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Long-distance buses provide inexpensive if somewhat claustrophobic service between Florence and other cities in Italy and Europe. Lazzi Eurolines and SITA are the major lines; they have neatly divided up their routes, so there's little overlap.
Once you're here, Florence's flat, compact city center is made for walking, but when your feet get weary you can use the efficient bus system, which includes small electric buses making the rounds in the center. Buses also climb to Piazzale Michelangelo and San Miniato south of the Arno.
Maps and timetables for local bus service are available for a small fee at most newsagents, or for free at visitor information offices. Tickets must be bought in advance from tobacco shops, newsstands, automatic ticket machines near main stops, or ATAF booths. The ticket must be canceled in the small validation machine immediately upon boarding.
You have several ticket options, all valid for one or more rides on all lines. A €1.20 ticket is good for one hour from the time it's first canceled. A multiple ticket—four tickets, each valid for 70 minutes—costs €4.50. A 24-hour tourist ticket costs €5. Two-, three-, and seven-day passes are also available.
Lazzi Eurolines (Via Mercadante 2, Santa Maria Novella, Florence, 50231. 0573/193-7900. www.lazzi.it.)
SITA (Via Santa Caterina da Siena 17/r, Santa Maria Novella, Florence, 50123. 055/47821. www.sita-on-line.it.)
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