Tour and Visitor Information
How to Reach Florence
Florence is served by two Airports: Amerigo Vespucci Airport, a few kilometers north-west of the city centre. The Volainbus line connects Amerigo Vespucci Airport to the city centre with buses every 30 minutes ( www.aeroporto.firenze.it ) and Galileo Galilei Airport, near Pisa, is about an hour by train or car from Florence. Direct trains to Florence run every 60 minutes, There is also a bus service - "Terravision" - which takes approximately one hour to reach Florence, arriving at the railway station ( www.pisa-airport.it )
Florence is on the Rome-Milan line, with Eurostar trains (intercity trains) running every 60 minutes. Please remember that on these trains a supplement is required and tickets must be bought in advance ( www.ferroviedellostato.it )
Florence is connected by the A1 Motorway to Bologna and Milan (northbound) and Rome and Naples (southbound). The Autostrada del Mare (A11 Motorway) connects Florence with Prato, Lucca, Pisa and the coast and a smaller trunk road links Florence to Siena. Exits for Florence from the motorway are well signposted and there are Tourist Information offices on the A1 motorway exits both north and south of the city. From the north on the A1, exit at Firenze Nord and then simply follow the signs for Centro. If arriving from Rome, exit Firenze Sud. Traffic is restricted in the city centre.
Getting around Florence
In the historic centre of Florence traffic is limited to taxis, buses and residents, which makes walking quite easy and pleasant. Taxis in Florence are white with a "Taxi" sign on the roof. There are several taxi ranks in the city, including at the back of the Duomo of Florence, in Piazza della Repubblica and at the Santa Maria Novella train station. You can ask your hotel concierge to call a taxi for you or use the following phone number: +39 055 4390. Florence also has several bus lines - buses are bright orange. Bus stops are marked with orange signs displaying the route of the bus line. You can get around the historic center of Florence on bus lines A and B. These are small orange electric buses which can go through the narrow streets of Florence. Bus tickets have to be bought before you get on the bus and stamped with the stamping machine on the bus. Tickets can be bought from newstands and bars displaying the ATAF sign (the sign of the bus company in Florence). After the bus ticket is stamped on the bus, it is usually valid for one hour, depending on the type of the bus ticket.
Currency / Banks / Exchange
Italy’s national monetary unit is the Euro (€), 1,00 € = 1.33265 US dollar as of 3 December 2010 . Currency exchange is provided by banks and exchange agencies. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 08.00 / 08.30 am to 01.00 / 01.30 pm. They are also open in the afternoon, usually from 02.30 / 3.00 pm to 04.00 / 04.30 pm.
ATMs are located all around the city. They can also be used for cash advances on major credit cards such as MasterCard or VISA.
Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, stores and restaurants.
In Florence, in summer, the average temperature ranges between 28 – 32 °C (82-90 °F). End of August is late summer and minimun and maximun mean temperatures range between 17 and 31 degrees Celsius. Mean precipitation value is 76mm and mean humidity is 66%.
Light clothing and eventually light rainwear are suggested.
Itaian Standard Time (IST) is Central European Time Zone and it corresponds to UTC/GMT +1:00 hours. Italy has daylight savings time.
There is no tipping in Italy. Customers pay the exact amount that appears on the bill. Italy has a 20% consumer tax nationwide on all goods and services. All published prices (including restaurant menus, taxi fares, supermarket prices) include consumer tax.
The VAT in Italy is the value-added tax. It is an indirect tax on all business transactions involving goods and services, and is also known as "imposta sul valore aggiunto" or IVA. The VAT is applicable for all countries in the European Union and is different for each country. Italy's VAT for business transactions and purchases is 20 percent, and the tax for basic products 4 to 10 percent. The VAT is only paid by European Union consumers. Non-EU citizens who spend more than 180 Euros in goods at one time will receive a reimbursement of the tax. Exemptions Suppliers and distributors of goods may deduct the input VAT. Exported goods are also exempt from taxation.
AC line (mains) voltage in Italy is 220 volts nationwide and AC frequency is 50 Hz. Power outlets are flat, parallel 2-prongs identical to North America.
Power Sockets and Plug Converters for Electricity in Italy
||Here's an Italian power outlet of the type you might find in a kitchen. On the left is a typical power socket, in the middle is a Schuko Grounded socket for large appliances. On the right is a power switch. An adapter plug will fit into the two outer holes of either socket.
||Here is a normal Italian power socket. To access it with an adapter that connects to a typical American power plug, you'll need an adapter like the one shown below.
||Have many chargers? Need more outlets than the common hotel room has available? A simple plug expander might do the trick. You can buy these in Italy at any hardware store for a few Euros.
||This plug adapter is all you need to convert your plug to the prong Italian power plug used in most Italian homes and hotels. This adapter is ungrounded, which is why it doesn't have a third, center prong. This is fine for devices which are insulated (having a plastic body, for instance).
