Florence by foot

Is Florence walkable?

Florence is a walker's city.

Of all the famous cities of Europe that tourists rush to see, Florence is the smallest by a significant margin.

In fact, many travelers, used to sprawling cities like Rome and Paris, get off the train and automatically hop on a city bus expecting to get "downtown"...only to find themselves riding through the suburbs within a few minutes because the train station already was downtown.

The first painting in the history of art to use true perspective (Masaccio's Trinity) is literally across the street from the train station, in the church of Santa Maria Novella. The Duomo (cathedral) is only a ten-minute stroll from the rail station; The Uffizi Galleries are ten more minutes beyond that.

Heck, you can walk clear across town—from the train station, on the northwest edge of the center, to the famous church of Santa Croce, at the eastern edge of the historic center—in about half an hour. (Maybe 45 minutes if you stroll.)

Yes, Florence is that tiny. Which is why walking is the only sensible way to get around (though the "Getting around by Bus" page does list the useful public buses for getting to the handful of popular sights lying outside the historic center).

Waht's more, most of the streets in the centro storico (historic center) are set aside for pedestrians only.

In fact, the are only a handful of streets in the very center open to car traffic at all, and really only one street corner in the whole heart of town where you're likely to have to wait at a light (the busy corner where Via Cavour hits Piazza Duomo).

That's how small—and walkable—Florence is.

Tips & links

Florence walking tours

Take a guided walking tour of Florence on foot with one of our partners:

Walks & Day tours

Longer tours

Pack decent shoes

Just be sure you have a good pair of walking shoes for all the flagstone sidewalks and cobbled streets.

Other useful links
How long does Florence take?

Planning your day: Florence would well be worth a week, but you can still fit a lot into just a day or three.

To help you get the most out of your limited time in the Cradle of the Renaissance, here are some perfect itineraries, whether you have one, two, or three days to spend in Florence.

» Florence itineraries

Florence tours

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Useful links

Florence tourist information
Via Cavour 1R
tel. +39-055-290-832

  • Florence rail station
  • Firenze Santa Maria Novella: Grandistazioni.it, Piazza S. Maria Novella (in the NW corner of the center)
  • Bus to center: C2 (but it's just a few blocks; you can walk)
  • Bus to Oltrarno: 11, D
  • Car resources
  • Emergency service/tow: tel. 803-116
  • Highway agency: Autostrade.it (traffic info, serivce areas, toll calculator, weather)
  • Italian automotive club (~AAA): Aci.it
  • ZTLs: Ztl-italia.blogspot.com (lightly outdated, but handy, links to cities' traffic-free zones)
  • Transport Florence—Livorno cruise terminal
  • Viator.com (private car: 90 min, €40–€260)
  • Trenitalia.com (train: 68–100 min, €9.10) + Livorno port-station transfer (€1 bus; €20–€30 taxi)
Train tix

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