By Plane: From the Amerigo Vespucci International Airport (IATA: FLR tel. 055 306 13 00; www.aeroporto.firenze.it), aka Peretola, it is easy to get to the centre of Florence in circa 15 minutes by taxi or bus ride. Ataf-SITA operates a one-way €5 service linking the central station and the airport every 30 minutes from 5am to 8pm and from then on there is a service per hour. The flat rate by taxi from the airport to any historic place in the centre is established at €25. Taxi drivers impose an extra €1 for each piece of luggage they have to carry. There are very affordable flights from and to other cities of Europe by companies servicing at cheaper fares such as Thomsonfly, Easyjet, Ryanair, Transavia and HLX. The airports of both Tuscan towns have railway and bus connections whose services arrives at and departs form the main entrance. You will have to pay €5.70 for a one-way ticket and €10 for a bus one. Buses between Pisa and Florence operate more frequently than trains. The Florentine bus station sits across the main railway station Firenze Santa Maria Novella. Link www.trenitalia.to find out the timetables and fares of services to all the towns operated. For the buses timetables and fares follow this link: www.terravision.eu/florence_pisa.html. Some trains do not get to the main railway station, and other services need to change at Pisa Centrale.
By Train: Eurostar trains link Florence to main Italian towns. Also express trains throughout Europe get to Florence. Firenze Santa Maria Novella is the major railway station, while Firenze Campo Marte (near Florence Stadium) and Firenze Rifrediare are lesser railway stations. If you get on an Intercity train to Florence, you will have to connect from Rifredi to get to Firenze Santa Maria Novella. It there is a long delay for the transferring train, you can go by bus to the center.
For further information link the Ferrovie Italiane website.
By Car: Highways leading to Florence are of high quality. The Firenze Certosa exit is the best way in and out of Florence. It links Florence to Bologna, Milan and Northern Italy, and to Rome and the Southern towns. This is the road to use to go to and get from Siena along the Fi-Si highway. For further information link the Autostrade Italiane website. Part of the historic centre is banned to traffic from 7.30am to 7.30 pm Mon-Fri and 7.30-6pm Sat for non-residents. Banning is also imposed on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from midnight to 4am (mid-May-end-October). Only residents with a permit are allowed to drive in the historic centre surrounded by the viale. Violating this ban (the ZTL) results in a hefty fine. Most car agencies have well established routes so as not to violate the ZLT.
Parking garages are common. Street parking is organized by colour: white, yellow. and blue. White is available for residents, yellow areas are reserved, leaving blue for visitors. Parking is €1 an hour and payment has to be make between 8am to 8pm (12 hours). Piazzale Michelangelo (southern Florence, a 20-minute walk from the centre down the stairs and across the Arno with great views all along the way) has free parking at any time. However, there is a time limit per car. Hotels will often arrange parking for guests. To get to other places such as Fiesole, Settignano , Volterra, and Arezz, a car is the most convenient method of transportation.
By Bus: Volainbus connects Amerigo Vespucci to Stazione di Santa Maria Novella train station (25 minutes). There are buses from the airport to SITA bus station (services every 30 minutes 6am-11.30pm). Other buses depart from Stazione di Santa Maria Novella. Bus stops are well posted along the streets and their routes are clearly labelled. Tickets have to be bought before travelling at the tobacconists or newsagents. You can also purchase a set of tickets. Tickets can also be bought on the bus at a higher price (€2). SITA bus station lies to the west near Piazza della Stazione. Vaibus/Lazzi operates Pistoia (50 minutes; 4 services daily), Lucca (1 ½ hours; frequent services) and Pisa (2 hours; services hourly). For further information link SITA website.
ATAF’s buses and electric minibuses in and around Florence (tel. 800 42 45 00; www.ataf.net) generally leave and arrive at its bus stop opposite Santa Maria Novella. Tickets are available at the tobacconists bearing a T outside, kiosks, newsagents, and bars where the symbol "Biglietti ATAF" is read, ATAF ticket and information office (Piazza Adua; 7am-8pm) and the ATAF ticket office at the bus station outside Santa Maria Novella. Children who do not exceed a metre are not charged. Beware of pickpockets.
On Foot: Strolling through FLorence is a great way toe xplore it. From one gate to the other it is aproximately a 30 minutewalk. There are many narrow streets where cars and buses are banned; as a result, scooters and bikes are very common and can be rented in town.
By Bicycle: Florence has an efficient bicycle rental scheme. Bikes are available at many points throughout the city, one being Maria Novella Station. Buses, cars, trucks, motor bikes, and pedestrians leave almost no room to move around however. Hotels generally offer guests their own bicycles. There are also bike rental companies that set up tours on bicycles in the surrounding countryside.
Bike rentals: Florence by Bike ( Via San Zanobi 120r; tel. 055 48 89 92; www.florencebybike.com; open 9am-7.30pm), Biciclette a Noleggio (Piazza della Stazione; open 7.30am-7pm Mon-Sat, 9am-7pm Sun May-Sep, shorter opening time Oct-Apr).
By Taxi: (tel. 055 42 42 or 055 43 90) It is recommendable to ask the hotel or restaurant you are in to call a taxi instead of trying to get one on the street. Taxis may be quite pricey, but tipping is not customary.