September 6, 2015, 10:39 PM
Travel from Milan to Florence
Hi I will be travelling from Milan to Florence in November with friends. We will be staying to Florence 4 days and return to Milan. Is it good idea to rent a car?How many hours it will take us by car considering the traffic?
September 6, 2015, 11:16 PM
Travelling from Milan to Florence
I just travel Florence/Milan and then back again to go to the EXPO 2015 and I used the trains. It was so easy and convenient - no worries about traffic, driving and the relax was perfect.
If you are planning spending most of your time explore the beautiful city of Florence then I would definitely take the train. Even if you want to visit Siena / San Gimignano or Chianti - you can reserve on an organized tour and enjoy everything without renting a car....and Pisa or Siena are also very easy to navigate with public transport.
September 9, 2015, 09:35 PM
Thanks! If I want to rent a car is it a good idea?Is there much traffic and how many hours does it take to get from Milan to Florence?
September 10, 2015, 12:35 PM
The car ride from Milan airport (considering Malpensa) to Florence is around 3 hours and 45 minutes.
The train ride from Milano Centrale (so you do need to get there first) to Florence's SMN is under 2 hours, about 1 hour and 40 minutes. So if you do not plan on stopping along the way to see places, the train is convenient.... depends on how many friends you are total, of course the car might turn out to cost less for the drive down than the train, check it out both ways.
The truth is that if you're going to stay in the center of Florence for your 4 days and use it as a base, the car isn't a good idea. Unless you stay outside of the historical center with parking included.
The historical center is a ZTL area, which means a traffic limited area that only those with special permits can enter. Read more about it here. So if you stay in the center, it is likely the car has to remain outside of the center parked - parking is mostly PAID so you have to consider that as an additional expense.
In 4 days, I would suggest no car and spend 2 full days in Florence, then on another day take train to Pisa and then on to Lucca for a full day out. The last day can be day trip to Siena.
The plan would be similar if you do have a car but stay outside of the center or even in the surroundings, although you won't need the car for the time you spend visiting Florence. Florence is a walkable city as it is quite small, then with cars being limited it is great to walk around.
Take a look at http://www.florenceaccommodation.com for places to stay - if you do want the car, I suggest staying outside of the center or in the surroundings (where you can just catch a bus to town).
July 24, 2016, 09:56 PM
question: how to get from Milan airport to train station
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET FROM THE AIRPORT TO THE TRAIN STATION, ESPECIALLY WITH JETLAG AND MINIMAL ITALIAN?
July 24, 2016, 10:07 PM
transport from Milan airport
I just updated (last week) our article on getting to Florence from the Milan airport...have a read and see if it covers what you are looking for:
August 9, 2016, 01:02 AM
Great information for me. I have a question about train reservations. I have heard that it is cheaper to reserve a train seat ahead. Since I'll be flying in the day I want the train, I don't think I can pick a time. Are all reservations available through Trenitalia?
PS. I love your website. So helpful
August 9, 2016, 12:14 PM
first off thanks for the compliment on the site --- it is nice to know!
It is true you can save if you reserve inadvance and it is also true that sometimes the train you "want" is no longer available if you wait too long...however when you are flying you can't always control your time schedule so you risk getting a train ticket for a time you can't respect. Then you have the hassle of trying to recup the expense of the ticket...
Personally, when I am flying in, I just take the first train availble (which sometimes is even earlier than the one you would have booked) BUT if I am based somewhere and want to move around (when I have more control over my start time) then I will definitely book ahead as much as possible to get the best price and the desired time schedule.
August 9, 2016, 05:08 PM
Generally, all travel in Tuscany you'll be doing is REGIONAL so there are hardly ever any "sales" for those types of tickets. Which means it doesn't matter if you buy ahead of time or not.
The ones that you can find special offers on and save a bit on are often between the large cities across Italy, for example, between Milan and Rome, or Rome and Venice, or Florence and Milan, just as examples. If you go to the trenitalia.com home page, you'll see the special offers right on that home page's slideshow. That'll give you an idea of what you can buy ahead of time -- it makes sense if you are using train to move across Italy and know more or less the days you are traveling between each city, once you're here. Not really for when you first arrive (I would also just get a train ticket from the airport once there, so you can pick the next one and not worry about times --- and the shuttle between the airport and city is always fixed, no offers there anyways).