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From Rome to Florence: 4 Best Ways to Get There

Written by Diana Bocco
Aug 21, 2020

There are several options to get you from Rome to Florence: You can jump on a high-speed train for speed and convenience, save money by traveling on a long-distance bus, or try local buses and trains for even bigger savings without missing out on the views along the way.

For those who want speed, there are also many flights every week between the two cities. Organized tours of Florence are also available for those who prefer the company of a knowledgeable guide to show them the best corners of the city.

The capital city of the Tuscany region, Florence is often considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and the best destination in Italy for art lovers. Florence is just close enough for a day trip from Rome - albeit a long one - so you can discover the beauty of this ancient city and then head straight back to your hotel in Rome at the end of the day.

Whether you're visiting to see the famous art, discover the local architecture, or explore the Tuscan countryside, here's our list of the best ways to get from Rome to Florence.

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1. From Rome to Florence by Tour

Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River in Florence

If you're hoping to visit Florence as a day trip and then return to Rome, The Beauty of Florence in a Day Trip from Rome with Lunch Included is the perfect solution.

This 15-hour round-trip tour starts at 7:30am in the heart of Rome (hotel pickup is also available for centrally located hotels), where your driver and English-speaking guide will pick you up in an air-conditioned coach. From here, you'll drive south for three and a half hours, enjoying the views of olive groves and the sounds of the Tevere River as you crisscross through the Tuscan countryside.

Once in Florence, you'll have a chance to see many masterpieces of the Renaissance, including the Accademia Gallery, where Michelangelo's famous David sculpture is housed. Your guide will then take you on a walking tour of the city, where you'll get a chance to check out the Florence Duomo and Giotto's Bell Tower.

After a break to have lunch at a restaurant near Piazza della Signoria, you'll continue on to Basilica di Santa Croce to see Michelangelo's tomb.

The tour's last stop is at a craft school, where you'll see artisans working on leather-making, mosaics, and other characteristic Tuscan crafts. Once you're finished touring, your coach will be waiting outside to drive you back to Rome in comfort.

2. From Rome to Florence by Train

Frecciarossa high-speed train at a Florence train station

The Frecciarossa high-speed train (also known as the "red arrow train") is the fastest way to cover the route between Rome and Florence, though not the cheapest.

These modern trains travel between Rome and Florence at a speed of almost 300 kilometers per hour and take about 90 minutes to reach their destination. Frecciarossa trains come equipped with air-conditioned cars, a café car, Wi-Fi, and electrical outlets. It's also possible to buy drinks and snacks from a food cart without ever leaving your seat.

If cost is a concern, there are also cheaper regional trains available on this route, but they take much longer and often require at least one change along the way, while high-speed trains are direct.

If you are planning on taking the train several times while in Italy, an Italy Rail Pass will save you both time and money. Otherwise, you can also save money on high-speed trains by buying your tickets as early as possible (at least a week in advance for the best prices).

Trains leave from either Roma Tiburtina or Rome Termini train stations as early as 5:35am and as late as 9:30pm. There are trains every 30 minutes, so if you miss one or didn't get a ticket in advance, you can always just wait for the next one - though keep in mind that high-speed trains do require a seat reservation, so it would not be possible to just jump on the next one if you miss yours.

Catch a daytime train if possible, so you can enjoy the views of the scenic Tuscany region along the way.

All trains arrive at the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station, from where you can access public transportation to reach any destination within the city.

3. From Rome to Florence by Bus

Piazza Della Signoria in Florence

Buses are the cheapest form of transportation between Rome and Florence and one of the most convenient, as there are 22 buses every day that make the trip from one city to the other.

Buses leave from either Roma Tiburtina or Roma Anagnina bus stations and arrive at either the Firenze Via Santa Caterina da Siena or the Firenze A1 bus station. The route can take anywhere from 3.5 to five hours, depending on which buses you choose and if they make stops along the way.

Baltour, Flixbus, and Eurolines France companies all travel this route - with tickets starting at single-digit prices if you buy well in advance and choose non-peak hours (very early morning tickets and late evening tickets tend to be cheaper, as they're more inconvenient).

The earliest bus on this route leaves from Rome at 1:40am and the last one at 11:35pm, arriving in Florence the next calendar day.

4. From Rome to Florence by Plane

Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence

There's an average of four flights a week from Rome to Florence, all of them departing from Rome's Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and arriving at Florence Airport (FLR). The route is only covered by Alitalia Airlines, the flag carrier of Italy - low-cost airlines such as RyanAir and JetAir don't fly this route, which means you won't be able to find super cheap flights no matter what time of year you're flying.

While the flight from Rome to Florence is only 55 minutes long, getting to the airport requires a 30-minute ride on the Leonardo Express train. The train departs from the main train station in Rome, Termini, every 30 minutes. When you add to that the time to check-in and get through security, it would actually be faster to take a train between the cities, so keep that in mind when considering options.

If you do choose to fly to Florence, you will need to take a taxi or catch the Volainbus shuttle bus to get to the city once you arrive. Buses depart from the airport every 30 minutes and arrive at the Santa Maria Novella train station 20 minutes later. From here, visitors can grab a taxi or walk to their favorite destinations in Florence.

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