In Florence, la vita é bella
(life is beautiful).


With stunning Renaissance art and architecture on constant view, there is a sense of elegance and permanence that helps root all who live here.

Florence is well-connected with the rest of Italy and with Europe, and is easy to get to by air or land.

Plane
Florence has a small airport, Amerigo Vespucci ,also known colloquially as Peretola, with flights from main European cities. Most European and other short- and mid-haul flights use Pisa’s Galileo Galilei International airport , 80 minutes by road or rail from Florence
Airport transfers arranged by Linguaviva (link pagina transfer) – We can arrange for you to be collected at your arrival airport, and to be taken direct to your accommodation. This is a trouble-free start to your course.
Making your own way to Florence – From Florence airport the center can be reached in about 15 minutes by taxi, and in about 20 minutes with SITA/ATAF “Vola in Bus” bus shuttle operating between the airport and the central railway station of Santa Maria Novella.

Train
Florence has good connections with the main cities in the north, while to the south Rome is only about an hour and a half away. From Milan to Florence there is a high speed connection train which will take you to Florence in 2 hours and 45 minutes. From Roma Termini station the journey to Florence is 1 hour and half. For train connections information please check www.trenitalia.com.
At Florence Santa Maria Novella railway station  you will find buses and taxies to take you to your accommodation.

Car
The A1 motorway, the main road artery linking the north and south of Itay, runs past Florence, which has four exits. Arriving from the North on the motorway/freeway (Autostrada del Sole – A1), use the exit Firenze Nord and follow indications to reach city centre (centro) or central train station (stazione centrale). Arriving from the South on the motorway/freeway (Autostrada del Sole – A1), use the exit at Firenze Sud and follow indications to reach city centre (centro) or central train station (stazione centrale) .

Street numbering
Street numbers, particularly in the city centre, are different from other cities.
A double sequence of street numbering exists in Florence. Shops and businesses are identified by the letter ‘r‘ after the number. This signifies ‘red‘. Private residences are numbered in black. So a street may have two number 16’s, at times at considerable distance one from the other; 16r (as in the addresses given here) is a shop or business, while 16 is a private house. This is a practice that has been abandoned for new constructions, but the old roads still maintain it.

Opening and closing times
Churches:  Most are open from early morning until noon or 12.30, when they close for two hours or more; they open again in the afternoon, closing about 7.00pm or later.
Museums:  Hours vary and may change with the seasons , always check Museums time table.
Shops:  there are individual varations, depending and climate and season, but most are open 9:30am to 1:00pm and 3.30pm or 4.00pm to 7.30pm.

Banks
The following opening hours apply (from Monday to Friday)

Morning from 9.00 to 13.15
Afternoon from 14.30 (or 14.45) to 15.30 (or 15.45)

(Times vary from bank to bank – some may open Saturday morning) Many currency exchanges can be found in the centre. Be sure to ask what commission is applied before changing cheques or cash. Many shops and restaurants accept credit cards.

Post Offices
All post offices are open from Monday to Saturday from 8.15 to 13.30. Some, including the main Post Office (Via Pelliceria, 3) and the Post Office in Via Pietrapiana, 53, are open all day from 8.15 to 18.00.

Opening hours
From Monday to Friday 8.15am-6pm
Saturday 8.15am-6pm
Last day of each month 8.15-12pm (Saturdays 8.15am-11am)

Stamps
Stamps can be bought in Post Offices and tobacconists’ shops.
Postcards and letters (up to 20grams)
€ 0.75 European Community
€ 1.60 Asia, Africa, North and South America
€ 1.00 Australia

Telephones
Public telephones are located all over the city, however, poor maintenance is a problem and frequently many are out of service. You will find public telephones working with phone cards (scheda magnetica telefonica). Cards, available at various prices, are sold in tobacconist shops.
Otherwise there is a public telephone office in Via Cavour. The user is assigned a cabin and pays the cost of the call at the end. We also suggest buying a local phonecard for calls in Italy and an international phonecard if you will be calling overseas.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are relatively cheap so it may not always be cheaper to hire one.
If you have a mobile phone you can buy an Italian SIM card with a new phone number. This allows you to save on calls in Italy.

