traveling by plane is, by far, the most convenient and efficient way of getting to Florence. Florence is proficiently serviced by two airports, namely, the Amerigo Vespucci Airport of Florence and the Galileo Galilei International Airport of Pisa. 13 and 18 airlines, respectively, operate at these two entrance gates in Tuscany, which means Florence is linked by air to virtually any corner of the world. Airport transfers are extremely reliable, the 4 kilometer distance between Peretola (as the Amerigo Vespucci Airport is otherwise referred to) and the capital of Tuscany being covered by two bus operators, with buses departing from and arriving to the airport every 30 minutes from 6am to 11.30pm. If landing at the Airport of Pisa, tourists have a further alternative, namely, to resort to the five daily trains which link the airport to Florence. Should they opt for busses, they must keep in mind there are 13 buses a day available for shuttling them from Pisa to Florence. Despite the 80 kilometers which separate Florence from Pisa, transfers are quite proficient, given both the solid road and railroad infrastructure of Tuscany and the proficient bus and trains companies operating on this infrastructure. Car rental is yet another option, major national and international car rental companies operating at both of these airports.

Getting to Florence by train. Train stations

As far as the railroad infrastructure goes, Florence must be stated from the very beginning as a genuine railroad hub in Tuscany, which is why getting to Florence by train is, next to traveling by air, an extremely inspired choice one can always make. There are two main train stations in Florence, namely, Santa Maria Novella (or SMN) – located in the very center of Florence and in close proximity to numerous tourist objectives – and Campo di Marte. The latter, some say, is less advisable as arrival point in Florence, given the infrequent and less reliable transport to the center of the city. However, nowadays Campo di Marte sees an increasing popularity. But regardless of the train terminal, traveling by train in view of getting to Florence is a fine alternative. The so-called pendoli are high speed trains which link Florence to all major cities in Italy. For instance, it only takes about an hour and 30 minutes for these trains to get from Rome to Florence, which is considerable given the more than 300 kilometers interposed between the capital of Italy and Florence. Purchasing train tickets and validating them should not become an issue, since both of these procedures are more than simple to carry out.

Getting to Florence by bus

Eurolines is the largest international bus company which links Florence to countless other European destinations, such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Sofia, London or Madrid. As far as national routes are concerned, some tend to believe that resorting to traveling by bus to Florence is less indicated, as compared with the efficiency and the comfort offered by the railroad. Yet, tourists should keep in mind that buses do link Florence to the rest of Italy, though within Tuscany this alternative is much more appealing than within the entire country. In this respect, trips from Pisa, Siena or Lucca, for instance, to Florence are reasonably advisable, should other means of transport fail to comply with tourists’ expectations. All in all, most of the intercity bus stations are located close to the train station (Santa Maria Novella), which is the main upside of this kind of ride.

Getting to Florence by car. Motorways

Florence benefits from being extremely conveniently located on the road infrastructure of Italy, which means this city is accessible virtually from any corner of the country, either directly or indirectly. Thus, the A1 Motorway (also referred to as Autostrada del Sole) links Florence to both the northerner Milan and Bologna and the southerner Rome, and in order to exit from A1 to head for Florence, one should either chose the Firenze-Pisa-Livorno alternative – which can be resorted to as main road for getting from Western Tuscany to Florence – or the Firenze-Mare Motorway, both of these thoroughfares crosscutting the almost half round trajectory A1 describes around Florence. Other alternatives and combinations are possible, but the bottom line is Florence, just like Pisa, has enforced, by reasons of preservation of the historical center, the so-called ZTL (Limited Traffic Zone) restrictions, which sets limits to getting around freely in the city as such. Furthermore, if arriving in Florence by car – rented or otherwise – tourists should keep in mind parking as such is, again, regulated by certain codes and conditions the visitor must be aware of before deciding to get to Florence by car, which is an additional impediment to a smooth vacation.

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