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"Florentine and Tuscan charcuterie is indeed very good and since the Middle Ages it had been a precious produce, made by individual families for their personal use" Abstract from the »Regional Food section
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PRACTICAL FLORENCE INFO: USEFUL NUMBERS, RENTALS, TRANSPORTATION...From useful numbers to have, over to Italian cell phone rentals or Florence bicycle rentals, to transportation information these are the practical information pages without which you cannot leave!...
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Florence Transportation, Buses, Trains, Taxis...
Florence BusesPublic buses are really good; they belong to the ATAF company (the information offices are at Piazza Stazione, 055-650222). There are many different buses, which take one to every part of the city and to the surroundings, almost 24 hours a day (service closes at 12:30am approximately and reopens at 6:00am).
Most the buses pass through Piazza Stazione.
We, of course, recommend to live the city on foot, but if the distance to an interesting place is quite long, then it is good to take a bus. For example, buses n. 12 and 13 take you to Piazzale Michelangelo and n. 7 to Fiesole.
The experience is quite interesting because often buses are full and one can mix with the real Florentine sounds, expressions and behaviours.
One gets on the bus through the rear or the front door and gets off through the central door (the red button located on different parts of the bus must be pushed, it sounds, before the next bus stop to let the driver know that he has to stop).
Bus Tickets can be bought at a bar or at a newspaper kiosk, besides the ticket office, in this case Piazza Stazione. They are of four types:
The one-trip ticket can also be bought on the bus and costs €2.00.
The ticket must be validated once one gets on the bus, making sure the date and time are printed.
If one has to get on more than one bus, only one validation is necessary if the time lapse between the first trip and the others is within the time indicated on the ticket.
Now they also sell digital cards, carta AGILE (they are useful for those who use buses a lot), of €10.00 and €20.00: the card must be passed in front of the digital display in the ticket machine on the bus and when the machine sounds it displays the validation for that specific trip.
Florence Long Distance CoachesIf one would like to visit other towns or cities close to Florence, there is the train, of course, with several trips each day to the closest cities and towns. However, there is also another means of transportation, which is the 'pullman'.They are the buses for the trips outside the city. They belong to different companies. The main three are:
Florence TaxisTaxis (the service is called 'radiotaxi') have a good service, even though they are a little expensive.
When there are public transportation strikes or it rains a lot, taxis are very busy (and sometimes taxi drivers are not in a good mood) and it takes longer to find one.
Always take an official taxi: it is white with yellow/orange stripes, the lit sign on the roof and each has a small number and company logo on both sides. Preferably take a taxi that is parked (the closest location to Casa Howard is Piazza Santa Maria Novella, a few meters from the guest house) or call it (operators are very nice). While they are running they donít stop often.
They are not used to receiving tips from Italians.
Numbers: 055-4390 and 055-4798 / 4242 (the last two are of the same company).
Florence TrainsFor travelling by train it is better to buy the ticket in advance at the ticket office inside the Santa Maria Novella train station or at the automatic machines. Lines are often long at the ticket offices, but buying the ticket on the train costs a little more because of the fees. Before getting on the train the ticket must be validated. The validating machines are usually yellow and located at the beginning of the 'binari' (rail lines). Call Center: 892021.
Florence AirportFlorence has one airport: Aeroporto Amerigo Vespucci, located on the suburbs of Florence, at Peretola, Via del Termine, 11; tel. 055-3061300. Taxi transportation costs approximately €20.00.