Transportation from Milano Airport
For details, visit:
Transportation from Rome Airport
For details, visit:
Transportation from Pisa Airport
The journey from Pisa to Florence by train will only take an hour. Pisa Airport and Firenze SMN railway station are connected by six trains a day.
The Airport, with 25 trains a day, is connected directly to Pisa Central Station. A lot of connections are thus available to all italian destinations, Florence included.
The cost of a single ticket from Pisa Airport to Florence SMN Station is 5.80* EUR .
* Fares subject to change. Train tickets sold by Pisa Airport agency will be charged with a commission fee of € 1,00 ( VAT included) for all tickets from € 5,00 to € 20,00 ; € 2,00 (VAT included) for all tickets over € 20,00 .
At the Airport, you can buy your railway ticket at the Information Office in the arrivals hall. The railway terminal is located just outside the check-in hall.
Click here for timetables
For further information please click on www.ferroviedellostato.it
Transportation from Florence Airport
Lost & Found Office: +39.055.3061302
Company Secretary: +39.055.30615
Website: ADF Aeroporto di Firenze
Florence Airport ("Aeroporto di Firenze") or Amerigo Vespucci Airport (Airport Code - IATA: FLR, ICAO: LIRQ) is an airport located close to Florence, Italy. The Airport of Florence is not properly in the center. The Volainbus airport shuttle and the bus ATAF n° 62 connect Florence town centre with Amerigo Vespucci airport. Tickets are avaible on board for € 4,00. For detailed informations on time tables go to Volainubus airport shuttle on line.
Duration: 30 minutes (estimated times)
Price: EUR €4.50 per person
Terravision Low Cost Express Coach - A coach service run by Terravision and Ataf & Li-nea leaves from the Airport to/from Florence Central Station. Thanks to the partnership with Terravision, now you can book directly with us your express low-cost airport transfer to/from Florence Airport direct to/from Florence Central Station.
Duration: 15 mins (estimated times)
Price Adult: EUR €10.00 single, EUR €16.00 return
Price Child (5-12 years): EUR €4.00 single, EUR €8.00 return
Price Child (under 5 years): free
Departs from / Stops at: Vespucci airport: NCC Coach Station.
Departs from / Stops at: S.M. Novella Station: outside the station, Via Alamanni, opposite Bar Deanna
Click here for more information and Booking Details »
Florence Airport Taxi Arrival Transfer
Taxis are stationed in front of the terminal or can be called by radiotaxi. Phone +39.055.4242 / 4390 / 4499 / 4798. Taxi journey time from the airport to Florence city center is about 15 minutes.
Florence Airport Private Departure Transfer - Save time and money and book your transfer services before you go! This transfer will take you from Florence Airport to Florence City Center - without the hassle of picking up a rental car, negotiating unfamiliar traffic and maps. Need to get to Florence Airport? Plan your trip ahead of time, and book your Florence Airport Private Departure Transfer right here. Don't pay high cab fares or carry your luggage onto public transport - arrive at the airport on time, relaxed and with money in your pocket!
Duration: 30 minutes
Price: Starting from EUR €12.50 per person
Click here for more information and Booking Details »
Transportation in Florence
TAXI IN FLORENCE
In Florence taxi stands are easily accessible and easily found in different points of the city, very close to and in the center. It is also possible to call a Taxi service directly by dialing one of the following phone numbers: 055 43 90 | 055 44 99 | 055 47 98 | 055 42 42.
The taxi service is helded by two different mayor company: RADIO TAXI and TAXI SOCOTA so the fees can change a little bit, you really should read carefully the information about fare shown inside the taxi.
Here are taxi fares for destinations inside the city of Florence:
Starting rate: € 2,38
Starting rate for night trip (from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.): € 5,16
Starting rate for Sunday/holidays trip: € 4,03
Luggage (max 4 pieces): € 0,57 per piece
Rate fare from Florence (center) to Amerigo Vespucci Airport: about € 15,00
Other charges besides fare depends on the destination and supplements.
BUS IN FLORENCE
ATAF and LI-NEA are the public companies that manage the bus transportation in Florence. Genreally, from the center of the city and around the train station, you can reach all corners of the city. From their website you can easly find the fares, the time schedules and the city's bus map.