Personal Security
Florence is a fairly secure city. You need to take some simple precautions:

  • Do not carry large sums of money with you.
  • Do not take all your credit cards with you at the same time, and don’t keep your passport, credit cards, money etc… together.
  • Use a bag which closes securely. Do not put your wallet where everyone can see it.
  • Do not leave valuable things like mobile phones, i-pods etc… lying around in public places.
  • Keep your possessions where you can see them and avoid wearing very expensive jewellery when you are going out.

To talk about the ‘weather in Tuscany’ means to generalise somewhat. Tuscany includes many different terrains and landscapes, and rules change from one zone to the other. You can be sure that July andAugust in Tuscany will be hot, sometimes even stiflingly, due to the humidity levels that can make both Florence and the major cities of Tuscany real hothouses.

This situation generally breaks around the day of ferragosto, mid August, when the first rains are expected and with them a beginning of temperature decrease. September can still be very hot, while October could be the perfect month to visit Tuscany – blue skies, no chaotic cities and no intense and extreme heat. But, some like it hot!
November sees night-time temperatures starting to drop, with crisp Autumn days to accompany the main olive harvest throughout Tuscany. Winter in Tuscany can be quite cold and wet but spring always seems to come quickly. March is azalea and camelia time, while April and May are sometimes very wet months.

 

Average Temperatures in Florence

Here’s the average temperatures, maximum and minimum, and the humidity percentage in Florence listed for month.

Temperatures Max. (range) Min. (range) Hum.
Jan 4°C / 9°C -1°C / 1°C 76%
Feb 8°C / 11°C 2°C / 4°C 70%
Mar 9°C / 15°C 4°C / 6°C 66%
Apr 13°C / 20°C 7°C / 9°C 68%
May 18°C / 23°C 11°C / 14°C 68%
Jun 23°C / 28°C 13°C / 17°C 68%
Jul 24°C / 26 °C 15°C / 18°C 65%
Aug 28°C / 31°C 16°C / 20°C 66%
Sept 22°C / 27°C 13°C / 17°C 69%
Oct 16°C / 20°C 10°C / 13°C 73%
Nov 10°C / 14°C 4°C / 8°C 76%
Dec 6°C / 10°C 1°C / 3°C 78%
Temperatures Max. (range) Min. (range) Hum.
Jan 39°F / 48°F 30°F / 34°F 76%
Feb 46°F / 52°F 35°F / 39°F 70%
Mar 48°F / 59°F 39°F / 43°F 66%
Apr 55°F / 68°F 44°F / 48°F 68%
May 64°F / 73°F 52°F / 57°F 68%
Jun 73°F / 82°F 55°F / 62°F 68%
Jul 75 °F / 79 °F 59°F / 64°F 65%
Aug 82°F / 88°F 61°F / 68°F 66%
Sept 72°F / 80°F 55°F / 62°F 69%
Oct 61°F / 68°F 50°F / 55°F 73%
Nov 50°F / 57°F 39°F / 46°F 76%
Dec 43°F / 50°F 33°F / 38°F 78%

TAXI IN FLORENCE

In Florence taxi stands are easily accessible and easily found in different points of the city, very close to and in the center. It is also possible to call a Taxi service directly by dialing one of the following phone numbers: 055 43 90 | 055 44 99 | 055 47 98 | 055 42 42.

The taxi service is helded by two different mayor company: RADIO TAXI and TAXI SOCOTA so the fees can change a little bit, you really should read carefully the information about fare shown inside the taxi.

Here are taxi fares for destinations inside the city of Florence:
Starting rate: € 3,20
Starting rate for night trip (from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.): € 6,40
Starting rate for Sunday/holidays trip: € 5,10
Luggage (max 4 pieces): € 1 per piece
Rate fare from Florence (center) to Amerigo Vespucci Airport: about € 20,00

Other charges besides fare depends on the destination and supplements.

