Althea Rooms

Via delle Caldaie 25, Florence, Tuscany, 50125, Italy
Althea Rooms
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More about Florence


View from the Piazzale MichelangeloView from the Piazzale Michelangelo

The city turns purplish and pinkish at duskThe city turns purplish and pinkish at dusk

The dining roomThe dining room

Via Lambertesca (Florence, Italy)Via Lambertesca (Florence, Italy)

Forum Posts

Best transport options...

by svengali

Going to be in the Florentine foothills in Vicchio for 2 weeks in late September '08. What are the best options for getting into or rail? And what is the average cost for rail? We will have a rental.

Re: Best transport options...

by qaminari

Frankly I think you would do better not to have a car with you in Florence, the train takes between 45 and 55 minutes from Vicchio to Firenze Campo di Marte, sometimes changing at Pontassieve (08:57 and 10:57 are direct), some trains continuing on to SMN, and there is at least 1 an hour, more during rush hours.
I don't know the price but rail travel in Italy is not expensive, while parking can be. The journey should cost less than €10 one way, you can always ask at the station the day before you want to go and decide then.

Re: Best transport options...

by azz8206

Your better off going by train, you don't need a car in Florence. A one way ticket would most certainly cost you under 10 euros.

Re: Best transport options...

by Kathrin_E

A car is useless in Florence. You cannot enter the historical centre by car anyway, as it's closed to individual traffic. You'll be facing hefty fines if you try, and the cameras WILL catch you. Besides, parking is not easy to find. Take the train into town.

Re: Best transport options...

by mccalpin

The trenitalia website currently prices this trip (from Vicchio to Firenze Santa Maria Novella) as 3.40 euro one way 2nd class. This is the equivalent of less than a gallon of gas...which will get you only 15 or 20 miles or so...and the distance by car is about 25 the train really IS cheaper(!). (OK, it depends on the number of people you have)...

Besides, the train trip takes about an hour, and estimates that the car trip will take about an hour (back roads), so the car isn't going to be a lot faster...without even addressing the parking issue or the pedestrian zones issue.

Use the car for travel to other places - Lucca, Siena, rural Tuscany, and just take the train into Florence. Note that these trains are about once an hour, with a few extra trains in the morning, as would make sense for commuter traffic...or find someplace on the edge of Florence that has parking and good city access...


Re: Best transport options...

by svengali

Thanks all for the recommendations...looks like train is the way to go. I appreciate it.

Re: Best transport options...

by leics

Yes, it is.

There are also good bus services to places such as Siena (better than train, as the station is some way outside historical Siena).

Train times and fares (click 'buy') here:

Buses from Florence here:

On the drop-down 'scegli la regione' menu choose 'toscana'.

Some places you might want to visit (e.g. Fiesole) come within the Florentine bus system:

Travel Tips for Florence

Study Abroad in Florence

by mariocibelli

Florence is home to over

70 American university programs
20 foreign study programs
20 + Art, Fashion and Design Schools
30 + Italian Langauge and Culture Centers
The State University of Florence Florence is the education capital for foreign students at least of Italy.

I will be adding a whole list of schools that one can attend.

Packing List

by Patricialuv

Study Abroad I really like this picture...the building you see closest to the picture is the Uffizzi Gallery, one the most famous art galleries in the world. Then you see the high tower of the Palazzo della Signoria and way back you can see the top of the Duomo!

Fresh Pasta

by RoarTheLion about Mercato Centrale

There is a fresh pasta shop in the Mercato Centrale. It is to die for. We've got these spinach and ricotta ravioli twice and there is nothing better. They also have homemade sauses and cut their fresh egg pasta as you order it. Their preperation room is open by windows and you can see the whole production taking place. We had a great time watching them make the ravioli. The price is fairly resonable. If you go on Tuesday they have a special on the ravioli for almost half the price. Granted you have to have a place to cook them but if you are staying in a hostel or appartment it works out great. 1 kg is about 7 euros. This even rivals the supermarket price for the prepacked assortments

By air

by isolina_it

Pisa’s airport, Galileo Galilei, is the international gateway to Florence. Situated 80km (50 miles) from Florence, it provides easy access to the city by road or rail. As one of Italy’s busiest airports, Pisa handles around 1.1 million passengers per year.

Transport to the city: The most hassle-free way to travel to Florence is on the train. The station (Pisa Aeroporto) is just a short stride from the airport via a covered walkway and tickets can be bought on the concourse. Trains depart more or less every hour, between 0830 and 1900 (journey time – 1 hour). On departing Florence, visitors can check in at the railway station’s Air Terminal in Florence (platform 5) from 0700 to 1730. Passengers with luggage must check in 20 minutes before the train departs and arrive at least 30 minutes before flight departure. Tickets cost EUR 4 one way.

Amerigo Vespucci (FLR)
Tel: (055) 373 498. Fax: (055) 318 716.

Florence City Airport underwent extensive rebuilding in the early 1980s and reopened for regular flights in 1985. Situated just five kilometres (three miles) from Florence city centre, the airport is steadily increasing in capacity.

Transport to the city: The ‘fly by bus’ shuttle service departs approximately every 30 minutes (journey time – 15-30 minutes). Tickets cost L6000/EUR3 and can be bought on board. The shuttle drops passengers off at Florence’s central railway station. A cheaper alternative, the local ATAF bus, runs to the same station approximately every 25 minutes between 0630-2000 and then every hour until 2320. A ticket costs L1500/EUR0.80 and can be bought at the airport bar in the departures terminal. Taxis (tel: (055) 4242 or 4390) to the centre cost approximately EUR10.50-13 and take up to 30 minutes, depending on traffic.

Approximate flight times to Florence: From London is 2 hours 15 minutes; from New York is 12 hours 30 minutes; from Los Angeles is 18 hours 50 minutes; from Toronto is 12 hours 50 minutes and from Sydney is 21 hours 25 minutes.

Not a bad choice

by Tijavi about Osteria Pepo

I wasn't really intending to dine here, but the restaurant that I was looking for did not serve dinner, and this one was conveniently beside it, and seemed to attract a good crowd. Luckily I got a table...

The restaurant serves classic Tuscan fare and being my first dinner in Tuscany, it was a bit of a novelty. I wanted some light appetizers and I went with the waiter's recommendation - mix crostini of tomatoes, mushroom, pesto and chicken liver. Seriously, I could have whipped this up myself in my own kitchen, so nothing really special.

But the mains was something else. I got a bit braver, ordering tripe in tomato sauce. The tripe was well-prepared (i.e., well cleaned) and soft with the delicious tomato sauce coating every strip, giving a more zesty but earthy flavor, with a hint of other spices. In a way, the dish reminded me of Spain's callos, which is a specialty of my mom's. Chianti did a great job in breaking down the rich, fatty tripe.

If the tripe wasn't enough, the dessert was even better - rich, decadent chocolate soufflé - my nth chocolate soufflé during my trip. The chocolate soufflé, hands down!


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