Florence Train Station Visitor Guide 2023: Everything you need to know
At this, the busiest train station in Italy, 160,000 passengers pass through every day. With nineteen platforms, trains are traveling to and from both local and farther afield European destinations. Its position in the center of town makes for easy sightseeing and exploring of the Tuscan capital, renowned for its art and architecture.
This city is home to works by Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Da Vinci, so if you like name-dropping, this is a good place to start. But Renaissance art is not all this city has to offer. The Ponte Vecchio is probably one of the most famous bridges in the world and if you don't believe me, just ask any Italian in the area.
Of course, art and architecture aren't for everyone. The food here still bears the influence of medieval history that is so indelibly linked to Tuscan recipes. You can ramble through narrow cobbled streets and sample the culinary delights of innumerable little trattorias.
One thing that might prove to be an impediment to your enjoyment, would be having to drag your luggage with you. Fortunately, there are conveniently located luggage locker services near Florence train station that will be able to safely relieve you of your burden and allow you to explore this gem of a city unencumbered.
Florence Station Baggage policy
Florence Station is a big place. There are no rules against only bags you can bring, and you’ll see plenty of other passengers carrying lots of luggage with them. However, it’s never a good idea to carry more than you need to. Unfortunately, the train station doesn’t have a baggage storage facility. You’ll have to find one in the surrounding area. Luckily, Bounce has you covered.
This station houses a tourist information center, shops, restaurants, a currency exchange, and a passenger lounge. The station itself is a mere ten to twenty minutes walk from most of the important museums and sights, so despite all that it offers, you may want to move on fairly quickly.
Just outside the station is a major bus hub which will allow you access to all of the city. This might be useful but it is worth remembering that the ancient city center is really quite small and mainly pedestrianized, so touring on foot is straightforward. Grab a taxi if you run out of steam. You need to call them or go to a taxi stand, as they don't stop when hailed.
Florence Station food policy
Italy is known for its food. Even before you leave the station, you'll find plenty of places to eat. These range from simple and familiar takeout outlets like McDonald's to the glitzy and popular Fratelli Cuore restaurant located inside the station, we'll most likely need a reservation to get in. The lower level of the station is full of various stores including miniature supermarkets we can grab almost any type of food you might want. Of course, the central location of the station to the city means you have your pick of restaurants in the vicinity.
One dish you will come across is the Bistecca alla Fiorentina. This is a large T bone steak weighing between 2 and 8 lbs. If you order it, it will be presented raw for your approval, and then taken away and cooked over a wood-burning fire. It will be browned on the outside and pink on the inside. Any deviations from this style will be frowned upon.
Every pasta dish you can imagine will be readily available as well as, of course, thin-crust traditional pizza cooked in a wood oven. If unusual street food is your thing, Lampredotto is a typical Florentine sandwich filled with sliced tripe, often sold by street vendors.
For breakfast, the norm is a stuffed Cornetti pastry accompanied by strong black coffee.
Florence Station camera policy
Cameras are definitely allowed inside the station, and you can take all the selfies and other photos you want. However, due to how busy it gets, the station is not a good place to try and use a tripod, lights, or other more professional photography gear. Instead, the best thing to do is drop off your equipment at a luggage storage service near Florence Train Station so that you're not carrying more than you need to. If possible, content yourself with photos from your phone and leave the more commercial style photos to the professionals.
Florence Station rules
- Smoking is not allowed inside the station. You'll need to go outside if you want to light up. However, some of the train platforms to allow smoking in designated areas far away from the building itself.
- As is the case in most of Europe, open containers of alcohol are permitted. However, public intoxication is not.
- Make sure to keep your ticket on you while on the train. Ticket inspections happen frequently, and being a tourist is no excuse for not having a valid ticket.
There are a few things to know about this city that will make your life just that little bit easier:
- Purchase tickets to museums and galleries online in advance unless you don't mind spending hours queuing.
- Wear footwear appropriate to walking over cobbled streets.
- Pickpockets abound and carrying luggage just makes you a target.
- If your order a drink or meal within sight of the Ponte Vecchio, you may need to sell a kidney to pay for it. You can pay a fraction of the price at restaurants and coffee shops a few blocks away.
- When visiting some of the famous churches and cathedrals, bare shoulders, shorts or immodest dress may see you being denied access.
- Don't expect uniform opening hours for museums and other attractions. They all seem to do their own thing, so check in advance.
Florence Station lockers
Though the station itself does not rent lockers, there are rental facilities in the area. Ideally, you should try to find one that offers online booking and includes free insurance, thus guaranteeing peace of mind for what will undoubtedly be a memorable visit.