A useful guide about how to get to Florence from abroad or travelling within Italy, and some lesser-known tip.
How to get to Florence: the complete guide
First things first: where is Florence?
There are 24 cities named Florence in the USA and one in Nova Scotia, Canada.
But Firenze – the original one – lays on the gentle slopes of the Arno river Valley almost at the very center of Italy.
Florence is the capitol town of the Tuscany region, and it is the capitol of the Florence province and municipality.
Is Florence far from other main Italian cities such as Milan, Venice or Rome, the capital of the Italian republic?
Compared to Australia or America Italy is a very little place, and Florence is 279Km / 173 miles from Rome, 255Km / 158 miles from Venice, 302Km / 187 miles from Milan.
How to get to Florence by air
As the Rome and Milan airports are the main airports in Italy and as the distance between Florence and Milan or Rome is less than four hours by car, if you are planning a long staying in Italy you can just use that couple of main airports and then use a rented car (quite an Italian way to travel: maybe because Ferrari or Lamborghini, but Italians love travelling by car…).
The – smaller – Bologna airport (104km, 64 miles) is another option.
The Florence Airport
Actually, Florence has an airport.
No intercontinental flights reach Florence airport, but you can get to Florence by air by many of the main european cities: London, Paris, Brussels, Wien, Zurich, Amsterdam…
Florence airport is a hub for national flights as well: you can reach Florence from Rome by plane many times a day.
Pisa is just 83Km / 51 miles from Florence and Pisa Airport is quite busy: more european cities, national flights (Rome, again), and some intercontinental flights (Marrakech and – even if sporadically – New York).
How to get to Florence by train
The Florence train station is one of the most important in Italy, and you can easily reach it from the above mentioned cities and airports: Milan, Rome, Bologna, Venice.
Two companies provide train service in Italy: Trenitalia and Italo. You can use both between Florence and Bologna or Milan, Rome or Pisa (Trenitalia), and between Florence and Bologna or Milan or Rome (Trenitalia).
The Pisa to Florence trip by train is just 1 hour, and actually you can go straight from Pisa Airport to Florence city center by coach as well.
How to get to Florence by coach, taxi or car
The Florence city center can be reached from the Pisa Airport (45′ – 60′) and from Bologna city center (60′ – 75′) by coach.
Mind that some of the coaches from Pisa stops to the Florence airport as well, so they could come in handy also for just getting there for another flight.
In theory you can use a coach from Milan or Rome as well – many services are available, but in this case the trip is quite long and boring: if you can, go for a train, instead.
You can of course hire a car, or maybe you could go for blablacar, a car sharing service which can give you the opportunity to chat with an Italian driver while you are travelling.
If you prefer a real chaffeur, take a look at the Tuscany by taxi service.
How to get to Florence by sea
No, Florence is definitely not on the seaside and the Arno river is not navigable, but companies such as Royal Caribbean or MSC offer cruises which, landing in La Spezia or Livorno, bring tourists to Florence by coach.
Florence by foot… (yes, by foot!)
We are neither mad nor we are kidding: a trekking paths system makes it possible!
If you want to experience Tuscany and Florence in the (trekking hopefully…) shoes of a medieval pilgrim, you can! 🙂