Finding a place to park your rental car can be challenging in any historic center. It is especially tricky in Italy, considering Italians seem to be okay with having some dents on their vehicle as opposed to us North Americans. Although you can easily visit Florence using only public transport, getting around the Tuscan countryside without a car will be much more laborious. Therefore, you’ll have to put your car somewhere while touring the region’s capital.
Let’s get something straight. Every traveler coming here dreams of finding a nice parking space near the city center. But even the Florentines sometimes have difficulty finding a place to put their car. There is a lot of information online about parking your car in Florence; I summarized it all here for you.
- Parking in Florence is more challenging than in the average European historic center. One could in fact say that it can feel impossible at times. Don’t expect anything to be for free!
- If you’re doing a day trip to Florence, the best option will be to park your car in the street parking. A great place is on the South-East side of Florence, along Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia.
- The only place where you can park for free in Florence is outside of town. The car park of the COOP supermarket on Viale Nenni in Scandicci is only a 20 min. tram ride from Florence.
Table of Contents
The ABCs of the Parking in Florence
You’ll read about the ZTL, the ZCS, and the color of the lines around parking places. It can all get confusing very fast.
Before you even think about parking your (rental) car in Florence, you must first understand the basic geography of the city.
You could go with the flow and think you’ll see when you get there. But when your error knocks on your door several months after your trip in the form of a colossal « fine, » you’ll blame yourself for not having tried to understand sooner.
The Florence ZTL
5 things you should know about the Florence ZTL :
- Covers the entire historic center of Florence.
- Stands for « Limited Traffic Access Zone ».
- You need a permit to enter the ZTL between certain specific hours. These hours change depending on the day of the week and the season. You are generally allowed to enter the ZTL on Sundays. (This means you don’t need a permit on this particular day of the week.)
- The entrance points of the ZTL are monitored with surveillance cameras.
- Even if you enter the ZTL with a rental car, the authorities have access to the car rental records and will eventually find you. It not being only a rental does not protect you from getting fines.
Schedule when the ZTL is in effect
Year-round: Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM; Saturdays from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM.
From the end of May until mid-September, certain nights of the week: in addition to the times listed above, access is prohibited at night (usually, this concerns only Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays between 11:00 PM and 3:00 AM).
Updated in January 2023, taken from the City of Florence’s official website
What does the ZTL look like on a map?
Every color on the map represents a part of the ZTL.
To download a detailed version of the map, visit the website of the Servizi Alla Strada.
The Florence ZCS: Blue, White and Yellow Lines
ZCS stands for « Controlled parking zones » and corresponds to the zones just outside the ZTL. You can move around here without restriction. In these areas, you’ll notice colored lines around the parking spaces, which actually mean something.
Meaning of the colors
- White lines: Parking spaces reserved for Florentines who hold a resident pass.
- Yellow lines: Parking spaces reserved for disabled persons.
- Blue lines: These are paid parking lots that everyone can use.
Note that the parking lots marked by blue lines are free at certain times and on certain days of the week. However, parking bans are in force at night on certain days for street cleaning. (Are you surprised?) Be vigilant. If you see no one parked here, there may be a ban in effect.
Now that you understand the concept of ZTL a little better, it’s easier to understand why parking is practically impossible in Florence’s historic center.
People are generally advised to leave their cars well outside of town. On the other hand, if you really have to bring your vehicle to Florence, here are your options:
Where to park inside Florence:
- Private garages
- Paid parking lots
- Street parking
Where to park outside Florence:
- You can park in a neighboring town and take the public transport to Florence
- Leave your car in one of the parking around the airport
Parking inside Florence
Ideal for those staying several days in Florence
Distance from the historic center: Those parking lots are often in the historic center
Some suggestions: There are countless garages to choose from in Florence. Here are some suggestions, although I’m sure the ones you’d find on your own would be perfectly ok. You can find other private garages through the ParClick website.
