top of page

Flying to Florence and Conquering the City on Tram, Bus, and Train: A Traveler's Guide

Arriving on the Frecciarossa train into Santa Maria Novella train station

Ah, Florence! The very name evokes images of art, history, and a vibrant culture that has stood the test of time. This city, the cradle of the Renaissance, is a tapestry woven with stories of artists, poets, and philosophers who have left their indelible mark on history. But Florence is not just a relic of the past; it's a living, breathing city, pulsating with modern life and energy. As a seasoned traveler and a passionate advocate for the wonders of Florence, I've crafted this guide to help you unlock the secrets of this magnificent city, from the moment your plane touches down to that bittersweet final glance at its unforgettable skyline.

A skyline view over Florence from an airplane window

Taking Flight to Florence:

Choosing Your Gateway: Florence is graced with two main airports. The Amerigo Vespucci Airport (FLR), just 5 kilometers from the heart of the city, offers unparalleled convenience. But don't hastily dismiss the Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA) in Pisa, about 80 kilometers away. While further afield, it often presents more economical flight options. It's a classic traveler's dilemma – the convenience of proximity versus the allure of savings. The choice, dear traveler, is yours.

Airport Transfers – Seamless and Simple: From FLR, the T2 tram line is your chariot to the city center, a mere 20-minute journey. Landing in Pisa? The Firenze Express train will be your trusty steed, delivering you to Santa Maria Novella station in under an hour. For those who prefer a more personalized journey, taxis and ride-sharing services are at your disposal, though they come with a higher price tag.

The Aeroporto Di Firenze tram

Tram, Bus, or Train? Navigating Florence Like a Local:

Tram Tales: The tram network, with its T1 and T2 lines, is a blessing for covering greater distances swiftly. T1 traverses the city, linking Scandicci to Careggi, while T2 connects the airport to the central Santa Maria Novella station.

Bus – The Heartbeat of Florence: The bus network is your key to the city's soul. Ideal for exploring specific neighborhoods or reaching scenic vistas like Piazzale Michelangelo, it offers a panoramic view of the city that will leave you breathless.

Train – Exploring Beyond the City: Trains are not just for intercity travel; they're also perfect for discovering the suburbs of Florence or nearby treasures like Fiesole, with its captivating Etruscan ruins.

Tickets and Passes – Your Passport to Florence:

Single Tickets: Priced at a mere €1.50, a single ticket offers 90 minutes of travel freedom across buses, trams, and even the funicular railway. These tickets are available at stations, newsstands, or tobacco shops.

Passes – The Choice of the Savvy Traveler: If Florence has captured your heart for a few days, consider a multi-day pass. The Firenze Card, valid for 72 hours, offers unlimited travel, while the Carta Agile caters to various travel durations and needs.

a tram in Florence

Exploring Florence on Wheels:

Santa Maria Novella (SMN) Station – Your Starting Point: From here, the entire city is at your fingertips. Whether you choose to tram to the Duomo, bus to the Oltrarno district, or simply wander the streets, let the city's charm guide you.

Ponte Vecchio – A Journey Through Time: Stroll across this medieval bridge, lined with glittering shops, and immerse yourself in the winding streets of the Uffizi Gallery neighborhood.

Boboli Gardens – A Verdant Retreat: A bus or tram ride to Piazzale Michelangelo, followed by a descent into the Boboli Gardens, is akin to stepping into a living Renaissance painting.

San Lorenzo Market – A Symphony for the Senses: Dive into this bustling market for a true taste of Florence – from leather goods to local delicacies, it's an assault on the senses in the most delightful way.

View of Florence up on the hill

Fiesole – A Serene Escape: When the hustle and bustle of city life become overwhelming, a train ride to Fiesole offers a peaceful retreat, with stunning views and ancient ruins.

Beyond Florence – The Heart of Tuscany:

Florence is more than a city; it's a portal to the wonders of Tuscany. Regional trains are your ticket to cities like Siena, Pisa, Lucca, and more – each a unique tapestry of culture and beauty.

Tips for a Smooth Journey:

Download the Ataf App: Stay informed with real-time schedules and ticket options.

Validate Your Ticket: A crucial step – always validate your ticket when boarding.

Speak a Little Italian: A "Buongiorno" or "Grazie" can open doors and hearts alike.

Invest in a Travel Guide: For those hidden gems and insider tips, a good guidebook is invaluable.

Embrace the Journey:

Florence is not merely a destination; it's an experience. Public transportation is your window into the city's soul – a chance to live, breathe, and move with the Florentines. So hop on that bus, catch that tram, and let Florence unfold its wonders to you, one ride at a time. With this Florence travel guide in hand, you're not just a visitor but a traveler, a discoverer, a part of the city's ever-unfolding story. Also, if you ever have any questions on booking a trip reach out anytime to me for help! Buon viaggio!


bottom of page