Getting to Florence from Livorno

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by Santorini Dave • Updated: May 4, 2018

The train station in Livorno. 21 trains carry passengers from Livorno to Florence on weekdays and Saturdays; 18 on Sundays and holidays.

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.

Livorno-Florence Train Schedules

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.

Livorno-Florence Train Fares

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.

Livorno to Florence 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.

Livorno to Florence by Train

From your cruise terminal, take a taxi to the Livorno Centrale train station.

There is a small park in front of the train station, a pleasant place to wait for your train.

The ticket office or “biglietteria” is the first thing you’ll see upon entering the station.

Above the ticket windows, there is a list of trains departing (on the left sign) and arriving (on the right sign). You will want a ticket for Firenze S.M.N. (Firenze Santa Maria Novella, the main train station in Florence). Times are all displayed in military units after the name of the destination. The platform that the train is departing from is listed at the right side of the screen. In this photo, there are three trains departing soon for Firenze SMN, at 16:02 (4:02 p.m.), 16:42 (4:42 p.m.), and 17:42 (5:42 p.m.), leaving from platforms 2, 5, and 3, respectively.

You may buy your ticket at one of the windows show in the previous photo or at one of the red self-serve kiosks, seen here at the wall to the right of the ticket window. In between the ticket window and the kiosk, there is also a paper display of all the departures and arrivals scheduled for the full day; the sign is labeled “informazioni.” In this same area, there is a shop selling trinkets, drinks, and snacks. At the corner in front of the shop, there is an ATM machine; it is the white box with the word “Bancoma” written on it in blue.

Close up of the informazioni train schedules.

Close up of the ATM.

There are more self-serve kiosks in this main room, including the red kiosk shown in the center of this photo and another on the far left, where the man in black is standing. There is also a small bookstore here, located to the left of the ticket windows.

To buy your ticket at a self-service kiosk, select your language and touch “Buy Your Ticket.” Select one way or round trip, destination Firenze SMN or Firenze SM Novella.

Select the time frame for your departure. Notice that they use military time, where 16:00 is 4:00 p.m. and 20:00 is 8:00 p.m.

Choose the number of adult, child, and pet tickets you prefer. All tickets on this route are 2nd class.

Confirm your selection. Seats are not assigned on these trains.

Pay for your tickets. You may pay with a credit card to the right under the keypad, with Euro coins in the top middle, with Euro notes to the bottom right, or contactless cards in the middle.

Lift the plastic cover and retrieve your ticket at the bottom.

Now wait for the train. Here is a map of the Livorno station. There are only five platforms, seen at the top of the map. Platform 1 is adjacent to the main building. There is an underpass to reach platforms 2/3 and 4/5. The underpass is accessible via stairs and elevator, as are all of the platforms. The yellow portion indicates all of the public areas, where you will find the restaurant, shops, and restrooms. The biggest square in the middle is the ticketing area. The restaurant is at the far end of the left wing. Going down the right wing, then turning left toward Platform 1 will lead to the stairs and elevator to the underpass, and from there to the other platforms. To the right of the right wing, there is a smaller box, with just a little yellow on its top edge. This little area is the restroom, which you can access from Platform 1.

In the left wing of the station, there is a bookstore. You can see the restaurant at the end of the hallway.

There are several pay phones lining this hallway.

The restaurant offers pizza, sandwiches, espresso, and snacks and has a small seating area.

…as well as a cooler with drinks and pre-packed snacks.

In the right wing of the station, there is a small shop selling bus and train tickets, snacks, drinks, and trinkets. You can also mail postcards from here.

This doorway directly after the gift shop leads to Platform 1.

You can catch the train from Platform 1, or take the elevator or stairs to the other platforms for more trains heading to Firenze/Florence.

Taking a right on Platform 1 leads to the restrooms. Mens’ and womens’ restrooms are both accessible through the same door.

It costs €0.50 to use the facilities here. Get change in the restaurant, bookstore, or in the shop if you need coins.

Vending machine on Platform 1, between the shop and bookstore. It’s mostly just gum and pantyhose.

Stairs to the other platforms are located inside the building in the area near the vending machine and elevator, seen on the right hand side of this photo.

Platform 2 with a train.

Platform 2, opposite view, with the train on the right side. Platform 3 is on the other side of this same walkway. Platform 4 is to the left on the other side of the tracks. This train is bound for Firenze SMN/Florence, as indicate on the screen on the side of the train.

The screen above the platform shows all departing trains to various cities, and indicates which platforms they’ll leave from.

Elevator on Platforms 2/3.

Before boarding the train, you’ll need to validate your train ticket to avoid fines. There are officers on every train to check your tickets. There are several ticket validating machines on Platform 1 (like this one near the whatnot shop) and on all other platforms. They are mostly green and white with a little red.

Ticket validating machine on Platform 5 with the elevator just behind it.

Validate your ticket by inserting it face down and aligned to the left to receive a time stamp. There are officers on board every train to check that your ticket is validated. Failure to comply can lead to exorbitant fines. Don’t skip this step!

Board the train. Passengers may choose to sit upstairs, or downstairs. There is an elevator to the right of the stairs, for those needing assistance.

Take a seat on the upper or lower floor and relax on your way to Florence.

Each row has a multi-region power outlet.

Restrooms are on the lower floor.

Hey, you made it to Florence! Exit the train toward the shops in the main part of the station.

Exit the station to the left near Platform 16 or by heading straight through the ticketing room, underneath the huge sign with arrivals and departures, to the right of Victoria’s Secret and the Tobacchi (tobacco shop).

Enjoy your time in Florence!

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