Florence airport, then train to CT

Due to a schedule change on Lufthansa, we will now arrive in Florence at 12:40pm (from Frankfurt) instead of the night before. Now, upon arrival, we will catch a train to Monterosso. So when looking at Trenitalia and Google maps, it appears that Firenze Rifredi train station is closer to the airport (5km) and would be quicker and easier than taking a cab into central Florence to SMN station. Seems that most, if not all, the trains connecting to Monterosso stop at Rifredi. Is this a good plan? Anything I'm not seeing here? Second question, since we are arriving from Frankfurt, where we've already cleared immigration/customs, do we just walk of the plane with our carry-ons, and catch a cab? We should be able to catch either the 13:34 or 13:59 train, right?
Thanks in advance for your advice.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Karen, You'll probably find a greater availability of trains from Firenze SMN to Monterosso (although some may also stop at Rifredi). The airport in Florence is only a short distance from the city centre, so I'd probably use a Cab to the station(there are Buses also). The easiest train will probably be a departure at 13:53, arriving Monterosso at 16:45 (one change at La Spezia Centrale). There's an earlier departure at 13:28 but that has two changes at Pisa and La Spezia. Travel time is exactly the same so use whichever one you can connect with. Happy travels!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3342 posts

Karen: The Rifredi station brings back memories to me. I lived in an apartment building next to it between the age of 4 and 7. The station is where we used to play hide and seek and any other game kids that age play. It's also the station where at the age of 5 I used to go with 1 huge tank of water to get drinkable water delivered by rail from Bologna during the Great Flood of 1966 when no water was available to Florence residents for many days. Water was rationed per person, and although not much bigger than the tank, I counted as one person. Memory lane aside I would take the full train schedule with me and decide which station to go to only when I'm on the ground inside the taxi. The time it takes to go to either station is not that different at that time of the day. Rifredi may be 15 minutes away instead of 20. If when you arrive (inside a taxi), Rifredi is better for the next train, then you can go there. However I fly to Florence very often from SFO (at least once a year) and nearly always with Lufthansa with your very same flight. The connection is often tight in FRA and it's a long walk from the gate where the SFO flight arrives and the gate where the FLR flight departs. Also delays to FLR are not uncommon, especially with inclement weather or just high winds, due to Florence extremely short runway. Add to that the often long lines at the taxi stand and I would wait to be inside a taxi before making any plans. So check the train schedule so that you have all options at hand. Some train options departing from SMN Station (the main one) don't stop at Rifredi, so choose carefully but only when on the ground. Rifredi is about 15 min away from the airport, SMN just 5 min more.

Posted by Karen
Santa Rosa, CA
611 posts

Thanks for the advice Ken and Roberto. I'll have the train schedules printed and wait to decide which station until in the taxi. I was also concerned about the connection time, so just posted that question.

Posted by shirley
Toronto, Canada
296 posts

When you arrive in Florence, there may be a shuttle bus to the terminal from the plane (or maybe not since the airport is being expanded) and then walk through the baggage area and out.

Posted by Larry
Elk Grove, CA, USA
6718 posts

You are correct that most trains to the CT from Florence will stop at Rifredi. However, as Roberto points out, there is not much difference in taxi fare to either Rifredi or Santa Maria Novella. I believe that the Volainbus airport bus to the SITA bus station stops at the SMN train station. The fare for the bus is much lower than the taxi. We have also taken the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Florence. And yes, you can walk right off the plane, claim your luggage and walk out the door. Your flight from Frankfurt is a inter-country EU flight. Any immigration will take place at Frankfurt (at least it did for us). From Florence, you are still at least 3hrs away from the CT.