Hiring a car in Florence

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Hiring a car in Florence

Vibrant, romantic and utterly unique, pick up your hire car in Florence airport and experience one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

60-second guide to Florence

in its own head

"Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Botticelli and, more recently, Gucci, have all left their mark. This city has style, sophistication and beauty in the blood."

but more realistically

Florence was indeed at the epicentre of the Italian Renaissance and it shows. Even those whose artistic experience consists of playing with a colouring book when they were five will be moved. But it's also a bustling city with much else to enjoy.

the vibe

The city isn't simply a very large open-air gallery - it's Tuscany's business hub, which, when combined with the tourist hordes, make it a lively place to say the least.

the natives

It's a suave and vibrant city, and so are its people, who are never happier than when they're strutting about in an effortlessly chic manner.

the weather

You can't beat a warm spring day in Florence. The rest of the year isn't too bad either, but the summer months tend to be hot, humid and overflowing with tourists.

the local speciality

Like all Italians, Florentines are fiercely proud of their food. Try taking a diversion from pizza and pasta and tuck into ribollita - a hearty Tuscan vegetable soup.

the celebrity

Apart from all those Renaissance artists and fashion designers, Florence was also home to the powerful financiers of the Medici family and explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

did you know?

Without Florence, travelling would be a much bumpier experience. It was the first city in Europe to pave its streets, in 1339.

they say

"In Paris, you learn wit, in London you learn to crush your social rivals, and in Florence you learn poise." - American composer Virgil Thomson

5 to see in town...

1. Palazzo Pitti

This grand palace, built during the Renaissance by the Pitti family, is an opulent reminder of Florence's wealthy past and has excellent views of the city.

where to park?

The most convenient car park on the left bank of the Arno is at Piazza della Calza, along the old city walls just inside the Porta Romana. It's €1.50 per hour or €18 for the day.

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2. Galleria dell'Accademia

You can't visit Florence without seeing its most famous sculpture. Michelangelo's David stands in all his naked glory here.

where to park?

The nearest parking is under the Mercato Centrale di San Lorenzo. However, staying for longer than two hours is impossibly expensive until 2pm, so plan your visit for the afternoon when the hourly charge is just €2.

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3. Duomo, Campanile and Battistero

This collection of architectural delights - a cathedral, bell tower and baptistery - are clustered within walking distance of each other in the Piazza del Duomo.

where to park?

Leave your hire car at the 600-vehicle underground parking lot next to the train station. The first two hours cost €2 each, but it's €3 thereafter. Bring the entry ticket with you and pay from the desk before collecting your car.

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4. Uffizi Gallery

In the Premier League of galleries, the Uffizi is challenging for top spot. It is home to some of the world's finest art and, if that wasn't enough, the buildings are equally inspiring.

where to park?

The closest parking is along the Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia. You want the spaces outlined in blue, because the white ones are for residents only. It's pay-and-display and gets more expensive after the first hour.

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5. Church of Santa Croce

Many of the city's finest artists are buried in this church, which makes it of particular interest to those with a penchant for painting.

where to park?

The underground Parcheggio S. Ambrogio on Piazza Annigoni is only a short stroll away. Between 7am and 2pm it costs €1 for the first two hours, and €3 thereafter. 2pm to 8pm and on Sundays it's €1.50 per hour.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Chianti wine region

Enjoy a nice bottle of Chianti (preferably not with Hannibal Lecter) in the green rolling hills of central Tuscany.

how to get there?

Follow the SS222 right into the heart of Chianti's wine region and enjoy the beautiful views across the countryside. The drive should take you no longer than 40 minutes.

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2. Fiesole archaeology park

There was civilised life in Italy before the Romans, you know. Discover what life was like in this region before Caesar and his chums turned up, at this park.

how to get there?

Head south-west on Piazza del Grano toward Piazza de'Giudici. Follow the Lungarno Generale Armando Diaz straight and take the SP53, following signs to Fiesole. The journey should take no more than 15 minutes.

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3. Florentine Hills

Drive through the hills that surround Florence, stopping off in quaint villages along the way - after all, you don't want your holiday getting too strenuous.

how to get there?

Head south-west on Piazza del Grano toward Piazza de'Giudici and take the Via delle Porte Sante into the picturesque Florence Hills. You'll be out of the city and into the countryside in under ten minutes.

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4. Rocca of Populonia

Populonia was once the most important settlement in Tuscany, and this fortress is testament to its rich history

how to get there?

Head south-west on Piazza del Grano toward Piazza de'Giudici, and follow signs for the Via Enrico De Nicola. Take the SP127 and A1 towards Populonia - these are both toll roads so have some cash ready in advance. The journey should take around two hours, traffic permitting.

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