Florence by Car

Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, a true open-air museum that is home to priceless treasures sheltered in its ancient buildings, which once housed the Medici nobility. In just a day, you can visit the famous Uffizi Museum, take a walk along the Arno river, be left breathless in the middle of the Ponte Vecchio, and imagine how life used to unfold in Palazzo Vecchio. Precisely for this reason, given the large number of attractions to visit, it’s a good idea to plan your journey in advance so as to make the most of your time in the city.

There are many ways to get around the city of Florence: by bicycle, on foot, by public transportation, or by car. There is really a lot of choice and we suggest keeping in mind some tricks that can make travel easier within the historic city center.

Florence, like many other historic city centres scattered throughout Italy and Europe, has a vast network of pedestrian zones that allows exploring the city on foot. In this way, you have all the time you need to observe everything that surrounds you, without losing any detail along the way. The best advice is to arrive in Florence by train, since the Santa Maria Novella train station has an absolutely central position and represents a crossroads of fundamental importance for the entire city centre.

If you need to arrive in the Tuscan capital with your own car, you must know that entry into most areas is regulated by a complex ZTL (limited traffic zone) system with cameras that detect any unauthorized entry and you risk receiving some unpleasant fines.

The limited traffic zone in the city center is divided into 5 sectors and extends more or less from Piazza della Libertà to Piazza di Porta Romana and is between the Leopolda and Piazza Piave which is at the end of the Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia. Inside it, the circulation of non-resident vehicles is completely forbidden from Monday to Friday from 07:30 to 20:00 and on Saturdays from 7:30 to 16:00, with the exception of holidays. Some of these entrances marked with a red light, have a 24-hour access ban, 7 days a week.

The best solution is to leave your car in one of the many parking lots just outside the city, which are cheap and allow you to reach the main roads without too much effort. Not to mention the blue-striped parking lots with parking meters that are designed for shorter stops, many parking lots with advantageous rates extend to the limits of the ZTL. Finding them is easy: they are located in the Parterre area, Fortezza Fiera, and Piazza Beccaria.

Even under the Santa Maria Novella station there is ample parking, but its use is not particularly recommended due to the very high prices, given its location. There are even more distant parking lots, at even lower prices: one of these is Villa Costanza in Scandicci that allows you to park as soon as you exit the highway and is connected to the center by an excellent tram line that in less than 20 minutes will take you to the heart of the city.

Using a car in Florence, rather than to visit the city center, can be particularly useful for exploring the surrounding areas that extend just outside the city walls. About an hour from Florence, you can discover the fields of the Mugello and the beautiful tree-lined avenue leading to Scarperia, near the Acqua Panna plant.

The same goes for the village of Vinci, which gave birth to the famous scientist Leonardo Da Vinci (who, we would like to recall, was not born in France) and represents an opportunity for a trip out of town immersed in a fantastic atmosphere of a real medieval village. And, in case you want to get away from the frenetic city centre, we suggest visiting the areas where Chianti wine is still produced.


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