By Plane, Florence
Ok: so you've experienced the thrill of landing at Amerigo Vespucci airport in Florence (landing on runway 23 adds a great buzz).
Now how do you get to your hotel/camping/hostel...?
The airport shuttle: 4 euros; goes to the city center.
A cab: goes anywhere, but it will cost you big $$$. Fares are high, and so is traffic. A terrible combination: expect to pay a least 15 euros, but up to 25/30 to go from the airport to the central district (Piazza del Duomo, for example).
Hidden, non advertised option: express buses heading inbound from outside the city should (should!) stop right outside the airport perimeter to pick up passengers. The cost of the ticket is 1 euro, but you won't find it at the airport (they'll do anything to make you hire a cab!). This is actually an option for going to the airport (on your way back, when you've spent all your money shopping): LAZZI or CAP bus lines, heading to the cities of Prato or Lucca, leave from Piazza Adua (in front of the train station) and stop in front of the airport on request. The fare is 1 euro, the ordinary metrpolitan bus fare.
Florence has one airport: its code is FLR and it has one small runway allowing only relatively small aircraft (ATR, DASH or Fokker 50 turboprops; Avro RJ or Airbus 319 jets) to serve the port.
Destinations include Paris CDG (Air France), Munich and Frankfurt (Lufthansa), Olbia, London Gatwick, Catania, Amsterdam, Palermo (Meridiana, a Klm partner), Rome FCO and Milan MXP (Alitalia), Brussels (SN Brussels Airlines), Vienna (Tyrolean), Zurich and Geneva (Swiss).
Although most lowcost airlines fly to Pisa, Fly Baboo
connects Florence and Geneva with four weekly flights.
I cannot begin to say enough good things about the Florence airport. I am usually very critical of my city, but this is great. First of all it is 15 minutes from the downton, second as all the flights are within Europe (changing to International) the check-in time is 30 minutes before departure. So, if I am flying to NY and the plane leaves at 715, I wake up at 6. Much better than racing to Fiumicino (the ROme airport) having to leave home almost 5 hours before departure.
The airport is served by: Air France, Air Littoral, Swiss, Austrian, Tyrolean, Lufthansa, Alitalia, KLM, Meridiana, Brussels Air, and I think Air Transylvania (flights to Romania).
Daily flights to: Rome, Milan, Catania, Palermo, Cagliari, Bologna, Zurich, Nice, Barcelona, Paris, Munich, Franfurt, London, Paris, TImisoara (Romania), Vienna, Amsterdam and Brussels.
You can get to the airport by taxi, city bus (1 Euro, but 40 minutes from the station) and a private bus service (about 6 Euros).
RYANAIR, the easiest and cheapest way to Florence from London, Brussels, Frankfurt and Hamburg is to use RYanAir to the Pisa Airport and then take the train in to Florence. If you book far enough in advance you generally spend 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of booking with British Airways, Meridiana or Lufthansa.
One of the ways to take advantage of the best deals is to book 2 seperate 1 way tickets, for ex. from UK, UK to Pisa and then another one Pisa to UK. I have travelled to London 11 times in the last year and paid an average of 50 Euros per return ticket.
The airport of Florence (Vespucci Airport) is just outside the town.
Many European low cost airlines fly to nearby Pisa Airport (Galileo Galilei). The Airport of Pisa has an hourly train service to Santa Maria Novella Station in Florence. The trip takes about one hour and costs less than 5 Euro (2003).
Galileo Galilei airport in Pisa has become one of the busiest destinations for lowcost airlines in Italy. Ryanair now connects Pisa to London (STN), Glasgow Prestwick, Hamburg-Lubeck, Liverpool, Brussels Charleroi, Girona Barcelona and Frakfurt-Hahn.
Easyjet flies to Paris Orly and Berlin Schoenefeld, Hapag Lloyd Express takes you to Berlin Tegel, Hanover, Stuttgart and Cologne-Bonn. Basiqair flies to Amsterdam and Norwegian to Oslo.
Seasonal flights to Coventry, Bournemouth and Doncaster Sheffield are available with Thomsonfly .
Most major airlines, including Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, and Lufthansa (by means of an affiliate, Air Dolomiti) also serve the port.
A train is available from the airport to Pisa and Florence: tickets can be purchased at the tourist information office, the train departs on the opposite side of the terminal. Remeber to punch your tickets in one of the yellow machines before boarding the train. The cost of the ride to Florence is EUR 5 one way, travel time is one hour and twenty minutes. Pisa airport (PSA) is a better facility than its Florence (FLR) competitor, and it's easier to get to the center of Florence from PSA than it is from FLR.
Terravision, a Ryanair partner, offers an express bus connection to Florence (SMN train station) for EUR 7.50 one way or EUR 12 round trip. For schedule information and tickets visit Ryanair , click on "Destinations" then on "Express bus connections".
From outside the terminal building at the airport, you can catch a shuttle bus direct to the railway station in the city centre. The journey takes about 20 minutes and although I can't remember exactly how much it cost, it was very cheap. This is ideal if your hotel is reasonably close to the station or if you're travelling without too much luggage, otherwise you should get a taxi, which will take you directly to your hotel.
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.
If you're leaving Florence pretty early in the morning, let's say the first flight of the day, don't bother getting to the airport 3 hours before the flight, because the airport's not going to be open anyways! Italians like to take their time in the morning. . . savor the cappucino. I think at the earliest they open at 5ish. . .
PORTUGUÊS - Do aeroporto para o centro da cidade (estação central de caminho de ferro) apanhem o autocarro todas as meias horas, apenas por €4 -ENGLISH - From the airport to the center (railway station) take the bus, each half an hour, just €4 -FRANÇAIS - Pour aller e l'aéroport jusqu'au centre ville (station de chemin de fer) prenez le bus, toutes les demi heures, pour seulement €4.