Rome is the former center of the universe and the current capital of Italy. After existing for more than 2,000 years in existence, there’s enough for the busy explorer. From archaeological sites, Baroque Churches, grand museums and art masterpieces to their decadent pasta and gelato, there’s nothing an Italy traveler could ask for.
But, your visit to Italy won’t be complete without seeing Florence, too. Wondering how to get from Rome to Florence? Read on!
If Rome’s wonders are not enough for you, a trip to Florence will satisfy your Italian bucket list. Aside from sightseeing and visiting the main museums and churches, there are lots of other things to do in Florence.
You could try out a walking tour of specific areas of the city with a guide, go on a shopping spree, go wine tasting, explore the Tuscan recipes at great restaurants, and hike in the spectacular countryside.
The route between Rome and Florence is one of the busiest ones in Italy, due to the massive number of travelers who wishes to travel to both cities on their bucket lists.
Also, many Italians take trains to commute from one major city to the other. You can travel from Rome to Florence and vice versa by plane, bus, train and rental car.
Here’s A Round-up Of The Five Modes Of Transportation From Rome To Florence:
1. By High-Speed Train
Taking the train from Rome to Florence is the most cost-effective transportation choice, and takes the hassle out of driving in Italy and of multiple bus transfers. Most people opt for trains to travel from Rome to Florence.
As a gift to your adventurous soul, be in awe of the beautiful Italian scenery drifting through the window en route!
The fastest way to travel from Rome to Florence is by taking the Le Frecce high-speed train. The Le Frecce are a series of modern high-speed trains connecting cities and towns all across Italy.
The modern and luxurious train will get you from Rome to Florence in only an hour and a half. By luxurious, I mean a full access to a coffee/liquor bar, restaurant/bistro, WiFi internet, air conditioning, power outlets
There are three types of Le Frecce train- the Frecciarossa (FR), Frecciargento (FA) and Frecciabianco (FB). Together, these trains cover most of Italy, including the main cities such as Rome, Milan, Venice, and Naples.
For the Rome to Florence route, you should take the Frecciarossa (FA). It has 78 daily connections and runs on the path from the Italian cities of Turin to Salerno with hourly departures starting from 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Firenze Santa Maria Novella (Firenze SMN) in Rome, right in the city center a short walk from the Duomo and other major sights. The first train leaves Termini at 6:20 a.m, and the last leaves at 8:50 p.m.
The route of the train: Turin – Milan – Bologna – Florence – Rome – Naples – Salerno
Ticket prices range from 20-50 Euros on the Frecciarossa
Note: You can reserve your seat online ahead of time through the Eurail’s reservation service or the Italian Railways (Trenitalia) Website
2. By Regional Train
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, opt for the regional train from Rome to Florence. It may take a longer travel time than by high-speed train, but it also means that you don’t have to reserve a seat and you can stop along the way in charming Italian cities like Orvieto and Arezzo.
While the trip is long (up to four hours), and makes many stops, the railcars are modern, and the new seat layout is practical and appealing. The fare is also very cheap: the “ordinaria” fare is currently 20.25 Euros.
Moreover, children up to the age of four get the 50% child’s discount. You can purchase traditional paper tickets up to two months in advance from most electronic machines at the station, or by standing in line at ticket agent windows at the Firenze SMN and Roma Termini.
Good news! There is air conditioning on the train. However, there are no food or beverage on the regional train, so bring some with you as the journey will take a good 4 hours.
What’s exciting about taking the regional train is the option to break your journey (in contrast to the Frecciarossa train where you can’t do this).
They’ll allow you to break your trip with one (or even more) short stopovers (e.g. in Orvieto or Arezzo), without needing to purchase a new ticket for the second leg, as long as you re-board your last train within the six-hour validity of the ticket.
3. By Plane
As a rule of thumb, you can reach any destination the fastest by plane. This goes for the Rome to Florence flight which only takes 55 minutes.
Since both places are commercial tourist destinations, Rome and Florence both have airports. The name of the primary airport in Rome is Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport while that in Florence is the Florence Airport.
Yes, the two cities are both accessible by plane. Alitalia offers the best deals and connects the two cities with one-hour non-stop flights that are sometimes as low as 61 Euros one-way, but regularly costs 150-200 Euros. Remember, the sooner you book, the more you’re able to save.
Alitalia has three flights from Rome to Florence and v.versa daily. Be sure to take note of this if you’re planning to go by plane: The first flight from Rome to Florence departs at 10:05 AM, the next at 3:10 PM while the last flight departs at 9:50 PM.
If you want to score cheap airfares, check out farecompare.
4. By Bus
Another way to see the scenic beauty of Italian villages and to save up money is to ride a bus from Rome to Florence. However, there are no daily trips on this route, and there’s very limited information about bus rides from Rome to Florence.
The average duration of the journey is 3-4 hours and costs about 12-20 Euros. Bus companies that offer Rome-Florence trips are Flixbus, Frecciabianca, Italo, Intercity, Bus Center, Intercity Notte, and Baltour.
You can check out the tour schedules of bus companies with corresponding rates on CheckMyBus website to guide you.
5. By Car
If you plan on getting to Florence on an individual day trip, especially if you want a proper experience of the hill towns of Tuscany, which you will pass by along the way, traveling by car is the best option.
However, make sure to hire a rental car. You can easily get lost because of poor signage and difficult roads and get fines for breaking rules you didn’t know exist so do not attempt to drive on your own.
Depending on your budget, you can hire a knowledgeable private driver for the day trip to Florence. You should stop at Chianti on the way, the legendary wine region between Florence and Siena, to do some wine tasting.
Upon reaching Florence, you could make a day trip with the driver, to visit San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, and Gaiole, and stop by a couple of vineyards.
Also, there are charming villages just outside Florence like Vinci, for instance, which is the famous Leonardo da Vinci’s hometown and has spectacular views. You should also drop by the Vinci museum and the house where he was born.
A very helpful tip from Maria Gabriella Landers of Concierge in Umbria, an Italy travel specialist:
“Travelers to Italy can be smart about when to utilize a driver. Do it on a day when you’re changing hotel locations, so you have the convenience of a driver when you have luggage, and so you can make sightseeing stops between those places—such as these stops between Rome, Florence, and Venice. “
Travelling to a place you are not familiar with is exciting but it also offers uncertainties at the same time. However, if things don’t go as you wish and you get lost for whatever reason, bear in mind that Italians are accommodating people.
So, approach a kindred spirit and, with a smile, say, “Scusi signora” or “signore” if you are addressing a man then ask your question in English. You may end up in a friendly conversation so be sure to say “Grazie” or thank you. Cheers!