 

BUS IN FLORENCE

ATAF and LI-NEA are the public companies that manage the bus transportation in Florence. Genreally, from the center of the city and around the train station, you can reach all corners of the city. From their website you can easly find the fares, the time schedules and the city’s bus map.
Tickets and Bus passes can be purchased at Box Ataf in Piazza Stazione, bars, newstands, tobacconists. Tickets must be stamped on the machines on board. At night, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., tickets can be purchased aboard from the driver at 2,00 Euro

Here are bus tickets/fares for destinations inside the city of Florence:
90 minutes – 1,20 Euro | 90 minutes on board – 2,00 Euro | daily ticket – 5,00 Euro
10 tickets 10€ (Carta Agile) | 3 days – 12,00 | weekly ticket – 18,00 Euro
Multi-ride (4×90 minutes) – 4,70 Euro

Here are some useful bus lines:
7 Stazione – S. Domenico – Fiesole
10 Stazione – Campo Marte – Settignano
12/13 Stazione – Piazzale Michelangelo (Camping Michelangelo)
17 Verga – Salviatino (Youth Hostel)
25a Stazione – P.zza Liberta – Pratolino (Villa Demidoff)
2 Stazione – Sesto Fiorentino – Calenzano (Camping Autosole)
37 Stazione – Porta Romana – Galluzzo (Camping Internazionale Firenze)- Tavarnuzze
Vola in bus Stazione – Ponte di Mezzo – “Vespucci”Airport

For more information you can give a look to there website or go to the “Box Ataf” in Piazza Stazione – “ProntoAtaf”, tel. 800 424500

Website – More info:http://www.ataf.net/

TRAMVIA IN FLORENCE

Starting from February 2010 you can use the “Tramvia“, new mean of transportation in Florence, created to connect different districts of the city.

 

BUS EXCURSIONS IN TUSCANY

With the transport service offered by Lazzi, you can reach every city of Tuscany by bus.
In the site, you can easily find time schedules, fares and the Lazzi guided tours around Tuscany.

Website – More info: http://www.lazzi.it/eng/activenews.asp

Visit also: Excursions around Florence and in Tuscany

More information on stations, airport and bus companies:

Airport “Amerigo Vespucci”
Departures, Arrives, Time tables, location, useful information

More info about the Florence Airport Amerigo Vespucci

Visit also: Transfer from Pisa and Florence airports

ATAF BUS LINES
Departures, Arrives, Time tables, useful information
Website – More info: http://www.ataf.net/

FS, National Railway Company
Departures, Arrives, Time tables, station location, useful information
Website – More info: http://www.fsitaliane.it/

National Highways Company
Station location and all useful informations about the Italian highways
Website – More info: http://www.autostrade.it/en/index.html

Train Station “Santa Maria Novella”
It gives usefull information about the Florence’s train station.
Website – More info: http://www.grandistazioni.it/

Police Phone: 113
Carabinieri Phone: 112
Questura Phone: 055 49771
Fire Brigade Phone: 115
Urban police Emergency calls Phone: 055 328 333
ACI car breakdown service Phone: 116
Prefettura Phone: 055 278 31
Medical emergency service Phone: 118

If you have to report a theft or loss to the police and you don’t speak Italian, you can find assistance at the following police stations:

Commissariato di Polizia S. Giovanni
Addresses: via Pietrapiana, 50r
Phone: 055 203 911 / Fax: 055 203 913 70

Questura
Addresses: Via Zara, 2
Phone: 055 497 71 / Fax: 055 497 7616

Carabinieri – Comando provinciale
Addresses: Borgo Ognissanti, 48
Phone: 055 248 11 / Fax: 055 248 1705

HOSPITALS

Hospitals Policlinico di Careggi
Addresses: Viale Morgagni, 85
Phone: 055 427 7111

Ospedale S. Maria Nuova
Addresses: Piazza S. Maria Nuova, 1
Phone: 055 275 81

Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico (CTO)
Addresses: Largo Palagi, 1
Phone: 055 427 7111

Istituto Ortopedico Toscano (IOT)
Addresses: Viale Michelangelo, 41
Phone: 055 657 71

Children’s Hospital
Addresses: Via L. Giordano, 13
Phone: 055 566 21

Nuovo Ospedale S. Giovanni di Dio
Addresses: Via Torregalli, 3
Phone: 055 719 21

Ospedale S. Maria Annunziata (Ponte a Niccheri)
Addresses: Via dell’Antella, 58 – Bagno a Ripoli
Phone: 055 249 61

MEDICAL SERVICE

Ven. Arciconfraternita della Misericordia di Firenze
Opening times:
Monday to Friday, from 14 to 18 (just from March to October)
Price: fee-paying service € 23,50
Addresses: Vicolo degli Adimari, 1 (Piazza Duomo)
Phone: 055 212 221

