Florence transportation question

Feb 10th, 2010, 06:18 AM
  #1  
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Florence transportation question

I will be part of a group of five. We are spending most of our holiday in Bonassola, near Levanto. We will have a rental car. Two of us are flying home from Florence on the day after we check out of our villa. We will spend the night before departure at the Hilton Garden Inn Novoli. The other three are going on by rail to Venice for a few days. Our plan is to take the car to the Florence airport to drop off. Go from there to the Hilton Garden Inn to drop luggage. Then into the city center by public transportation. We will all spend the day in Florence. The three going on to Venice will take the train in the evening, the other two will return to the hotel. I need help with the logistics.

1. Can the travelers going to Venice leave their luggage at the rail station while they tour Florence?
2. Is there a bus from the airport (Peterola) to the Hilton Garden Inn or is a taxi the preferred choice? Should we take a taxi or bus into Florence?
3. Assuming only the two staying at the Hilton Garden Inn will go there to leave luggage and the other three will go on to Florence, is there an easy to designate (virtually unmissable) meeting point for the group in Florence?


Thank you.
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 06:24 AM
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1. Yes

Why doesn't everyone go to the train station and store luggage? At the end of the day pick up your luggage and transfer to your hotel or Venice.
kybourbon is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 08:52 AM
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Thank you for the link, kybourbon. The hotel is very near the airport and we thought it would be easier to leave the luggage there than have to schlep it into town on a bus.
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 09:12 AM
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Since the rest of your group will need to check luggage at the station, why not meet them there? There's a shuttle bus from the airport to the train station. Travel time should only be about 15-20 minutes and the price is probably less than 5€. I would assume your hotel would be on a city bus line - perhaps look at ATAF or SITA.
kybourbon is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 09:13 AM
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Another alternative would be to drop the car at the Pisa airport. All of you take the train to Florence, leave luggage at left luggage at the train station. Return to the train station after sightseeing, you go to the hotel, the rest go to Venice.
notbob is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 09:19 AM
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Qfor kybourbon, Italian rail guru IMO, does the cost per bag escalate steeply after six hours of storage - was that way two years ago i think for me.
Palenque is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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As stated - 1. - yes, there is a luggage storage at Santa Maria Novella.
2. Taxi is faster and easier, especially with the luggage - but there probably is a bus that gets close - same goes for from the hotel into town. Almost all buses end up near or at the train station at some point.
3. If you don't want to meet in the train station - meet in the center of Piazza Santa Maria Novella. The square has just been re-done and there are some benches in the middle where you all can meet.

For the bus info, try the ATAF site: http://www.ataf.net/en-US/ATAF.aspx?LN=en-US
InFlorence is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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left luggage rates at SMN

Charges
4,00 € the first 5 hours
0,60 € /hour from 6th to 12th hour
0,20 € /hour from 13th hour on
notbob is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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PQ - You didn't look at my link which had the prices. The Grand Stazioni has links for the large stations in Italy which gives hours/price/location of the baggage facility in the terminal. Click on the city, service and then left luggage to get prices/hours. For smaller cities you can't get the price, but can see which has a luggage facility. Use Trenitalia (you must use the Italian version), click on "in regione", select a region, click "servizi in stazione" which will list all stations in that region and each station's amenities. Deposito bagagli is the last column. You will see not many stations offer it. There used to be a link for prices at smaller stations, but when Trenitalia updates their website, things tend to disappear. Perhaps someone else has a link for prices at smaller stations.


Sometimes it can be cheaper to store luggage at the airport (don't see it available for Florence though)if it's not out of your way. For example, the left luggage at Fiumicino is 6€ for 24 hours.
http://www.adr.it/portal/portal/adr/.../dentro_aero_1
kybourbon is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Thank you so much for the useful suggestions. I love the idea of meeting in the square. It is just the kind of place all of us would be happy sitting and watching Florence go by!
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 02:45 PM
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I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn this past fall. There is a bus that goes into the center of Florence. Takes you right past the train station and Piazza Santa Maria Novella.

Go out the back door of the hotel, turn right along the driveway and then left onto the road leading to the main street. Cross the main street by the grocery store (good place to buy wine/soda for your hotel room!) and the bus stop is about 1/2 block away on this street. The bus runs frequently and takes less than 15 minutes to get to its last stop, a block from Piazza della Repubblica which may also be a good place to meet.

The hotel is very nice! Newly refurbished and extremely clean. Sleep-number beds and the shower heads are wonderful (I didn't want to get out of the shower)!!! Staff is very friendly and accomodating. No nice views from the windows... but you won't be there anyway.

Enjoy and have a great trip!
joannyc is online now  
Feb 10th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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joannyc, your response is wonderful. Did you go to the airport from the hotel by any chance? Did you go by cab or bus?

Thank you so much for your response. It was exactly what I needed.
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 06:52 PM
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Glad to help!

No, sorry, I didn't go to the airport. I picked up a rental car at Europcar a couple of blocks away from the hotel and drove to Tuscany from there.

From whom are you renting your car? Try kemwel.com for the best prices. If you go with Kemwel, most likely you're rental will be with Europcar and you can drop the car right by the hotel instead of the airport (after dropping your luggage at the hotel and checking in, then just walk across the street and catch the bus!). It is not in a difficult driving area like the center would be.

Santa Maria Novella church doesn't look like 'all that' from the outside but the interior is just stunning! Or you can meet up with your friends at the carousel in P. della Repubblica.

Have a great trip! When you first see the Basilica and Baptistery... your jaw will hit the ground! It was really an OMG moment for me! ;-)
joannyc is online now  
Feb 11th, 2010, 05:33 AM
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We are very excited about the trip, joan. It will be the first time to Italy for three of the group. So much to see and do and so little time!

Thank you so much for your responses. You have been most helpful.
cmcfong is offline  
Feb 11th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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kybourbon -thanks for the link

and my advice to anyone retrieving luggage from the luggage depots is to allow ample time - say if you have a certain train at a certain time- lines for retrieval can be long and staff at times can be slow moving IME or even absent for some minutes, etc.
Palenque is offline  
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