Florence Airport- Peretola (FLR)
Pisa: Galileo Galilei International Airport (PSA) 79 km or 49 miles
Train – The train system in Europe is excellent and one of the only things that runs on time in Italy. Note: Make sure to validate your ticket at one of the machines before you board the train -even if it has the date and time already printed. The boxes aren’t always obvious- just watch for others doing the same or ask around.
Bus- Flixbus is a cheap option to take the bus into town. It’ll drop you off at the main train station which is in the center of town.
Rideshare with BlaBlaCar: Split the costs of gas (and sometimes driving if it’s over a far distance) and get a ride with a local (or anyone with a car) who is headed in the same direction as you.
Unlike its neighbors, hitchhiking is not very common in Italy and you may have a hard time flagging down a ride.
Other accommodation suggestions can be found above in the travel guide, but wanted to mention hostels.
Hostel Archi Rossi: Book this hostel in advance as its location makes it very popular. The breakfast is ON POINT. The dorm was clean, had AC and had a bathroom attached.
7 Santi: Overall a very good hostel. There is a patio that’s really nice to hang out on and a lot of backpackers stay here. The rooms were clean and staff was helpful. The only thing I didn’t like was the location. It’s a bit far out of the way- but I also found it’s one of the most popular among backpackers.
If you take away only one thing, know this: there is so much more to Italian cuisine than just pizza and pasta. And it’s important to know where you are. The cuisine is highly regional and so make sure you’re eating the right stuff in the right place!
Here is WHAT to eat in Florence.
So now you know the what, the next question is, Where to get it?!
Notes: Not mentioned for some reason but my NUMBER ONE recommendation is:
Trattoria 4 Leoni (Four Lions)- Try their fiochetti di pera in salsa ed asparagi- their famous pear pasta with asparagus sauce. It sounds odd but it’s incredible. Not outrageous but not necessarily within a backpacker budget. Make reservations for dinner but lunch you shouldn’t have a problem. Same day reservations can only be made by phone.
You can book tours but many places you can hop on the train and go yourself – which I find to be way cheaper and much more enjoyable.
Note: I wouldn’t recommend a day trip to Rome. It’s just too amazing to be seen in such a short amount of time! I also probably wouldn’t recommend a day trip to Cinque Terre from Florence unless it’s unavoidable. It’s a bit far making for a long day plus you’ll be beaching and hiking. You can easily spend a few days there.
4 – 6 days here would be great if you’re doing day trips and taking your time seeing the city.
Head south to Rome or if you’re going North make your way to Venice, Verona, Milan, Emilia Romagna, Genoa or Cinque Terre, depending on how much time you have.