Florence is a walking city, with joy to be found in wandering the streets and enjoying the history at every turn. However, when where you need to go is beyond the walkable realms, here’s an outline of the transport options you need to know. Keep in mind that this information is subject to change and we recommend checking out the websites below.
One of the most frequently asked questions is how to get bus tickets in Florence, and more importantly, what to do with them once you do. Many is the time an unsuspecting new arrival has hopped on a bus, confident in their ticket purchase, only not to stamp it and be faced with a fine. Key info: place your ticket in the little yellow machine on-board, wait for the satisfying ffreeep and you’re good to go! Once stamped, your ticket lasts 90 minutes in Florence, 70 minutes elsewhere in Tuscany, with as many trips as you like in that time (no need to re-stamp).
Autolinee Toscane is the Tuscan bus service that runs both urban and rural transport in the region. The website (available in English) outlines the various ticket options, ranging from a single ticket (1.50 euro) to 10 tickets (14 euro). Tickets can be purchased in retailers that display the Autolinee Toscane logo, as well as in AT ticket offices, via the TABNET app, and in Coop.Fi stores. Season passes are also an option, with registration online. Tickets purchased on-board cost 2.50 euro, although you’re often told “we’ve run out” so best to buy before!
Given that the city centre has limited traffic access, the electric C1, C2, C3 and C4 buses will take you through the centre.
Two main tramway lines operated by GEST spread across the city: T1 Leonardo connects Scandicci to Santa Maria Novella station and the Careggi Hospital, and T2 Vespucci connects piazza dell’Unità to the Peretola airport, with extensions from Fortezza to San Marco currently in the works. The same Autolinee Toscane ticket is used for both buses and trams, with the 90 minute access from a single ticket usable across both.
Florence’s fleets can be seen lined up at the taxi points all over the city, as well as hailable around the city. One option is to call 055 4242, or order via AppTaxi. They offer a nighttime Taxi Rosa (pink) for women seeking security, active from 9pm to 4am, with a 10% discount on the fee: +39 055 4378557. The Disco Taxi is a youth-aimed nighttime service from 8pm to 6am, Thursday to Saturday, with a fixed price of 7 euro per person, departing from piazza Santa Croce, piazza della Repubblica and Santa Maria Novella Station for discos outside the city centre (minimum 3 people, maximum 6 people). Alternatively, call 055 4390, who offer a Wedding Taxi and Priority Maternity service. You will be charged for the call, so ensure you have sufficient credit. A vibrant and colourful car shuttling around is Zia Caterina on her way to accompany little superheroes to the Meyer Hospital. With costumes, toys of all sorts, and colour on every surface, the service aims to brighten up the trip to hospital for little ones in some way.
Getting to and from the nearest airports
Florence’s Amerigo Vespucci Airport is four kilometres outside the centre, accessed by the motorway (A1 and A11). There is a fixed rate for taxis to the airport, going from 22 to 25.30 euro depending on the time of day, with a supplement of 1 euro per item of luggage. The T2 tramline has a direct connection from the city centre to the airport, lasting 20 minutes and in operation from Mon-Thurs 05.06am to 11.59pm, Fri-Sat 05.06am to 01.44am, and on Sundays and holidays from 05.06am to 11.50pm, at the normal cost of a ticket: 1.50 euro. Pisa’s Galileo Galilei airport is serviced by Caronna Tour, that connects to the airport for 14.99 per adult, (25 euro between 11pm and 4.30am), 7 euro for children between 3 and 11, and free for under-3s. When travelling from Florence to Pisa airport, pre-booking is required. The timetable is available online. Early morning and late evening services arrive and depart from Santa Maria Novella station, at all other hours departure and arrival is from the T2 Guidoni tram stop. A newly launched high speed train service connects Florence with Rome’s Fiumcino airport. The trip lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes with two trains daily, bringing passengers to and from Santa Maria Novella station.
Electric scooters and car-sharing
Two companies rent electric scooters: Bit Mobility (Bird) and TiMove. Bit Mobility charges 1 euro for unlocking, and a rate of 15 cents per minute of consumption, 50 cent per minute during breaks. TiMove also charges 1 euro to unlock, and 15 cents per minute. Compulsory insurance is required, with users required to park only in well-defined areas. The maximum speed is 25 km/h on the carriageway and 6 km/h in pedestrian areas. Headlights and high visibility vests are nececssary half an hour after sunset and if weather conditions require. Helmets are compulsory and users must be over 14 years old with more than one passenger prohibited. Car sharing is offered by Enjoy, costing 39 euro per day.
EU citizens can use their driving licenses in Italy, while non-EU citizens can drive for maximum of one year as long as you have acquired an official translation of your license. After one year, it’s required to convert your license into an Italian license in order to keep driving on Italian roads.
Chauffeured vehicles are an option, with many companies offering this comfortable service.
As of December 2021, Uber Black and Uber Van are available in Florence, but don’t expect the service you might have found in other cities as it’s still a relatively new arrival in the city and there aren’t a large number of cars available. Cars and vans can be booked via the Uber app.
The Freenow app is a handy tool that puts together your options for getting from A to B, when in doubt about the best means.