The “green shield” and the impact on driving in Florence 

The “green shield” and the impact on driving in Florence 

Plus information on city parking, temporary passes and a reminder about fines

Tue 30 Apr 2024 10:47 AM

Florence’s “green shield” is expected to enter into effect over the coming months, perhaps as early as this May, to curb traffic and lower emission levels. 

Applying to an area of about 38 km2, the so-called scudo verde will consist of 77 CCTV cameras monitoring the number plates of every single vehicle that enters the city 24 hours a day. That’s approximately 260,000 vehicles daily, including tourist buses, which already have to pay to drive into town, and anyone who drives a Euro 0, Euro 1 and Euro 2 diesel car, which are already prohibited from coming into Florence.

While the video surveillance cameras are ready to go, the city council is currently awaiting approval by the Italian Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, which means that a start date has not yet been announced, despite reports about a May launch in local newspapers. 

2024 is set to be a test phase, however. “This will be a year of monitoring, which will allow us to understand exactly how many polluting vehicles are being driven around Florence and where they come from,” commented Stefano Giorgetti, city councillor for mobility. An agreement has been made with all councils in the metropolitan area of Florence through December 2026, which states that no payment will be required to enter the 38 km2 zone controlled by the cameras


The cameras are indicated by signs clearly stating “ZTL Scudo Verde” and a universal red/green traffic light, while alternative routes will allow drivers not to enter the restricted traffic area. The Scudo Verde will not affect access to tram terminals, park and ride car parks, hospitals and the airport.

In an online statement made in November 2023, Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence, remarked that “further Scudo Verde restrictions could occur in the future only when the metropolitan public transport system has been completed, namely the tramlines, high-speed rail connection, a boosted bus system, and park and ride parking. All of this is aimed at helping citizens to leave their cars at home and use public transport to reach their destination.” This means that Euro 0, 1 and 2 two- and four-stroke motorbikes and scooters, as well as Euro 0 to 2 petrol cars and Euro 0 to 3 diesel cars will be banned from entering the ZTL as from 2025. In 2026, the restriction will extend to include petrol cars from the Euro 0 to 3 category, diesel cars from Euro 0 to 4, petrol goods vehicles from Euro 0 to 2 and diesel goods vehicles from Euro 0 to 3, in addition to Euro 0 to 3 two- and four-stroke motorbikes and scooters.

According to simulations, the green shield and the various sustainable mobility measures (trams, car sharing, etc.) are predicted to cut traffic by just over 18 per cent in Florence and neighbouring towns. 

Beware of fines

125 million euro was collected in driving fines in 2023, according to local newspaper La Repubblica Firenze. Most of the fines were given to foreigners rather than local residents. Last year, 63% of the tickets given to tourists were due to violating the restricted traffic zone. While 40 per cent of tourists pay immediately, the remaining 60% of fines end up being recovered by local companies.

Check your driving licence

EU citizens can use their driving licences in Italy, while non-EU citizens can drive for up to a year after gaining residency in Italy. After 12 months, you must convert your paperwork into an Italian licence. Click here for more information.

Temporary passes

For information about temporary passes and yearly authorization to access Florence’s Zona a Traffico Limitata – ZTL (restricted traffic zone), click here.

Where to park in Florence

Park roadside within the blue lines and pay at the machine for the time you intend to stay.

Florence’s main car parks are managed by Firenze Parcheggi, which provides more than 6,000 spaces across 16 car parks: piazza Beccaria, piazza Sant’Ambrogio, by the San Lorenzo Market, Parterre, beneath Santa Maria Novella station and by the station’s Platform 16, piazza Alberti, by conference centre Fortezza da Basso, Porta al Prato/Stazione Leopolda, Oltrarno – Calza, viale Europa, viale Giannotti-Bandino, by the courthouse in Novoli, and at Careggi and Meyer hospitals. The car parks include spaces for pregnant women and the disabled; parking for bikes and scooters; electric charging points; card payments; CCTV; and an app and website that shows availability.

Another popular option is to park at Villa Costanza and take the tram, which is a 20-minute ride to the city centre. There are also many privately owned garages in Florence, although the costs are generally higher.

Related articles


Urban community garden project underway

Those interested in the communal urban gardens have until May 30 to sign up.


Incentive scheme introduced to encourage cycling in Florence

“Pedala, Firenze ti premia” rewards bike commuters.


The state of the “edicola” in Italy

The Palazzo Vecchio announces a plan to save traditional newsstands.