PARKING IN FLORENCE

Parking in central Florence is relatively hard to come by, even more for the fact that the historical centre and its streets are closed off by the enforced ZTL (Limited Traffic Zone), allowing only vehicles with special permits to enter. If you have rented a car and are visiting Florence it is highly recommended to leave your car well outside Florence to avoid problems once closer into the city. That said, there are several options for parking in and near Florence:

  • Pay parking
  • Garages
  • Airport parking
  • Street parking
  • Free parking
  • Parking outside Florence

 

PAY PARKING:

Pay parking can be found at the train station of Santa Maria Novella, Fortezza Fiera, the underground parking at Porta al Prato, all on north side of Florence and convenient to the train station; Piazza Ghiberti near Sant'Ambrogio and Piazza Beccaria to the west, Porta Romana to the south, to name a few of the most central. Although outside the ZTL areas, walking to the historical centre from these parking lots will take about 10 minutes. From Porta Romana, bus number 36 just inside the gateway will take you straight into downtown Florence.

Parking costs an average of 1– 2 euro an hour (it usually costs more the longer you stay). For the day, expect to pay an average of 18-20 euro. For the night (from 6pm to 9am) expect to pay around 10-12 euro. The train station is the most expensive of these options. At all the others, the costs are slightly cheaper (eg. 1 euro for the first hour, 1.50 from the second hour onward, 50 cents an hour overnight).

 

GARAGES:

Definitely the most expensive option and cost even 80-100 euro a day. Garages can be convenient as they are located in central areas but for one thing, you need to drive through the ZTL to get to most of them, risking a fine (which can be waived if you organise it through the garage at the time).

 

AIRPORT PARKING: 

A relatively cheap alternative is parking near the airport (e.g. Giesse Parcheggio, FlyParking, Garage Aldo look http://www.parkvia.com). Current price is about 8-10 € per day. They offer a shuttle to the central railway station (about 20 Minutes to get there from the airport, 5 minutes walking distance to the center from there) for about 5 € one way or you can use bus or taxi to go to the city center. Additionally to the relatively cheap price you will not have to fight the traffic and often very tight roads in the center of Florence.

 

STREET PARKING:

The cheapest option is street parking which can be found along the Viale (avenues) surrounding the historical centre of Florence. This usually means it's about a 10 minute walk to arrive in the centre and it can often be difficult to find a space. Always look for the BLUE spaces (white are for residents only, yellow for handicapped parking). Find a ticket machine, purchase your ticket and display it on your dashboard.

If you plan to leave your car overnight, watch out for certain days of the week that are reserved for street cleaning which usually takes place between 12am-6am. You car could be towed. There are usually signs placed on each street that indicate the day of the week and whether it is an odd or even date that the street cleaning occurs, but the best indication is: it is usually difficult to find one car space, if you can see many of them, you should be asking yourself: why is no one parking here?

On the South-Eastern side of the city:

Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia is a good spot – it is all street parking and is less than a 10 minute walk to Santa Croce or the Uffizi area. If you arrive at the Biblioteca Nazionale (National Library), you have come too far and a traffic-light type sign will indicate that you won't be able to pass into the ZTL area.

The Viale between Piazza Beccaria and Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia also often has plenty of parking spaces and there is even a small carpark at the Torre della Zecca, just before the Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia begins (at the end of Via Malcontenti).

On the Oltrarno (south side of the river):

Just underneath Piazzale Michelangelo, plenty of street parking can be found along the picturesque Via dei Bastioni, which can be reached from Viale Michelangelo after coming down from Piazzale Michelangelo.

The western side of the oltrarno has parking at Porta San Frediano – there is a small parking lot just next to the “porta” (gateway) ,which can be reached by via Pisana or by Viale Petrarca if you are coming from the south. Be aware that the street of Borgo San Frediano is a ZTL area (there is a traffic-light type sign that indicates you cannot pass through).


FREE PARKING:

While free parking is almost impossible to come across in Florence, it does exist in Piazzale Michelangelo, which is also the only area that has no regular street cleaning so you can even park overnight without worrying about your car being towed. It is difficult to find a spot here, but if you do, from here it is a short and pleasant walk to town or you can take bus number 12 or 13 into the city, which will eventually take you to the train station unless you get off somewhere before.

Be aware that in the summer time there are often concerts and events on where they may close off part or all of the parking area – look for temporary signs and large amounts of empty spaces that should tell you that you cannot park. One particular event that takes place every year in Piazzale Michelangelo is the fireworks display to celebrate Florence's Patron Saint day – St John the Baptist day on June 24. You will not be able to park here around that time.


PARKING OUTSIDE FLORENCE:

A highly recommended safe and convenient way to park is to use the public transport system and park well out of the way of the ZTL and heavy traffic areas of Florence. Tram and bus share the same ticket (ATAF) and cost 1.20 euro for 90 minutes. The new tram system in Florence makes traveling into town very easy, convenient and fast (the tram has its own tracks and does not get caught in traffic!). It travels to and from Florence's main train station, Santa Maria Novella, to Scandicci. Parking lots have been created along the tram line to help commuters, so plenty of parking (and much of it free) can be found along the way.

A good suggestion that is easy to find is the large “Coop” supermarket parking of Viale Nenni. The tram stop is called Nenni-Torregalli and it is a short ride (10-15 minutes) straight to Florence from here. Tickets can be bought at any tabacconist or on board for a slightly higher price. You MUST validate your tickets once on board – these tickets can then be used for any tram or bus in Florence from the time you validate for 90 minutes.

Galluzzo to the south of Florence has a free parking lot near the main square. A bus stop for the number 36 or 37 bus will take you straight into Florence in just 10 minutes.


REFERENCES:

Driving in Italy: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g18...

Florence Parking (italian): http://www.firenzeparcheggi.it/

Florence Parking (english): http://en.parkopedia.it/parking/flore... 

Florence Tram route info: http://www.gestramvia.com/

Florence Bus schedule/route info: http://www.ataf.net/en/ataf.aspx?idC=...