Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Parking in Florence
Parking in Florence is not that difficult - we have managed easily a few times. We don't have lots of experience, but here are a few ideas. Note, if you are driving to Florence from southern Tuscany, it is easier to take the train from Chiusi.
Parking East of Santa Croce Along the Arno
If you are coming from the Chianti region on S222, just follow it straight north into Florence. S222 goes under the autostrada, then joins a more major road to goes into Florence. When you pass over the River Arno, take a left at the first intersection. This road runs along the river. It soon turns into a divided road with parking in the middle between the two lanes. This is a good place to park. Park before you come to Viale Giovanni Amendola, a main street. After this you are really in the center of Florence.
This is a "blue line" pay parking area, so find a parking machine and buy a ticket. Display it on your windshield. You can walk into Florence. We parked here a few times. But, beware of fake parking lot attendants.
Porta Romana Parking
Martin Wenick from Italian Vacation Villas has another good place to park.
"Aside from the large parking garage under the train station, another place to park is the pay lot adjacent to Porta Romana. For those entering the city from the Firenze Certosa area, you'll be coming down the hill toward the city center. At the bottom of the hill there is a small circle. You'll see the Porta Romana straight ahead of you. Just to the left is the entrance to an outdoor parking area. The further along you go, once into the area, the closer you are to the city center. You can either walk into town from there or take a taxi or public transportation."
Parking at the Train Station
JenniferNY from the message board sent us this information in July 2003: "We took the A1 to Florence, and exited at Firenze-Certosa, then followed our map to the train station. We didn't see signs to the train station specifically, but we made our way over by roughly following signs to "centro" and looking at the map. We crossed the river at Ponte Vespucci. Once we got to the Piazza della Stazione, the parking lot was easy to see -- marked by the big blue "P" sign, and a ramp going underground.
We arrived at 8:30am on a Thursday, and we had no trouble finding a spot on the 1st level that we looked in. You get a ticket at the entrance, and then before you go to your car to leave, you put the ticket in one of the self-pay machines to pay, and then after you get your car, you insert the paid ticket to leave at the gate. We parked there from 8:30am - 5:30 pm and it was about 25 euros.
Oh, and you can also walk from the parking lot to the underground train station concourse, and then out to the streets. It was quite easy, and I would definitely park there again. Expensive for the day, but at least our car wasn't baking in the 90-degree sun all day!
Sally Watkins says "The best parking in Florence is at the rail station, which has a garage of several levels underground. It may take lots of driving around inside to find a vacant space, so do allow time!"
Kerry S. Ouellet, April 2007
If the parking lines are blue, you need to pay to park. If someone is there to help you park, first check that there is no pay machine where you pay and get a ticket to place on your dashboard (the box will have a white P in a blue square above it). We were totally scammed in Florence (at the Piazza Piave, maybe a half mile east from the Ponte Vecchia). We drove into the lot (just happy that we had survived the inner-city traffic), and this "nice" man guided us into a space. He asked if we wanted to stay all day. We said yes. He asked for 20 Euro, which we thought was expensive, but we decided it was worth it not to have to keep looking for a space. He gave us a ticket that said 20 Euro, and we put it on the dashboard. But, when we arrived back at the car, we had a parking ticket (35 Euro!!!). So just look for the parking box, and say no to the attendant.
Car Window Washers
Kerry S. Ouellet, April 2007
Whereas in the US (at least in the Boston area), when you're stopped at a red light, you may have people wandering through traffic selling papers or just asking for spare change, in Florence and other cities in Italy, there will be people ready to wash your car windows. If you're expecting it, just wave them off. One guy started washing my window before I knew what was happening (I was looking for road signs), and the next thing I knew, the guy was begging for payment. I really didn't understand a word he said, but the guys in the military vehicle next to me had a great laugh at my expense as I kept shaking my head at the window washer. He was not pleased.
www.firenzeparcheggi.it: a good web site with a map showing parking lots in Florence. There is an English version.
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