Practical info and useful numbers
Sports and Leisure Activities
For information about what is happening in Florence, students can refer to the Tourist Information Office on Via Cavour 1/r or Piazza Stazione 4, where lists of current art exhibits, book readings, foodie and other cultural events, as well as information on lodging in the city are always available. Another good source of information on events in English is the tourist office website: www.firenzeturismo.it. Students can also decide to purchase the magazine ‘Firenze Spettacolo’ (€1.80, mostly in Italian) at newsstands or ‘The Florentine’ (available for free, in English only) at LdM, bookshops, and pick-up points throughout the city center.
Tickets and listings of nearly all upcoming concerts, plays, operas, ballets, sports events (except soccer) and more are available at Box Office Toscana (Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1; ph. 055 210804; www.boxofficetoscana.it).
Tickets to upcoming games of Florence’s soccer team, the ACF Fiorentina, can easily be purchased at Chiosco degli sportivi on via degli Anselmi, ph. 055 292363.
LdM Florence provides a variety of ways for students to get involved in the LdM and local communities, such as student clubs and organizations, daily sports and cultural activities, guest lectures and film screenings, city and weekend excursions and more. Students can also get involved by volunteering for one of the city’s many charities and community service associations. These extra-curricular activities are a great way to experience the local culture, make new friends and become an integral part of the city.
Street Numbering in Florence
The civic numbers in Florence’s historical center can be confusing for newcomers. Note that civic numbers for residential, hotels, and some offices are the color black or blue; whereas civic numbers for business and shops are red (followed by the letter “r”). Therefore it is normal, for example, to find 34 black/blue next to 160/r on the same street.
Florence boasts an extensive public transportation network and is close to international airports. Cycling in the city can be dangerous, thus it is recommended only for those used to cycling in big cities.
The Florence city bus company is called ATAF. It is the most inexpensive option for getting around the city. Tickets cost €1.20 for 90 minutes; weekly and monthly passes are also available. There are about 54 bus lines in Florence, and buses run from early morning (about 6:00 a.m.) to midnight. A few buses run all night, but they travel very general routes. At each bus stop, students will find the bus numbers that pass through that stop, as well as a list of all the stops on their respective routes, and the times of operation. For bus routes, schedules and any other information, visit www.ataf.net, call toll free 800.424.500, or go directly to the ATAF office located inside to the Santa Maria Novella train station.
Provincial and Regional Buses
SITA, LAZZI and CAP Buses: These three bus companies have routes that travel outside of Florence’s city limits. Bus terminals are located near the Santa Maria Novella train station.
SITA (toll free: 800 373760) is located in Via Santa Caterina da Siena and has buses that depart for Siena, San Gimignano, the Chianti wine country, and so forth.
LAZZI (ph. 055 363041) is located in Piazza Stazione 3 and has routes going to Lucca, Viareggio, Carrara and more.
CAP (ph. 055 214637) is located in Largo Alinari and has routes going to the Mugello area, Prato and the shopping mall ‘I Gigli’.
Taking a taxi in Florence may be expensive, but taxis can be shared. It is strongly advised that students take taxis when returning home late at night. In Italy, taxis can either be hailed or found at taxi stands in the main city squares (Duomo, San Marco, Repubblica), at the train stations, and at the airport. Taxis can also be booked via telephone for immediate pick-up or pick-up at a later time and date: ph. 055.4390 or 055.4242 (10% discount for women who travel alone between 9:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.). Late at night, students are advised to ask the nearest hotel to call a taxi on their behalf. When getting into a cab, the meter already shows an initial amount depending on the distance the taxi covered to arrive at the pick-up point. Rates vary widely, depending on the part of the city, the time of the day, and how many pieces of luggage the passenger may have. No checks or credit cards are accepted for payment. Unlike some other countries, in Italy tips to taxi drivers are not required.
Italy’s high-speed rail service puts all major Italian cities within easy reach of each other and major European destinations. The Trenitalia website (national railway service) is well-organized and also available in English. Bookings and payments can be done easily online with a credit card. A free mobile app is even available (ProntoTreno) that makes scheduling and booking a snap. For information on tickets, real-time train arrival and departure see www.trenitalia.com or call 892.021 (without any code but not from cell phones).
Private speed trains are also available at competitive prices see www.italotreno.it.
These are the primary airports serving LdM’s Florence campus:
Florence Amerigo Vespucci Airport, www.aeroporto.firenze.it
Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport, www.pisa-airport.com
Rome Fiumicino International Airport “Leonardo da Vinci”, www.adr.it
Milan Malpensa International Airport www.milanomalpensa-airport.com/it.
