Florence buses and trams

One of the minibuses that service the center of Florence, Florence by bus, Florence, Italy (Photo by Hubert Gajewski)
One of the minibuses that service the center of Florence

How to use the city bus system in Florence

You'll rarely need to use Florence's efficient bus system since the city is so wonderfully compact.

Many visitors accustomed to big cities like Rome step off their arriving train and onto a city bus out of habit, aiming to reach the center. Problem is, unlike in most other major European cities, the Florence train station is already in the historic center; ride more than ten minutes on the bus and you'll find yourself out in the suburbs.

Seriously. The Duomo is a mere five– to seven-minute walk from the train station. In fact, it only takes about a half an hour's stroll to traverse the city from one end to the other.

Outlying sights and the buses you need to get to them

However, to get your bags from the station to your hotel, or to visit the most outlying attractions (see sidebar), the bus system might prove useful.

The Florence bus system

Almost all buses begin, end, or stop at Piazza Stazione, in front of the main train station, Santa Maria Novella. many also pass through Piazza San Marco (near the Accademia and its David). Except for the minibuses (see below), the historic center itself is not very well serviced—though the minbuses can be useful (see below).

You can see maps of the lines at the ATAF bus service website (Ataf.net).

Just remember: On most lines, after three or four stops, you're already out of Florence on your way to the hills.

The exception are the four minibuses:

The minibuses of Florence's historic center

There are four lines of minibuses: C1, C2, C3, and C4. These trundle around the historic center. Again, this area is so small most visitors will have no trouble walking from place to place.

Also, it must be said that the buses don't follow the most logical routes for tourists, just ones that manage to work around the pedestrian zones and Byzantine system of one-way streets (in other words; they tend to go the long way around to get to the major sights).

However, for the mobility impaired, these minibuses have been a welcome relief.

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Related

One of the minibuses that service the center of Florence

Tickets and passes for riding the Florence Métro, bus, and tram public transit system

 

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A Flixbus in Italy (Photo Public Domain)

Long-distance bus travel in Italy