- Booking Train Tickets in Italy
- Getting to Florence from Venice
- Getting to Florence from Pisa
- Getting to Florence from Livorno
- Best Hotels in Florence
- Best Hotels in Rome
How to get to Florence from Rome
- Booking Train Tickets in Italy: The best site for booking Italy train tickets online and in advance is ItaliaRail.com. It’s the easiest website to use and usually has the cheapest prices.
- By train: There are two types of trains connecting Rome with Florence, express trains and local trains. Express trains are the best option for travelers, offering spacious seating, quick transfer (usually only an hour and a half), affordable rates, easy luggage storage, and amenities like wifi, electrical outlets, a food carriage with a café or vending machines, and restrooms (including those with wheelchair access). Local trains can be a great option for budget travelers, as tickets are sometimes (but not always) cheaper than express tickets. Local trains usually take about three to three and a half hours, but can take over seven, so be sure to check the duration of the train ride before booking. Restrooms are on all trains, and some offer wifi and in-seat power; local trains do not offer food or beverages. I recommend booking train tickets in advance.
- By bus: Buses are slightly cheaper than local trains, and take about the same amount of time, anywhere from three and a half up to seven hours. Flixbus is the best bus operator serving this route. All buses include on board wifi, snacks, and restrooms.
- By driving: Renting a car is a great option if your trip to Florence includes a few day trips to other Tuscan cities or into the wine country. But if the bulk of your travel days will be spent in Florence itself, then a car is more trouble than it’s worth, due to the limited and expensive parking and the fact that most hotels in Florence are inside the pedestrian-only zone. The drive takes a little over three hours via the most direct route, which includes a toll road. Taking an alternate route which avoids most tolls takes over four hours.
- By air: ITA Airways runs 4 daily flights between Rome and Florence. Tickets are affordable, and flights take only 55 minutes. However, the time it takes getting to and from each airport and clearing security makes this both a more expensive and more time consuming option than taking an express train.
Rome-Florence Train Schedules
Trains running from Roma Termini train station to Firenze Santa Maria Novella (Firenze SMN, the main train station in Florence), run almost constantly, about every 2 to 10 minutes, depending on the time of day.
Rome to Florence weekday train service begins at 5:35 a.m. and ends at 8:55 p.m., though there are two overnight local trains leaving at ten minutes after midnight and arriving at 6:38 a.m. and 7:34 a.m.
Weekend and holiday trains depart slightly later in the mornings, around 5:45 or 6:00 a.m., and run until 10:35 p.m.
Rome-Florence Train Fares
Prices for tickets from Roma Termini to Firenze SMN vary widely, with express tickets ranging from €15.90 to €61 and local trains ranging from €14 to €23. Trains are cheapest in the mornings before 6:45, and are most expensive during morning and evening rush hours, since these trains are popular for business travelers.
Express trains offer both first and second class seating options, while local trains only offer second class. The difference between express train ticket classes is not much. Second class seats are spacious, recline, and come with free wifi and power outlets. First class seats are a little bigger, usually have more luggage storage, and sometimes come with a welcome drink and snack. For such a short trip, it’s not worth paying for the first class upgrade, since tickets are two to three times the price, and the amenities are mostly the same.
Italo offers discounts for children, seniors, and families. Children under 36 months ride free with no seat assignment and sitting in an adult’s lap; if an adult travels with more than one infant, a second seat must be purchased. Italo’s Family program allows everyone in a family to have assigned seats together, and at a discount: a booking must be made for two to four people, where at least one is over 18. In that case all children under 14 in that group ride free (infants under 36 months aren’t counted since they ride free anyway). Seniors receive a 40% discount when booking three days in advance.
Trenitalia allows children at or under 4 years old to ride free if they sit in an adult’s lap. Children from 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. They also have their Bimbi Gratis program, where children under 15 ride free. 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.
Italo and Trenitalia tickets can be purchased at the designated kiosks or ticket offices at the Roma Termini station on the day of travel. These are located in the station lobby on Platform level. They can also be purchased online (Trenitalia, Italo) 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 around 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.
In the case that a delay is long enough that it causes a passenger to miss a connection, the purchased ticket can be redeemed on the next train out, within an hour after the original train’s departure time. If the train they need to connect to is the last train of the evening, let the conductor know; they may be able to have that train wait.
Rome to Florence with Kids
In general, all children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Children ages 12-16 may travel alone with a signed consent form from their parent or legal guardian. Contact Trenitalia directly for details on unaccompanied minors.
Italo offers discounts for children, seniors, and families. Children under 36 months ride free with no seat assignment and sitting in an adult’s lap; if an adult travels with more than one infant, a second seat must be purchased. Italo’s Family program allows everyone within a family to have assigned seats together, and at a discount: a booking must be made for two to four people, where at least one is over 18. In that case all children under 14 in that group ride free (infants under 36 months aren’t counted, since they ride free anyway). Seniors receive a 40% discount when booking three days in advance.
Trenitalia offers children at or under 4 years old to ride free if they sit in an adult’s lap. Children from 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. They also have their Bimbi Gratis program, where children under 15 ride free. 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.
Food On Board or at the Station
Italo’s express trains to Rome have vending machines onboard with coffee, sodas, and snacks. Each seat comes with a table; groups of four have a larger shared table.
Roma Termini station houses a three-story mall with restaurants, cafes, and even a grocery store inside. The three levels are Underground, Platform (ground level), and First Floor. Most of the restaurants are in the northwest portion – facing Piazza Cinquecento – on any of the three levels. Mercato Centrale Roma is especially good. The grocery store is on the Underground Level.
Location of the Train Stations
Roma Termini is located downtown, near the Roman National Museum, Baths of Diocletian, and the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The University is due east, with several small specialty museums inside, including ones devoted to medicine, math, chemistry, and more. It is walking distance (20 to 30 minutes) to the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, and Trevi Fountain.
Santa Maria Novella is in the heart of Florence, walking distance to all of Florence’s major attractions, including the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, and the Accademia, though it is especially close to San Lorenzo Church, San Lorenzo Market, the Medici Chapels, and the Oficina Profumo. Several budget hotels surround the station with some of the city’s best restaurants and bars within five to ten minutes’ walk.
Rome to Florence by Train
- Florence Travel Guide
- Best Hotels for Families in Florence
- Best Boutique Hotels in Florence
- Best Romantic Hotels in Florence
- Best Cheap Hotels in Florence
- Best Wheelchair Accessible Hotels in Florence
- Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Florence
- Best Hotels with Private Pools and Jacuzzis in Florence
- Where to Stay in Florence
- Florence Hotel Map
- Best Time to Visit Florence
- Best Restaurants in Florence
- Best Bars in Florence
- Best Gelato in Florence
- Best Wine Tours in Florence
- Best Shops and Markets in Florence
- Best Things to Do in Florence
- Florence Airport Transportation
- Renting a Car in Florence
- Venice to Florence
- Pisa to Florence
- Livorno to Florence
- Day Trip to San Gimignano from Florence
- Day Trip to Siena from Florence
- Best Agriturismo in Tuscany