Florence city centre versus Florence Inner city
When we say that an apartment is centrally located or in the Florence city centre, this means that it is situated inside the avenues ring that surronds the city centre.
These avenues arise where once there were old walls that were destroyed 2 centuries ago. This area is clearly visible if you see the map of the city.
The Florence city centre is traffic limited area.
The neighborhoods of San Lorenzo, Santa Croce and San Giovanni lie to the north, while those of Santo Spirito, San Frediano and San Niccolo lie to the south. All these neighborhoods are centrally located. The San Giovanni quarter, where you find the Duomo, the Baptistry and Palazzo Vecchio you might call the heart of the city center.
The principal museums and churches of Florence are located both to the south and to the north of the river. In the center of the city you will find houses dating back to Medieval, Renaissance, Neoclassical and early 19th Century times, but never modern homes.
When, on the other hand, we say that an apartment if located in the Florence Inner city this means that it is outside the ring of roads circling the city where once there stood the last city walls, destroyed in the middle of the 1800's. Here you may see apartment houses dating to the 1800's as well as modern ones.
Distances in cities like Florence, city blocks are of different sizes; you can't measure distances by them.
The center of Florence is a marvellous, complex "urban organism" composed of homes, museums, churches, squares, streets, narrow alleys, palaces, shops, schools, garages etc. Almost all streets have commercial establishments, and are punctuated by bars, cafes and restaurants. The city offers a vast selection of restaurants and trattorie.
For visitors arriving by car it is important to know that the center of Florence, is restricted traffic zone called ZTL. All the apartments located in the Florence city centre are within the traffic zone.
We invite you to read this importat link where you can see the ZTL map.
Within this area, access, circulation and parking are regulated by specific rules.
The ZTL is bounded by a series of telematic gates on which are mounted telepass technology equipment signaled by appropriate signs, which automatically detect the number plates of all vehicles passing through it.
The ZTL is made up of five sectors: A, B, O, F and G (it is advisable to view the map for the exact location).
In sectors A, B and O, the ZTL is active all year round, on weekdays, with the following hours:
Monday to Friday from 7.30 to 20.00 and Saturday from 7.30 to 16.00.
From the first Thursday of April to the first of October the summer nighttime ZTL is active.
The ZTL discipline, in this period, has passed on all sectors (A, B, O, F and G), also on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights with the following times:
- from 23.00 on Thursday to 3.00 on Friday
- from 23.00 on Friday to 3.00 on Saturday
- from 23.00 on Saturday to 3.00 on Sunday
If you are thinking of bringing a car the simplest thing to do is to put it in a garage, of which there are many.
The average garage price per day for a medium-sized auto is 25/30 Euros.
However, we strongly suggest that you not arrive in Florence with a car, unless you are returning a hired car.
The train station, Santa Maria Novella, is centrally located, as are the main bus companies. Lucca, Pisa, Siena, Rome and Venice have good train connections to Florence, which is located in the center of Italy and is an excellent base for all excursions.
But if you really want to have a car in Florence, the only thing to do is to pay a garage's daily charges, and take the car when you want to leave the center.
The viability of the city is rather complicated: the streets are narrow and it's not hard to lose your patience!
Otherwise you can park your car in this parking Villa Costanza “Drive and Tramway”. Park your car within the highway, catch the tram and reach Florence city centre in just a few minutes.
Outside the city centre the situation is better, you can freely circulate but especially in the neighborhoodscloser the city centre there are some restriction for parking.
You get around easily on foot, by bicycle (there is bike sharing like MOBIKE) and with public transportation. It takes at most 30 to 45 minutes to cross the center of Florence from one end to the other.
For those feeling a bit lazy, or in a hurry, little electric buses connect the various zones of the city. They cost, like regular city buses,1.20 Euro for a ticket lasting 90 minutes. Otherwise we suggest to use the bike sharing with “free flow” using Mobike app. There are more than 500 bikes on the streets ready to be used!
We suggest you to live Florence by walking as much as possible. Losing yourself in the city's streets, simply following your instincts and your curiosity, is an excellent way to discover the unusual aspects it offers. Try going outside of the usual circuits; it will make your stay unforgettable. Even now we discover - and we don't exaggerate - with horror that many people think Florence is nothing but the Duomo and the Uffizi. Florence is surrounded by beautiful, picturesque hills punctuated by elegants villas and panoramiic roads which offer marvellous scenarios.
If you're short of time it would be better to skip a visit to a museum, rather than that to skip a visit to San Miniato all Monte above Piazzale Michelangelo or Forte Belvedere! Or, for those who have little time but strong legs and strong lungs we suggest admiring Florence from on high, climbing up Brunelleschi's Cupola - the Cathedral's Dome - or the Campanile of Giotto - its Bell Tower.
In the Florence city centre there are only small supermarkets and food stores and two large covered markets (San Lorenzo and Sant'Ambrogio) which I suggest you visit and do some of your shopping.
Food Stores: Carrefour, Conad and Conad city, Simply, Crai,
Click here to open map
Some food stores and minimarkets are open on Sundays too. Florence is full of laundries, automatic laundries! Florence is often referred to as a city to the measure of man and woman.