La Toscana: Getting to and around Tuscany
You can get just about anywhere in Tuscany on the network of local, provincial, and regional lines, but timetables aren’t always easy to come by or to figure out and sometimes. To make things a bit more complicated sometimes they aren’t displayed at the stops either. Most tourist information offices will have timetables as well as at the head office of the bus company.
In Florence the main city centre services are run by ATAF, and other services running to the outskirts and nearby towns are operated by SITA, LAZZI and CAP. The ticketing offices or biglietteria and depots of most of the bus lines based in Florence are very near the main train station at Santa Maria Novella.
Regional intercity coaches are called pullman, in Italian though autobus, the term for a city bus, is also sometimes used.
Urban Bus services
Piazza Stazione (side Piazza Adua)
Tel: 055 5650 642 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 055 5650 642 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Ataf’s orange buses are by far the most common and inexpensive in Florence and run all over the city connecting all of the city’s outskirts with the city centre and beyond. The routes and timetables can be found on the website printed timetables and route planners can be obtained from the main ATAF office located outside the Santa Maria Novella train Station.
On weekdays and Saturdays there are more buses than on Sunday and Bank Holidays, and most services start around 6am until 1am the following morning. The so-called night service runs until little after 1am so if you leave it late to get home, you will most likely have to take a taxi.
The terminal stop of a particular bus route is called the capolinea and is usually found at the town’s final destination stop, if not the main bus station. Tickets and bus passes can be bought at the stations, the main ATAF ticket office in Piazza Stazione, and many news-stands, tobacconists or tabacchi (signaled by a sign with a white T), or occasionally a bar. When the tabacchi close around 7pm, tickets can usually be purchased from the bus driver (9.00pm to 6.00am). Look for the little orange ATAF stickers on the shop windows or main entrance or there are signs put out on the pavement. You can buy a one-use ticket that can be used for up to 1 hour after you have stamped it, 4 journey tickets, day tickets and three day tickets. If you are in Florence for longer periods, you may decide to buy a monthly tickets, or abbonamento that work out much more cost effective than buying a single use ticket each time. Check the ATAF website for up to date information about ticket prices.
In Florence, just like the rest of Italy, people don’t queue for the buses, everyone just piles on. Its a system that works perfectly well but do be careful of the doors closing suddenly on you, and of pickpockets which can operate on popular or touristy bus routes. Remember to validate your ticket in the machines at the front and back of the buses, as there are regular checks by plain cloths ticket inspectors, and the fines for not having a ticket are hefty.
Ataf also run small electric buses that serve routes along the narrow streets in between Piazza Signoria, Ponte Vecchio and the Lungarno. The routes are circular link the west and east sides of the city.
City Sightseeing Italy S.r.l.
Piazza Stazione 1
Tel: 055 2645 363 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 055 2645 363 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax: 055 2675 378
The CitySightseeing Italy – Florence Tour Bus Service created by ATAF, Florentia Bus and City Sightseeing is a daily bus service that allows you to see all the major tourist sites in Florence. On board the buses, hostesses give passengers an audio guide service in seven languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese) and takes you on a 16-km route that winds its way through the city with fifteen stops, from Santa Maria Novella station to Piazzale Michelangelo. Tickets are valid for 24 hours, so you can get on and off as much as you want. If you just stay on the bus, the tour lasts approximately 50 minutes. A bus departs every thirty minutes from 9 am to 7:30 pm; and once an hour from 7:30 to 11:30 pm. You can buy them on board or at most hotels.
Bus excursions outside Florence
Via Mercadente 2
Tel: 055 363 041 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 055 363 041 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Lazzi coach company operates services around Florence, to the towns in the surrounding areas of Tuscany, such as Pisa, Empoli and Montecatini. The website offers more information on timetables and ticket prices.
Via Santa Caterina da Siena, 17
Tel: 055 219 383 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 055 219 383 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or 055 217 154 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 055 217 154 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Fax: 055 214 537
Opening Times: from Monday to Friday 8:30am to 18:30, Saturday and Sunday 8:30am to 12:00
SITA offers trips around Florence (both during the day and at night), to Pisa, San Gimignano, the Chianti region and also the fantastic clothes outlet located in Leccio, to the south of Florence, The Mall which sells great name Italian designer clothes at prices cheaper than what you would find in the shops. Sita also has services that run into the other regions of Italy and can be found on the website. The main ticket office or biglietteria and service departure point is located inside the Autostazione Sita, next to the Santa Maria Novella train station at the address mentioned above.
Largo Alinari 11
Tel: 055 214 637 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 055 214 637 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or 055 292 268 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 055 292 268 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Cap is another of Tuscany’s bus services, that goes mainly to the nearby town of Prato and other small towns surrounding Florence such as Pistoia, Siena and Galuzzo. Their website gives more information on prices, schedules and services offered and the type of tickets you can buy.Commenti (2) | March 9, 2010