In a nutshell: This more expensive option allows you to keep your car in the historic center of Florence. On the other hand, you will not be able to use it as you wish as you only pay for the right to leave your car there. On arrival and departure, the garage will transmit your license plate to the local authorities. Consequently, you’ll be given a temporary permit for those two 2-hour periods only, and you won’t receive a fine for having crossed the limits of the ZTL.
Price: Expect to pay at least around 30 EUR/day.
Consider this option if you: stay in Florence for several days and don’t expect to use your car during this period.
Paid parking lots
Perfect for the people based in Florence
Distance from the historic center: Those parking lots are usually a 10-minute walk from the city center.
In a nutshell: Paid parking lots are less stressful than constantly monitoring whether you follow street parking rules and are also easier to find. Moreover, they offer you more freedom than private garages.
Price: For the day, expect to pay an average of 20 EUR/ day
Consider this option if you: are going to make frequent day trips from Florence or are only staying in the city for a few days.
Great for day trips to Florence
In a nutshell: These street parking spaces are those with the blue lines I was talking about earlier. They are the cheapest option and, given their convenience, these sparking spots are also popular. Finding a place to park might be challenging. Once you’ve found one, go pay at the parcometro, and then put your proof of payment on your dashboard. Voilà!
Price: Some are free, and some will require you to pay. It remains very affordable. Just know that the first hour is usually cheaper than the ones after. Street parking spaces typically cost 2 EUR/ hour.
Consider this option if you: are staying outside the city and making a day trip to Florence.
On the South-East side of Florence
A 10 min. walk from the historic center
This type of parking can be found in the streets around the city’s historic quarter.
- Along the Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia
- Between the Piazza Beccaria and the Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia
- In Ponte di San Niccolò, along Lungarno del Tempio, Lungarno Cellini and Lungarno Ferrucci
South of the Arno river, in the Oltrarno
A 30 min. walk from the historic center
- Along the road below Piazzale Michelangelo on the Via dei Bastioni, which can be reached from Viale Michelangelo
- At Porta San Frediano
- At Forte Belvedere (the only disadvantage is it’s on a hill and it’s closed on Mondays, so you won’t be able to take your car back until the next day)
Parking outside the ZTL and Florence
Parking in a neighboring town
Distance from the historic center: About 20 min using the public transport
Where: In Scandicci, in Galluzzo, in Impruneta, in Campo di Marte, and in Novoli
Note on Scandicci: There is a large car park at the COOP supermarket on Viale Nenni, another next to the Arcipressi stop on via Andrea da Pontedera, and a final one on via Talenti. Just know that the road leading to Scandicci can be busy in the morning and until 10 AM. Just take the tram to Florence Santa Maria Novella Station.
Note on Galluzzo: Ideal if you are on the Firenze-Siena highway. Join the town of Galluzzo. The car park is near the main piazza. Then take the bus to Florence.
Note on Impruneta: Also easily accessible from the Firenze-Siena highway. You can easily reach Florence by bus afterward.
You can reach Florence from Campo di Marte and Novoli by bus.
In a nutshell: One of the best options available, really. You don’t really need a car to visit Florence anyway. You can leave your vehicule for a few days and forget about it.
Consider this option if you: are staying out of town and are okay with taking the public transit system.
For those visiting Tuscany with their own car
Distance from the historic center: 40 min. with the tram
Where: You can park in the Florence airport car park. Slightly cheaper parking lots are also available near the airport. (Firparking Aeroporto, Giesse Parcheggio, FlyParking, Garage Aldo)
In a nutshell: It has the convenience of being parked out of Florence and has fewer chances of theft.
Price: While airport parking costs 27 EUR/day, those in the airport area are much cheaper, costing around 10 EUR/day.
Consider this option if you: were already considering parking outside of Florence. Just an idea: You could arrange your itinerary to begin in Florence and take the rental car only after having visited the city.
Florence is wonderful, no doubt. However, parking there can be a nightmare. The best place to park really depends on whether you’re staying inside the city or not.
Why not consider going to Seville instead? It’s also a lively historical treasure and boasts better weather!