Flying to Florence
Arriving in Florence (or Pisa, or Bologna) by plane
Pisa's Aeroporto Galileo Galilei
Bologna's Aeroporto G. Marconi
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There are actually three airports to discuss for Florence.
- The Amerigo Vespucci Airport in Florence itself is pretty tiny and receives mostly domestic flights and a few from European capitals. It takes about half an hour to get to downtown Florence.
- Most flights to "Florence" (including international ones) actually land at the larger Galileo Galilei Airport in nearby Pisa. It takes about an hour and a half to get to downtown Florence.
- There's now a third option for those who want to head from the U.S. straight(ish) to Florence: Flying Eurofly direct into the G. Marconi Airport in Bologna airport. It takes about an hour and a half to get downtown Florence.
Here's the skinny on each:
airport - aeroporto
arrivals - arrivi
departures - partenze
ticket - biglietto
bus to Florence - autobus per Firenze
Though the Florence airport is still second banana to the larger airport in Pisa, several major European airlines are now servicing Florence's expanded Aeroporto Amerigo Vespucci (tel. +39-055-306-1300; www.aeroporto.firenze.it), also called Peretola, just 5km (3 miles) northwest of town.
There are no direct flights to/from the United States, but you can make easy connections through London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and so on.
How to get to downtown Florence from the Florence airport
The tram cometh
When it opens (scheduled for 2011), Florence will have a direct tram link (line 2) from the airport past the train station and Duomo then up Via Cavour past San Marco to Piazzale Libertà before doubling back down to San Marco. More info: www.comune.fi.itATAF's regularly scheduled Vola in Bus shuttle connects the airport with Piazza della Stazione downtown in 25 minutes. It departs the airport every 30 minutes on the half-hour, and charges €4.50.
Metered taxis line up outside the airport's arrival terminal and charge about €15–€16 to most hotels in the city center; never pay more than €20.
The closest international airport to Florence is Pisa's Aeroporto Galileo Galilei (tel. +39-050-849-111; www.pisa-airport.it), 97km (60 miles) west of Florence. This is the airport that no-frills airline Ryanair uses.
How to get to downtown Florence from the Pisa airport
You can take a train to Florence (with a change in Pisa) in about an hour and a half. Here's how.
About one to three trains per hour leave the airport for Florence. Virtually all require a train change at the Pisa Centrale station just five minutes into the ride, so don't bother getting comfortable at first. The full trip to Florence takes 88 minutes and costs €5.70 (www.trenitalia.it). Be sure you get off at the central train station, Firenze-SMN (Santa Maria Novella), not the suburban Firenze-Rifredi station.
Low-cost transatlantic carrier Eurofly flies into the Aeroporto G. Marconi, a scant 4 miles northwest of Bologna (tel. +39-051-647-9615; www.bologna-airport.it). It is also serviced by most major European airlines and several no-frills airlines.
The Bologna airport is, in practical terms, just as close to Florence as is the Pisa airport (about 90 minutes by public transport). However, the fact that it's in a different region (Emilia-Romagna, versus the Tuscany of both Florence and Pisa) and that there are mountains diving the two, means it never occurs to most Florentines (or their tourism officials) that Bologna's airport makes as much sense as Pisa's.
How to get to Florence from the Bologna airport
It will take a bus (or taxi) and train to get to Florence for a total of about 90 minutes. Here's how.
By public transportation: Hop the Aerobus BLQ servizio navetta (shuttle bus) to the Bologna's downtown rail station (€5; leaves every 15 minutes; www.atc.bo.it). It's only 6km away, but since the bus makes five stops en route, it takes 30 minutes. Given this, you might want to spring for a taxi—which costs the same as two bus tickets anyway (€10, plus €0.50 per bag; tel. +39-051-374-300 for info, +39-051-372-727 to call a taxi, www.cotabo.it).
From the Bologna train station, grab any of roughly three to four trains per hour to Florence. The ES fast trains (at least two per hour) cost €18.10 and take an hour. The IC slow trains only cost €9.50 and take just a bit longer, 70–82 minutes.
As soon as you get on the A14 highway fro the Bologna airport, it splits. You want the Tangenziale, or Ramo Bologna-Casalecchio. Just follow signs for "Roma," and don't panic if you get the wrong one; you'll still meet up with the A1, just a bit farther north, adding maybe 4–5 miles to your trip.By car: If you'll be driving, pick up a rental car here and hop on the A14 ring-road to connect to the main A1 Autostrada headed to Florence. Yes, the A1 is Italy's main national highway, but this stretch of it is old and slow: narrow, winding torturously through the mountains, and loaded with trucks. It's especially harrowing after dark. Expect the drive to take at least two hours.
- Getting to Italy by air
- Eurofly - The new Transatlantic option
- No-frills airlines in Italy
- Getting around Italy by train
- Arriving in Florence by train & The Santa Maria Novella train station
- Arriving in Florence by car & parking
This material was last updated January 2011. All information was accurate at the time.
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