FLORENCE AND YOUR… AUTOMOBILE
In large cities, one of the greatest challenges posed to car owners is, of course, parking one’s beloved motorcar.
This is one of the top five questions I hear from our clients visiting Florence: “Will I easily find a place to park?”
Within walking distance of Florence’s main sights, like the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery, there is the underground Santa Maria Novella parking lot (parcheggio in Italian), located right below the train station of the same name. And for those of you who are planning to explore the city’s artisan quarter – which I told you about in a previous article –, there is the Oltrarno Calza parcheggio, less central than the former but cheaper, nearer to sights such as the Palazzo Pitti, and within easy reach if you’re coming from the Chianti. You can access it from the Porta Romana.
Another good news: the City of Lilies has just added to its transport infrastructure a new tramline which will prove to be a godsend to visitors unwilling to get trapped either in rush hour or in the “restricted traffic areas” – about which Google Maps is not always fully reliable.
The new T1 tramline links the city center to the Villa Costanza parking lot, which is located right next to the Rome-Bologna highway – with its own dedicated highway exit. The journey to downtown Florence takes just over 20 minutes, and trams leave every 6 to 8 minutes.
The parking area costs 5€ for stays ranging from 4 to 10 hours, and 7€ thereafter. As for the tram tickets, they can be bought right at the stop, sell at 1.50€ each, and are valid for 90 minutes. Always remember to validate them at the yellow ticket machine once you get on the tram. And one more piece of advice: purchase a return fare on leaving the parking lot, so that you won’t have to worry about getting another ticket when, after a long taxing day of sightseeing, you’ll be making your way back to your automobile…