Driving in Florence
FLORENCE BY CAR
If you decide to travel to Italy and come to Florence by car, you need to be aware of the limitations you may encounter. Florence city center was clearly not designed for modern traffic needs. It is usually wise to leave your car parked, so before you come to Florence, ask your hotel if they have a car parking space or if they are affiliated with any Garage close to their location and fee per day.
Florence Centre is very restricted to traffic and controlled by a network of video cameras - all vehicles without permit for ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato = Limited Traffic Zone) will not be allowed to traffic through from 7:30am to 7:30pm - And also in Summertime (May-September) there is an additional restriction during Summer weekends (from Thursday to Sunday): from 11.00pm to 4:00am in the morning.
If you need to get to your pre-booked Hotel/accommodation, located in the ZTL area, with your car during those hours, you can inform your Hotel with your car details (license plate, model, etc), they will pass the information to the local city police. This will allow visitors to enter the ZTL to load and unload their car, but must afterwards move and park it outside the ZTL area.
ZTL - Limited Traffic Zone in Florence has several entrance points equipped with video surveillance cameras to detect and photograph license plates of all the vehicles passing through – pay attention to the signs and access times or flashlights (they must be green). Any vehicle entering without a ZTL permit will get eventually a fine back home, the urban police will reach you helped by rental car agency records. Follow all directions given by your Hotel or accommodation host to reach them.
Tourists will have temporary permits, also make sure you keep within the permit time and area given. Either your Hotel or Garage can obtain the permit for you to enter the ZTL for a maximum of 2 hours on the arrival and departure days.
Outside of the ZTL, the city is divided into controlled parking zones (different fees are applied depending on the zones). Visitors should park in the blue marked spaces and pay ahead for the hours one intends to park (bring coins with you, but be aware that small change is not accepted). Parcometer Machines will issue a printed ticket to place on your vehicle dashboard (inside the car) so that city urban police can check if you paid the parking passing by your car (if not, they will leave a fine on your car).
White lines are spaces reserved for RESIDENTS only.
You can find a list of parking lots HERE, where you can pay by the hour, these parking lots are organized with discounted daily and night-time rates, best if you intend to park for longer periods of time at convenient prices.
ACI (Automobile Club d'Italia) can assist you if your vehicle breaks down. ACI is actually a service like AA in UK and AAA in USA - providing road assistance to subscribers, and in Emergency cases.
Watching Italy play at Euro 20...
Giotto Bell Tower
The Annalena Gardens
Basilica of San Lorenzo
Sunset over Ponte Vecchio
"If God had really intended men to fly, he'd make it easier to get to the airport" - George Winters