We're staying in the region Chianti and plan on driving in to Florence (well not in precisely) to tour the Uffuzi etc. Anyone done this and have some driving tips on finding good parking (say at the main rail station). We will be in Florence early October on a Thursday and Friday. Don't mind walking a bit but am afraid to depend on the Italian bus/rail system and their frequent strikes.
My advice is don't. Florence is not a pleasure to drive into if you have never been there and parking is vary scarce.
We found Trentalia to be excellent, beautiful trains, on time and inexpensive compared to North America
Note that you aren't getting many repsonses on this post. There are numerous travelers that respond regularly and we keep seeing people wanting to drive and park in Florence. I guess that it gets a bit old to keep handing out bad news about driving and parking in Florence. We keep telling people that they face unhappiness and disaster and the possible towing of their car. There is no "good parking" in Florence for the tourist. Still, we have the occasional person who tells about an easy time parking at the train station or over by the Pitti Palace and can't wonder what the problem is all about. There are years of unhappy stories on this and other travel sites about driving and trying to park in Florence. There are also stories of receiving tickets in the mail long after arriving home. I hate to be a party pooper on driving and parking but you've been warned.
Your fear of the train system is unfounded. Take the train from Chianti. The train system works better than you can imagine.