Florence Travel Guide

Public Transport

The principal public transport network within the city is run by the ATAF and Li-nea bus company, with tickets available at local tobacconists, bars and newspaper stalls. Individual tickets, or a pass called the Carta Agile with multiple rides (10, 21 or 35), may be used on buses and Tramvia. Once on the bus, tickets must be stamped (or swiped for the Carta Agile) using the machines on board, unlike train tickets which must be validated before boarding. The main bus station is next to Santa Maria Novella railway station. Trenitalia runs trains between the railway stations within the city, and to other destinations around Italy and Europe. The central railway station, Santa Maria Novella railway station, is located about northwest of the Piazza del Duomo. There are two other important stations: Campo Di Marte and Rifredi. Most bundled routes are Firenze-Pisa, Firenze-Viareggio and Firenze-Arezzo (along the main line to Rome). Other local railways connect Florence with Borgo San Lorenzo and Siena.

Long distance buses are run by the SITA, Copit, CAP and Lazzi companies. The transit companies also accommodate travellers from the Amerigo Vespucci Airport, which is five kilometres west of the city centre, and which has scheduled services run by major European carriers such as Air France and Lufthansa.

The centre of the city is closed to through-traffic, although buses, taxis and residents with appropriate permits are allowed in. This area is commonly referred to as the ZTL (Zona Traffico Limitato), which is divided into five subsections. Residents of one section, therefore, will only be able to drive in their district and perhaps some surrounding ones. Cars without permits are allowed to enter after 7.30 pm, or before 7.30 am. The rules shift during the tourist-filled summers, putting more restrictions on where one can get in and out.

In an effort to reduce air pollution and car traffic in the city, a multi-line tram network called Tramvia is under construction. The first line began operation on 14 February 2010 and connects Florence's primary intercity railway station (Santa Maria Novella) with the southwestern suburb of Scandicci. This line is long and has 14 stops. The construction of a second line began on 5 November 2011 with an anticipated completion in 2014. This second line will connect Florence's airport with the city centre. A third line has gained governmental approval, but has yet to begin construction.

Railway station

Firenze Santa Maria Novella railway station is the main national and international railway station in Florence and is used by 59 million people every year. The building, designed by Giovanni Michelucci, was built in the Italian Rationalism style and it is one of the major rationalist buildings in Italy. It is located in Piazza della Stazione, near the Fortezza da Basso and the Viali di Circonvallazione, and in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella's apse, from which it takes its name.

A new high-speed rail station is under construction and is contracted to be operational by 2015. It is planned to be connected to Vespucci airport, Santa Maria Novella railway station, and to the city centre by a line of Florence's tram system, Tramvia, which is currently being constructed. The architectural firms Foster + Partners and Lancietti Passaleva Giordo and Associates designed this new rail station.

Airport

Florence's "Amerigo Vespucci" is one of two main airports in the Tuscany region, the other being Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa.

source: Wikipedia

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