Rome to Florence by train
Rome to Florence, by train. You will be hard-pressed to find any two cities that offer more to visitors. Your Eurail pass allows you to make the most of their relative proximity.
Have a late breakfast in Rome’s upscale Monti neighborhood and the Frecciarossa high-speed train will get you to Florence by lunch. Or, for a scenic meander through the mountain towns of Tuscany, choose regional trains.
How to get from Rome to Florence by high-speed train
Each hour, from 6:25 a.m., between two and four high-speed trains depart from Roma Termini station. The train arrives in Florence at Firenze Santa Maria Novella station in approximately 90 minutes. The trains are quiet and clean. Your only outlay is a €10 reservation fee.
How to get from Rome to Florence by regional train
The regional trains from Rome to Florence cost nothing and give you the option of stopping off at a number of stunning cities along the way (see below). The trains generally depart from the platforms at the east side of the station, which are located at the opposite end of the left luggage office (located below the tracks near platform 24). If you’re on a tight schedule, be sure to leave plenty of time for error.
Getting to Rome train station
There are two main stations in Rome, Roma Termini and Tiburtina, but the more central Termini will more likely be your point of departure. The station is centrally located – you can reach Termini with a 20-minute walk down Via Cavour from the Coliseum. Both of Rome’s metro lines converge at Termini, and a train connects Fiumicino airport to the station every 30 minutes.
Arriving at Florence train station
Florence’s central station, Firenze Santa Maria Novella, is an architectural curiosity of its own. You’ll enjoy walking down its striped, red-and-white marble floors while imagining the controversy its rationalist design evoked when the station was completed in the 1930’s. Left luggage is found at the side of platform 16 and is open from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. daily. Florence is delightfully small. From the station, most of the landmarks can be reached within 15 minutes on foot.
Top 3 authentic Italian cities on the Rome to Florence route
The regional train traces a quintessential Italian route, with stations set at the foot of medieval castle towns and enchanting lakeside resorts. Your Eurail pass allows you to branch off the Rome to Florence route and unlock a truly unique and unforgettable itinerary. The stops listed below are just a few highlights that will prove a welcome interruption of the road from Rome.
From the train, Orvieto, with its stone castle walls perched atop a steeply rising hill, looks intimidating. But your perspective changes as soon as you hop aboard the funicular at the foot of the hill (a €1 ticket also transfers to the bus that takes you onward to Piazza del Duomo). Everything about the city center whispers enchantment, from the gothic façade of the duomo to the small side streets. Embraced in ivy, the stillness is only broken by locals on their evening walks. The city center is a pedestrian oasis, and while the cafes can be kitschy, they’re surprisingly vibrant. The cobbled floors make their interiors seem like covered extensions of the streets.
Roberto Benigni elicited the beauty of Arezzo’s historic center in the Italian movie, Life Is Beautiful (view movie clip). It’s easy to imagine yourself as Benigni, barreling through Piazza Grande on a two-wheeler at breakneck speeds. A better idea may be to sit in the arched arcade facing the piazza and watch the citizens stroll through the wide, sloped square in front of you. Despite being one of Tuscany’s most well-heeled cities, Arezzo is affordable. When I pulled €1.50 out of my wallet to pay for a cappuccino at the elegant Caffe Vasari, I was surprised to get 30 cents back in change.
- San Giovanni Valdarno
One of the most important cities in the Valdarno region on the way from Rome to Florence, San Giovanni, is usually skipped by tourists, a shame really. San Giovanni’s stately city center hosts the works or the homes of Florentine greats in arts and architecture such as Masaccio and Arnolfo di Cambio. Sit at Caffe Fiorenza in Piazza Cavour and study the peculiar façade of the 13th century municipal palace. The loggia-style structure is covered in ceramic heraldry, made to identify the landowners who came to San Giovanni to live in the early centuries of the city’s existence. It’s essentially like reading through a colorful wall of 15th century graffiti.