Coming to a wedding in Tuscany this year? If you’re travelling by train to get to the wedding venue or leaving for a day trip to Venice, Rome, Pisa, or Cinque Terre, here are 3 travel alerts when coming in or going out of Florence main train station, Santa Maria Novella.

1.  Don’t drive to the station in hopes of parking your car.  While Firenze Parcheggi  underground lots offer reasonable daily rates (€20 per day) they’re practically impossible to reach.  Road construction and routine congestion make it a nightmare to get anywhere close and you risk missing your train.  There are plenty of alternative ways to get to the station, though:

  1. The street car. Park on the outskirts and ride the brand spanking new street car (called ‘tramvia’) all the way into town. Cheap and comfortable, all the way to the station’s doorstep.
  2. Taxis have access to preferred lanes so they skip traffic jams most of the time. If you’re coming in to Florence, the 055 4390 taxi service ventures beyong the city limits too.
  3. If you’re already downtown: just walk.

2.  Bring a sit-upon because there is no where to sit. Literally.  The few benches in the main ticket area seat about 50 people and for a station that boasts 59 million passengers per year, 50 seats doesn’t even make a dent.

3.  Only first class passengers can access lounge areas.  This was news to me as I confidently walk over to the Italo Treno area to wait comfortably for my train to Milan only to find the area off limits.  Only first class ticket holders or Italo Club cardholders are allowed in the exclusive air conditioned lounge, a big change from last year when the company welcomed all Italo riders.