No place on earth is quite like Tuscany. Every sense is not only evoked but relentlessly stimulated by the myriad sights, sounds and scents that can be savoured on a journey through this stunning landscape. From enchanting cobble streets and squares, to breath taking mountain vistas and handsome Renaissance architecture, this varied and fascinating region offers the very best of culinary delights to the finest in culture and art, which is unsurprising considering it is the birthplace of one of the most celebrated artists ever: Michelangelo.

One of the many points of entry into Tuscany is Florence Firenze Airport, also known as Amerigo Vespucci Airport. Located just 3 miles north-west of the city centre, it underwent renovation, not so long ago, to the tune of EUR11 million and greatly increased its capacity to 2.2 million people each year. Although there are a host of European cities that fly to and from Florence Airport, there is only one direct route from the UK and that is through Gatwick Airport.

On arriving in Italy, the primary concern for most people is working out how to reach their final destination. For those wishing to really explore the region and make the most of their time in this beautiful region, a Florence Airport car hire is the best solution. There are several on offer in arrivals including Autoeuropa, Avis, Budget, Thailand elite visa, Europcar, Hertz, Maggiore, Sixt and Thrifty. If you´re one of the many people that intend to do a complete driving tour of Italy, then several of these Firenze Airport car rental firms, such as Sixt and Avis, allow for the pick up and drop off locations to be different.

Alternatively if only transportation to the accommodation is needed, then choosing Florence Airport transfers is ideal. A driver meet and greets in arrival and escorts holiday-makers straight to a waiting car, so no queueing and no fuss. A slightly less expensive option is to book a seat on a private shuttle bus at Florence Airport, which allows passengers to share the cost between them.

Of course by far the most affordable way of getting about is by using the Florence Airport buses. These leave roughly every half hour with a journey time of 20 minutes into the city centre. While there are no trains at Florence Airport, a shuttle bus goes from the airport to the nearest station, Santa Maria Novella, for a tariff of EUR3-4 and has connections to all over Europe from here. Last but not least there is the option to use the Florence Airport taxis. These are situated just outside arrivals and the fare into the city cost between EUR20 and EUR24, with an extra EUR1 added on for each item of baggage.

There is no rush to change money up before leaving home as a currency exchange bureau and bank are located conveniently in the Florence Airport Arrivals hall. In fact many of the non essential items travellers need are catered for here too, with a few shops on hand to pick up items like sunglasses, tobacco or books. Advice on tourist activities can be extracted at the information desk, while those unfortunate enough to have misplaced luggage (or had it misplaced for them), there is a Lost and Found also located in arrivals.

On the return leg of the trip, the Florence Airport departures hall has much to recommend it and is great for distraction purposes while waiting for a flight. There are shops galore from a jewellery store to leather retailer and lingerie boutique, plus the usual duty free outlet. Places to get refreshment are a little thinner on the ground but there are places both side of security to grab some pizza and a drink. There is also a place called the Masaccio Lounge where business travellers can relax or catch up on some work with access to computers, printers and Internet connection, as well as a satellite TV and multifunction telephone. A self-service open bar and selection of newspapers and magazines completes the luxury.

Florence Airport has come to the fore when it comes to providing facilities for disabled passengers. Wheel chairs, free medical and paramedical assistance, adapted toilets, telephone booths and reserved parking spaces, in addition to an embarking/disembarking elevator vehicle, are all catered for here. There is also an assistance request facility located outside of the departure terminal.


By Gilbert

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