May 22, 2014, 03:01 PM
Montepulciano to Florence for One Day: Train or Drive? If Drive, Wherre to Park?
Hello and thank you for so much useful info.
We are four people: husband, wife, 12 year old daughter and 80 year old grandma. We are staying in a farmhouse near Montepulciano during the last week of June 2014. The owner suggests we drive to the Chiusi CT station and take the train to SMN. Sounds OK but it will be a very long day. We need 1/2 hour to drive to station plus we need to arrive at the station early enough to park, pick up tickets, stamp tickets, board train, and have enough time to allow for something to go wrong and not miss the train. Then the ride is between 1 and a half to two hours depending on which train we catch and the summer schedule is still not posted. This already feels stressful.
Plus we will have to deal with the same logistics for the return ride. We don't know exactly where we will be when we need to head back to SMN and my mom walks slowly and will likely be tired by then. I would probably want to take a taxi back to SMN but will have to then deal with finding a taxi stand and worrying bout how long the drive will take given all the one way streets. More stress!
So we are thinking of driving and parking outside Florence. I have read your many posts about where to park and I am thinking about parking at the COOP by Scandicci. I thought about going to the pay lot in Sansvino but I would hate to arrive and find the lot is full. The COOP sounds like more of a sure thing.
I have looked at the tram website but don't know enough Italian to fully understand the info. How often do the trams run? Are they safe? Can we buy tickets for the rides into and out of Florence at Scandicci?
Driving would also mean that we can have a relaxing dinner before leaving Florence and not having to worry about getting back to SMN on time.
What do you think of this plan? Any other helpful pointers?
May 23, 2014, 01:13 AM
I agree, take the car... it will just be faster and not as stressful given the timetables.
You can park either at the Coop you've identified and take the tram or closer yet at Piazzale Michelangelo (you can also catch the bus 12 or 13 down rather than walk downhill/uphill). The Piazzale tends to be quite busy and will be closed on June 24, so the Coop could just be less stressful.
Trams run often during the entire day, every 6-10 minutes... there are ticket machines at the stops so it is easy to buy tickets before getting on. Trams are definitely safe and easy to use. You can buy the return ticket at any coffee shop or newspaper kiosk you see near the station just since I am not sure I've seen the ticket machines at the stop there....mmm, will have to check it out next time I am there.
May 27, 2014, 12:44 AM
More on COOP Parking at Scandicci
thanks for your note Lourdes, I am pretty sure we will park at the COOP because the tram stop is just across the street. But I noticed a comment you left in another post last year about the gates to the parking lot being locked when the store is closed. Do you know what the stores hours are? We would probably get back no later than 20:00 and my guess is the store would still be open - but it could be a very risky guess.
Also, I am reading more about the Piazzale Michelangelo and am a little foggy about how easy it might be to park there on Thursday June 26. How can we tell where the bus 12 and 13 stop? Some people talk about hills or steep walk. Are they referring to the climb to get to the view or the parking area? And finally, if we need to wait for a car to pull out, can we double park and wait and watch or do we need to keep circling?
May 27, 2014, 09:38 AM
The parking lot at the COOP has no gates so feel free to park there no matter the hours. The one with the gate is the one closer to Florence, on via sansavino.
The Piazzale is at the top of a hill, that is why the view is great. The long boulevard to get there that the bus takes is gradual, the shorter path for walking goes straight down from the piazzale so is all steps but you can follow the street below to make it less tiring.
The 12 and 13 stop right in front of the piazzale, on opposite sides. So you shouldn't have problems finding it. Depending on the time you arrive, you might not be able to even double park.... so just stop and wait to see someone leaving. You can also look for street parking before and after the piazzale as well as below.
June 25, 2014, 11:30 PM
Originally Posted by Lourdes
We plan to hit the road in merely 9 .5 hours and i was thinking it might be better to park under the SMN station because my mother's foot is a little sore. But this is a last minute change of plans and I can't tell if Google Maps is trying to send me through the ZTL [we are arriving from Montepulciano). Do we need to approach the historic ara from the south west side of the city [across the arno) and then drive over ponte amerigo vespucci bridge - or something like that? i think google maps is trying to send m through the ZTL and this scares me. This plus thunderstorms has me thinking i should ditch the entire plan of going to Florence. Perhaps this is too much driving for hubby and walking for mamma and stress for me.
perhaps we go friday so we have a little more time to plan and maybe the weather is a little better????
June 26, 2014, 01:12 AM
You're coming tomorrow morning to Florence? Weather forecast does have some thunderstorms, but also for Friday.
If you want to make it to the parking under the SMN train station YOU NEED TO TAKE VIA NAZIONALE to get there. Here is a map that shows the route: https://goo.gl/maps/lsYj4
Follow your GPS to get to Florence, but once here, just ignore any other route your GPS might indicate to get you there - ignore it since it will take you into the ZTL area. To be honest, GPS will say it includes "toll" road but the ZTL is worse than a toll road if you get a fine... so follow this map closely. You want to get to Piazza della Liberta and that is where you need to do a bit of an extra roundabout way to get to Via Nazionale - follow this route as it shows the correct way to turn. If you get on Viale Lavagnini from Piazza della Liberta', you cannot turn LEFT onto Via Nazionale. Via Nazionale then takes you straight to the train station and to the parking lot without entering the ZTL at all. It is a one-way street so once you're on that, keep going straight. Follow signs for "P Stazione" for the lot, there are signs.
Don't skip Florence, you can do it!! Hope you all enjoy the day and your visit to the Accademia