24 hours Medical Service
English, German and French speaking practitioners and specialists on call 24 hrs (specialists by appointment).
Surgery Opening times: Monday to Friday, from 11 to 12 and from 17 to 18
Price: Fee-paying service
Addresses: Via Lorenzo il Magnifico, 59
Phone: 055 475 411 / Fax: 055 474 983 / E-mail: medserv@tin.it

CHEMISTS

Farmacia comunale , 13
Opening times:24 hours a day
Addresses: interno Stazione S. M. Novella
Phone: 055 289 435 – 216 761

Molteni
Opening times:24 hours a day
Addresses: Via Calzaiuoli, 7r
Phone: 055 289 490

All’Insegna del Moro
Opening times:24 hours a day
Addresses: Piazza S. Giovanni, 20r
Phone: 055 211 343

Paglicci
Opening times:from 20 to 9
Addresses: Via della Scala, 61
Phone: 055 215 612

Di Rifredi
Opening times: from 20 to 9
Addresses: P.zza Dalmazia, 24r
Phone: 055 422 0422

OTHER USEFULL NUMBERS

Lost and found
Addresses: Via Circondaria 17b
Phone: 055 328 3942 – 328 3943

Car/vehicles removal
Open 24 hours Cash/cash dispenser/credit card payment
Addresses: via dell’Arcovata, 6 / via Circondaria, 19 / Viadotto all’Indiano (Ponte a Greve)
Phone: 055 783 882

If you are a non-EU citizen
Health insurance for Italy has to meet the following requirements:

  • it must cover expenses in case of emergency treatment and urgent hospitalization (recovery in casualty)
  • it must cover the entire duration of your stay in Italy;
  • it must guarantee the policy-holder’s return to his/her own country in case of serious illness
  • it must be in English or translated in Italian and legalized by the Italian Embassy/Consulate
  • it must also be valid in the Schengen Area.

The most economic health insurance policy in Italy is INA (Istituto Nazionale Assicurazioni) which covers emergency hospital and maternity charges. It costs € 49,00 for 6 months and € 98,00 for 1 year.
For further information please ask at the secretary’s office.

If you are an EU citizen
Before you leave for Italy you have to go to the competent Health Institution in your country in order to ask for an extension of your health assistance to Italy through one of the following issues:

  • E 106 for study or work stays more than 365 days.
  • the European Health Insurance Card (so called “EHIC Card”) for stays up to 365 days, by which you are automatically covered in all EU-member countries for health cares considered as “necessary”

Medical Services
Pharmacies are a convenient place to have an advice on minor complaints, as the staff is medically trained.
If your country has a consulate in Florence, staff there should be able to refer you to a doctor who speaks your language. The Tourist Information service in Florence APT has lists of doctors and dentists of various nationalities. We suggest that if you have a specific health complaint, obtain the necessary information and referrals for treatment before leaving home.
Please also ask at Linguaviva to refer you to doctors and health services in Florence.

Tourist Information Office – APT Firenze
Address: Provincia di Firenze, Via Cavour 1r
Opening times Summer (1st March – 31st October): from Monday to Saturday from 8.15 to 19-15, Sunday and Holiday from 8.30 to 13.30
Opening times Winter (1st November -28th February): from Monday to Saturday from 8.15 to 19.15
Phone: 055 290832
Website – More info: http://www.firenzeturismo.it/index.php?lang=en_EN

APT Firenze
Address: Via Manzoni 16
Phone: 055 23320
Website – More info: http://www.firenzeturismo.it/index.php?lang=en_EN

APT Firenze
Address: Aeroporto “A. Vespucci”
Phone: 055 315874
Website – More info: http://www.firenzeturismo.it/index.php?lang=en_EN

Area di Servizio Agip Peretola
Address: Autostrada Firenze Mare (A11)
Phone: 055 4211800

Area di Servizio Chianti Est
Address: Autostrada del Sole (A1)
Phone: 055 621349

Comune di Firenze
Address: Borgo S. Croce 29r
Phone: 055 2340444 – 055 2264524
Website – More info: http://www.comune.fi.it/

Comune di Firenze
Address: Piazza Stazione
Phone: 055 212245
Website – More info: http://www.comune.fi.it/

Consorzio I.T.A. / Hotel information
Address: Stazione S. Maria Novella
Phone: 055 282893

SOS Turista
Address: Provincia di Firenze, Via Cavour 1r
Phone: 055 2760382

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