Thursday, 2 August 2012

Where to park in Florence

Visitors aware of the ZTL (Zona a Traffico Limitato - Restricted traffic zone) covering the historic areas of Florence are right to ask the question "where to park in Florence". One answer is not to park anywhere near the historic centre but rather to drive to the suburb of Scandicci and park near a tram stop. The trams running into central Florence, currently along just one line, are large, comfortable, clean and convenient. They are also inexpensive and run frequently.  Trams and buses share the same ticket (ATAF) and cost 1.20 euro for 90 minutes.

Use a tram to avoid finding a place to park in Florence
A Florentine tram
The large “Ipercoop” supermarket in Scandicci has free parking off Viale Nenni.

Note that the Coop parking area proper closes shortly after they close (8 pm), but the parking lot right next to Viale Nenni does not close and is always open. To clarify: if you wanted to go to the Coop from the always open parking area, you would have to cross the smaller street (via Edoardo Detti) and cross the (closed) parking lot.

The tram stop is called Nenni-Torregalli and it is a short ride (10-15 minutes) straight to central Florence (SMN railway station) from there. Tickets can be bought at any tobacconist, many bars or on the tram 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 for 90 minutes from the time you validate (frank) the ticket.

Warning about a common car park scam  in Florence

You find a car park by the Arno with empty spaces and pull in. You are immediately approached by an "attendant" who tells you the price to park there is 20 euros per day. (There can be multiple "attendants" approaching the other cars entering the area.) The "attendant" writes you out a ticket which you put on the car. When you get back, you find that you have been fined 28 euros for not getting the ticket from the ticket machine. The "attendants" are scammers and typically do not wear any kind of uniform. They can be quite aggressive and might be predisposed to damage your car if you don't pay. The best course of action is to find a parking spot elsewhere.

More about traffic violations in Italy.

How to do Chianti without a car.

Getting around Tuscany.

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