Tickets and Bus passes can be purchased at Box Ataf in Piazza Stazione, bars, newstands, tobacconists. Tickets must be stamped on the machines on board. At night, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., tickets can be purchased aboard from the driver at 2,00 Euro
Here are bus tickets/fares for destinations inside the city of Florence:
60 minutes - 1,00 Euro | 3 hours - 1,80 Euro | daily ticket - 4,00 Euro
2 days - 5,70 Euro | 3 days - 7,20 | weekly ticket - 12,00 Euro
Multi-ride (4x60 minutes) - 3,90 Euro
Here are some useful bus lines:
7 Stazione - S. Domenico - Fiesole
10 Stazione - Campo Marte - Settignano
12/13 Stazione - Piazzale Michelangelo (Camping Michelangelo)
17 Verga - Salviatino (Youth Hostel)
25a Stazione - P.zza Liberta - Pratolino (Villa Demidoff)
2 Stazione - Sesto Fiorentino - Calenzano (Camping Autosole)
37 Stazione - Porta Romana - Galluzzo (Camping Internazionale Firenze)- Tavarnuzze
Vola in bus Stazione - Ponte di Mezzo - “Vespucci”Airport
For more information you can give a look to there website or go to the "Box Ataf" in Piazza Stazione - "ProntoAtaf", tel. 800 424500
Website - More info: http://www.ataf.net/
TRAMVIA IN FLORENCE
Starting from February 2010 you can use the "Tramvia", new mean of transportation in Florence, created to connect different districts of the city. A normal ticket, valid for 90 minutes, costs €1,20 if you buy them in advance. They can also be purchased aboard, but for the price of €2,00. In accordance with the length of your stay it is also possible to buy tickets that are for example valid for 24 hours, 3 days or a month.
For more information about the prices you can have a look on the official ATAF website.
Remember that your ticket needs to be validated upon boarding.
New Trams, being on the same level of the floor, allow disabled to go on board.
Major Hotels within Minutes of the Conference Site
Click here to find an Hotel.
Firenze Fiera Congress & Exhibition Center
The venue of Interspeech 2011 will be the "Firenze Fiera Congress and Exhibition Center” which is only five minutes on foot from the central railway station of Santa Maria Novella and 1 km from the Duomo, and is also easily accessible by public transportation, by bus or by the modern and newly opened tramway. Moreover, its only 5 km from the Amerigo Vespucci international airport.
Three venues form the Congress and Exhibition area; they are located next to each other and represent an exciting itinerary through the history and evolution of Florence - from the 16th century Fortezza da Basso, the masterpiece by Antonio da Sangallo il Giovane, one of the most important examples of military Renaissance architecture, up to the Palazzo dei Congressi, hosted inside Villa Vittoria, an architectural jewel of the 18th century, as well as the Palazzo degli Affari, planned by architect Pierluigi Spadolini and opened in 1974.
INTERSPEECH 2011 will be hosted in the Palazzo dei Congressi and in the Palazzo degli Affari. These two venues all have reception points, Internet wireless connection, refreshment bars and bank service. Inside the Palazzo degli Affari you will also find a tourist information desk with all the information you need on hotel reservations and how to move in Florence.
Visitors from EU countries must have a valid national ID card to enter Italy. Visitors from other countries must have a valid passport.
All foreigners intending to enter Italy must provide the documentation required to justify the reasons and duration of their stay as well as, in some prescribed cases, the availability of adequate economic means and lodging. In some cases you need a visa, application for which can be made at the Italian Diplomatic and Consular Representations in your country of residence.
Do you need a visa ?
Visit the web site to:
- find out whether, depending on your citizenship, country of long-term residence, and the duration and reasons for your stay, you need a visa to enter Italy
- find out which documents are required in order to apply for your visa.
Be advised: presentation of the documentation requested does not necessarily ensure issuance of the visa
Where to apply for a visa
List of Italian Embassies and Consulates
Please note that Honorary Consulates do not issue visas. Their sole task is to supply information and/or receive visa applications on behalf of the Consulate to which they are subordinate.
Important information for foreigners
- When entering Italy, even if you have already obtained a visa, the border authorities are authorised to check the documentation required for obtaining the visa itself.
- Pursuant to article 4, paragraph 2 of Consolidated Text no. 286/98 and subsequent amendments, concomitant with the issuance of your visa you will receive a written communication from the diplomatic or consular authority illustrating the rights and obligations associated with your entrance and stay in Italy, with particular regard to the procedures envisaged for requesting a "Permesso di soggiorno" (permission to stay) or the issuance of a "Dichiarazione di presenza" (statement of presence).
For further information on entrance visas for Italy and the Schengen area click here.
For some countries a visa is required. Italy is a signatory to the 1995 Schengen Agreement. For more information, please contact the nearest Italian Embassy, Consulate or Travel agent in advance. Information about visas is available on the website: www.esteri.it/visti/index_eng.asp
We look forward to welcoming you to INTERSPEECH 2011 in Florence!
Dr. Piero Cosi and Professor Renato De Mori, Chairs, INTERSPEECH 2011