Just say the word Florence-Firenze-Italian Renaissance and immediately comes to mind the painters of the Quattrocento, the museums, the olive groves of Tuscany, the innumerable and beautiful monuments and romantic walks on the banks of the Arno … a true “outdoor museum”. Florence preserves its rich history, but it also portrays a lively and young city that embraces modernity.
Nearly 400,000 people live in Florence – the capital of Tuscany receives millions of tourists each year. They speak Italian, and pay their purchases in Euros. Make sure that you have cash on you to pay most of your purchases; credit cards are not accepted everywhere.
Transportation to and around Florence
Florence is served by most major airlines (Air France, Alitalia, Lufthansa …) from Paris and other French cities (Toulouse, Nice, Bordeaux, Nantes, Marseille). There are also direct flights from Geneva, Brussels, London, Lisbon, etc.. Florence airport, Amerigo Vespucci or simply Peretola, is located fifteen minutes from town. The shuttle bus “Volainbus” can reach the city center and more specifically the train station in 25 minutes.
Airlines’ low-cost carriers such as EasyJet and Ryan Air also fly to Florence, the airport served by these (Galileo Galilei) is closer to that of Pisa from Florence.
You can also go to Florence by train, bus or car. The main train station, Santa Maria Novella is located northwest of downtown. There is also a second station 10 minutes drive east of the city called Campo di Marte.
Apart from the legendary Italian style of driving that can add a good dose of stress to your holidays, it is a means of transport not used much. Something that you must also consider are the traffic ban signs that are not always well-marked and pricy infraction tickets follow. In Florence, as elsewhere, the PV is a source of income for municipalities, yet, the statistics here are alarming: in Florence alone, more than 1,200 PV are distributed each day (1 PV every 40 seconds!). Another thing to consider is the ZTL (limited traffic zones) that are severely enforced and limit your displacement because only authorized vehicles can circulate in the historic center. Moreover, the exorbitant prices of parking downtown will completely discourage you from driving a car. It is preferable to leave your car in a parking lot outside the city and to get around on foot since the historic center of Florence is not large. The bus (ATAF company) is also a good way to get around town.