Travel to Florence
Flying to Florence
Airlines offering direct flights to Florence from the UK include British Airways, Alitalia, easyJet and Jet2.com.
From London - 2 hours 15 minutes; New York - 12 hours 30 minutes; Los Angeles - 18 hours 50 minutes; Toronto - 12 hours 50 minutes; Sydney - 21 hours 25 minutes.
Travel by road
Italy has an excellent network of autostrade (motorways). The main north-south link is the Autostrada del Sole, which links Milan with Reggio Calabria in the toe of Italy.
Speed limits on motorways are 130kph (81mph) for cars of 1100cc or more and 110kph (68mph) for smaller cars and for all cars when it is raining.
All motorways are tolled except for a very few exceptions. Alternatively, opt for the toll-free strade statali, which are often fast, multi-lane carriageways. The speed limit is 110kph (68mph).
The minimum age for driving a car is 18 years.
UK driving licences and EU licences are valid (UK green licences must be accompanied by an International Driving Permit).
The AA or RAC in Britain and the AAA in America have reciprocal agreements with the Automobile Club d'Italia (ACI) (tel: +39 06 491 115; www.aci.it), who provide a useful advisory service as well as dealing with breakdowns.
Emergency breakdown services
ACI (tel: 803 116).
Italy's central road artery, the A1, links Florence to Milan, Bologna, Rome and Naples. Depending on the direction of approach, access is via the first exit marked 'Firenze' (Nord or Sud). From there, signs for the city centre are marked centro. The Autostrada del Mare (A11) is the main road to Pisa and the coast, linking the city to Tuscan towns such as Lucca, Prato and Siena.
International coaches depart from Piazza della Stazione, next to Santa Maria Novella train station. In collaboration with Eurolines (tel: +39 0861 199 1900; www.eurolines.it), the station operates an extensive coach service to major European cities, including Antwerp, Barcelona, Brussels, London, Paris and Prague. For domestic travel, Flixbus (www.flixbus.co.uk) coaches arrive and depart from Sita Bus Station, Via Santa Caterina da Siena.
Time to city
From Bologna - 1 hour; Rome - 2 hours; Milan - 3 hours; Siena - 1 hour 15 minutes.
Travel by Rail
Services operate from the central train station in Florence, Santa Maria Novella or Firenze SMN, 1 Piazza Unita'Italiana, which is known as Piazza della Stazione, in the north of the city. In case the planned highspeed-train-station Firenze Belfiore is built, it will replace Santa Maria Novella as central train station. But currently, the more likely szenario is that Santa Maria Novella will be transformed into a highspeed-train station and Firenze Belfiore will never be built.
Trenitalia (tel: +39 06 6847 5475; www.trenitalia.com) is the national rail company, which runs a fast, efficient and good-value service throughout Italy. Italo (tel: +39 06 422 991; www.italotreno.it) offers a high-speed service to Venice via Bologna and Padua and to Salerno via Rome and Naples. You can buy your tickets online and travel with the reference number. If you have a printed ticket, validate it by stamping it in the yellow machines on the platform before boarding - failure to do so can result in a large fine.
International train services link Florence to more than 40 other European destinations, including Paris, Zurich, and Munich.
From Milan - 1 hours 45 minutes; Rome - 1 hour 20 minutes; Naples - 2 hours 50 minutes; Venice - 1 hours 50 minutes.