Updated: April 11, 2018
How to get to Florence from Livorno:
- By train: From the cruise ship terminal, it’s a 10 minute taxi or shuttle ride, or a 30 minute bus ride (plus time spent going to buy a ticket at a tobacco shop first; they do not sell tickets on board the bus) to the train station. Even though busing is cheaper – at €1.20 per one-way ticket versus a €24 taxi (for up to four people, so €6 each for a group) – taking a taxi is best for this part. Most cruises are only in port for a short amount of time, and you don’t want to waste time waiting for the bus or for the cruise company’s shuttle to get going (sometimes the boat is docked for over an hour before the shuttle service begins). Once at Livorno Centrale station, take a train to Florence, about an hour and 10 or an hour and 40 minutes ride, depending the train selected. Taking the train is the best option, as is offers a great combination of affordable rates, flexible times, and spacious seating. Plus riding the train is a totally Italian experience. More info and photos on taking the train are below.
- By bus: Slightly more expensive than the train, and it takes more than two hours each way. This is not recommended if your cruise ship is only in the port for one day.
- By private transfer: This is a definitely a more expensive option than taking the train, but if you’re traveling with very young children or if you’d like to add a stop at a winery or the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the way back, this can be a great option. Prices per person vary, depending on the number of passengers and additional stops or services, but can be as low as €50 per person round-trip for a group of 8, if going directly to and from Florence. The direct drive takes between an hour and ten or an hour and a half, so it doesn’t really save any time over taking a train. Nicola Scovenna NCC is the best company offering private transfers leaving from the Port of Livorno.
- On a shore excursion: Shore excursions can be booked through the cruise company or directly with the tour operator; booking with the tour operator is usually much cheaper than going through the cruise ships. Prices vary depending on which tour you choose, but generally range from €95 to €125, and include round trip transfers and guided visits to Florence’s top attractions. Tuscan Heart is the best tour operator offering day trips to Florence from the Port of Livorno.
Trains running from Livorno Centrale Station to Firenze Santa Maria Novella (Firenze SMN, the main train station in Florence) run Monday through Saturday from 5:00 a.m. until 9:12 p.m. trains depart about every 40 minutes during peak times, every hour for most of the day, and every hour and ten in the early mornings and late evenings. A total of 21 trains leave from Livorno to Florence over the course of the day.
The trains start later on Sundays and holidays, at 5:19 in the morning, but end at the normal time at 9:12 p.m. 18 trains leave from Livorno to Florence on Sundays and holidays, so though service is reduced, there are still plenty of options to get travelers there.
Tickets from Pisa Centrale to Firenze Santa Maria Novella station cost €9.700 per adult one way; Trenitalia operates this route.
Children at or under 4 years old ride free if they sit in an adult’s lap. Children between 4-11 are charged at a 50% discount off adult fare and get their own seat. Seats can be purchased for children under 4 at the standard child rate, too (do this if using a car seat). Trains are rarely full, so if the train starts moving and there are empty seats near, it is ok for the younger kids to use them.
Bimbi Gratis: Children under 15 can ride free as part of Trenitalia’s Bimbi Gratis program. To take advantage of this, tickets must be purchased two days in advance as part of a family group of 2-5 people, with at least one adult. Adult fares remain the same, just the child tickets are free.
Trenitalia tickets can be purchased at any of the kiosks or ticket offices at the train station on the day of travel. They can also be purchased online 24 hours or more before the train’s scheduled departure.
Wait Times and Delays
Italian trains (and buses, for that matter) are frequently delayed by a few minutes. Delays can happen anytime, but they are most frequent near the major holidays of Christmas and Easter when there are more passengers.
Delays can also be caused by worker strikes, though these are never by surprise. All strikes must be announced two weeks in advance, cannot last more than 24 hours, and are never allowed in July, August, late December, early January, or in the days around Easter or elections. In the case of a strike, trains still operate but on a limited schedule.
To be sure you’re back to the Port of Livorno on time, it’s a good idea plan on taking the train that leaves before the last train possible for your timing. That way, if the first train you plan on taking is delayed or if you miss it, you still have a chance to take the next train out. Otherwise, you’ll be forced to hire a taxi back, which is astronomically expensive, around €300.
Traveling with Kids
Children under 4 years old ride free, with no seat reservation or at 50% of the adult rate (€4.20) with a reserved seat. Children 4-11 ride at half price, too. However, for groups of 2-5 where at least one is an adult and at least one is a child under 15, then all children under 15 in that group ride free and get their own seat. To take advantage of this offer, tickets for the group must be purchased at least two days in advance.
In general, all children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Children between 12 and 16 may travel alone with a signed consent form from their parent or legal guardian. Contact Trenitalia directly for details on unaccompanied minors.
Food On Board or at the Station
The regional train to Livorno is a short ride, so they do not offer any dining on board.
Livorno Centrale is a small train station, but there is one restaurant here for picking up some food before your train leaves. In the main building there is a combo café and pizzeria, serving hot food and drinks, along with a grab ‘n go section of pre-made meals and cold drinks. In the atrium near the ticket windows, there is a shop selling DVDs and trinkets that also has a few pre-packaged snacks and drinks. On Platform 1, there is also a block of 3 vending machines, but one is entirely non-food items, one is only gum, and the third has a limited selection of snacks. Your best bet is the café.
There are a few good, affordable restaurants and bars within walking distance of the train station, but most are only open for lunch and dinner. Breakfast is just not a popular meal in Italy.
Location of the Train Station
Livorno Centrale train station is located to the east of downtown, between the main highway and a shopping mall. There are no major attractions near the train station, though there is a small cathedral, two fortresses, and a couple of palaces downtown, in between the train station and the port.
Getting from Livorno to Florence
- Florence – Best Hotels
- Florence – Romantic Hotels
- Florence – Cheap Hotels
- Florence – Wheelchair Accessible Hotels
- Florence – Pet-Friendly Hotels
- Florence – Best Restaurants
- Florence – Best Bars
- Florence – Best Gelato
- Florence – Best Wine Tours
- Florence – Airport Transportation
- Florence – Getting Around and Driving
- Florence – Rome to Florence
- Florence – Venice to Florence
- Florence – Pisa to Florence