Getting to the Florence Airport
There are two options to get from the city center to the airport: the airport shuttle or a taxi. The airport shuttle leaves from the SITA bus station (Via S. Caterina da Siena, 17) every half hour (starting from 5:30 a.m.) and the ride takes about 25 minutes in normal traffic. The ticket costs €6 and can be purchased on board. Taxis can be reserved the night before by calling 055 4390 or 4242; the ride takes approximately 20-25 minutes in normal traffic and the cost is a €20 fixed rate (plus the telephone reservation and baggage fees).
The Florence airport shuts down at night and opens at around 5:15 a.m.
Getting to the Pisa Airport
There are two options to get to the Pisa airport from Florence: by train or bus. Purchase a train ticket to Pisa Aeroporto (not Pisa Centrale; it will cost around €6 and the ride will take about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The bus companies going to the Pisa airport are Terravision and Ryanair Bus; for more information see www.terravision.eu and www.airportbusexpress.it
Getting to the Rome Airport (“Leonardo da Vinci”, Fiumicino)
The train is the best solution to get to Rome’s international airport. Take the high-speed train from Florence to Roma Termini, which takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes and costs around €45. The train shuttle, called Leonardo Express, takes 40 minutes to get to the airport from Termini station and costs circa €14.
Getting to the Milan Airport (Malpensa)
Take the high-speed train from Florence to Milano Centrale; it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes and costs about €55. The shuttle bus to the airport departs from a designated area at Milano Centrale (follow the signs) and it takes about one hour to reach Malpensa.
Florence Airport – switchboard Tel. 055.3061300
Florence Airport Lost Luggage Tel. 055.3061302
Trenitalia (National Railway Information)Tel. 892.021
Tourist Information Center in Via Cavour 1/r Tel. 055.290832
Tourist Information Center in Piazza Stazione, 4 Tel. 055.212245
Carabinieri (local police) Tel. 112
Police Emergency Tel. 113
Fire Station Tel. 115
Ambulance – First Aid Tel. 118
Consulates in Florence
Brazil – Piazza Pitti, 5 Tel. 055.222336
China – Via della Robbia, 89r Tel. 055.5058188
France – Piazza Ognissanti, 2 Tel. 055.2302556
Germany – Lungarno Vespucci, 30 Tel. 055.294 722
Mexico – Via Arte della Lana, 4 Tel.055.217 831
Netherlands – Via Cavour, 81 Tel.055.475249
Russia – Corso Italia, 8 Tel.055.260 8940
Spain (Hon.) – Via dei Servi,13 Tel.055.212207
Sweden – Via B. Lupi, 14 Tel.055.499536
Turkey – Via D. da Castiglione, 8 Tel.055.2335640
United Kingdom – Lungarno Corsini, 2 Tel.055.284133
USA – Lungarno Vespucci, 38 Tel.055.266951
If the consulate of your country is not listed above, please contact the Student Advisor Office.
http://en.comune.fi.it – (English) for information on the City of Florence
www.hostels.com (English) – to find and book hostels in Italy and the rest of the world
www.hostelworld.com (English) – to find and book hostels in Italy and the rest of the world
www.cts.it (Italian only) – website of the Student Travel Agency. Good fares for students under 26!
www.raileurope.com (English) – all the info on EurailPasses
www.paginegialle.it (Italian only) – Italian Yellow Pages
www.paginebianche.it (Italian only) – phone book of any city in Italy
www.boxol.it (Italian and English) – to check about events, concerts, operas, etc. in Florence and Tuscany; it is possible to buy tickets online.
www.ldmnews.it (English) – for news and events in Florence and at LdM
www.theflorentine.net (English) – for news and events in Florence
www.turismo.intoscana.it (English and Italian) – for news and events throughout Tuscany
www.ansa.it (English and Italian) – for breaking news in Italy
www.lega-calcio.it/ita/atim.shtml (official website of Italian soccer) – to check Italian teams’ games, results, dates, etc.
www.lapulce.it (Italian only) – classified ads online
www.cinehall.it (English) – to check the schedule of movies in English at Odeon movie theater; with the LdM student card there is a special rate for the movie shows.
www.eurometeo.com (Italian and English) – weather in Italy and the rest of Europe
maps.google.com – customized directions including walking paths and bus stops are often included in beta versio