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Flying into Florence airport rather than Rome

Hello all! I spent a few weeks in Italy in March/April and had such a wonderful time. This forum was so helpful, but after the trip I needed to take a break and just get back to my normal routine. Well now I'm already thinking about traveling, although I'm hoping the testing to reenter the US will be dropped before I go again. Nonetheless, I thought this might be a good place to ask if, generally speaking, it's much more expensive to fly from the MD/DC area airports straight to Florence rather than Rome, and is that even possible.

While I'm so glad I got to see Rome, I don't feel a need to return, however, I'm thinking about spending a few weeks just in Florence and doing short trips from there (I never made it to Venice or Siena since I was enjoying Florence so much) and I'd prefer to avoid the hustle bustle of getting to Florence from Rome. I would consider flying into or out of Venice as well. What do you think?


Posted by
332 posts

I think that Florence can only handle smaller aircraft like a Boeing 737, so it would likely need a change of flight somewhere in Europe.
For direct flights I would guess you would have to go to Rome, Milan or Venice, and I don't think you are going to be able to get from Airport to Florence in less than the 2.5 hours that it takes by train from Fiumicino.

Posted by
3391 posts

Hey! Nice to see you back

There aren’t any direct flights to Florence from USA
Use Google Flights to see what options are
Also try Pisa and Bologna

Why not fly in to Venice and spend some time there first
American flies direct nonstop PHL to Venice

I haven’t seen flights from Dulles to Venice in a while
United flies EWR to VCE

Posted by
123 posts

Thanks. I'm just now in the thinking about it phase, so who knows how my next trip will actually look. I thought about Germany or Ireland, Scotland or who knows where, but I keep coming back to how much I loved Florence. For now I'll probably stick closer to home and wander around the US somewhere simply because of the stress factor involved in testing to reenter the US. When I was in Italy, I wore my mask everywhere there were crowds even after the requirement was lifted and the 10 or so minutes waiting for my test results the day before leaving were loooong!

I will say, I kind of love solo traveling. I changed my plan several times to suit my whim, which may not have been as easy if I'd had a partner along, and knowing I could send a message to this site and usually get a quick response if I got in a jam was a huge comfort.

Posted by
2236 posts

For our own trip to Florence a few years ago we elected to connect thru London on British Air and then continued on to Pisa. BA offers several cheap flights per day from Heathrow, as well as from Gatwick and the City airport.
In our particular case we stayed overnight at Heathrow before continuing on to Pisa the next morning, which worked out well for us. The train station in Pisa is a few minutes away from the arrival gates at the airport - connected by an efficient People Mover system that makes it a pretty seamless transfer.
As was mentioned, the airport at Florence has a short runway and arrivals and departures can be affected by seasonal weather, whereas Pisa doubles as an Italian AF base with long parallel runways for an added measure of safety.

Posted by
2646 posts

Some people have a strong preference for direct flights and would rather hop on the train from Rome to Florence (some even depart from the airport station). Others (I'm in this camp) would rather get to their specific destination even if they have to change planes (I do limit it to one brief layover). I also fly from DC area, and I recommend Lufthansa, as their layovers are fairly painless (try to avoid London and Paris layovers, and AMS is a mess right now)--but there are several options for decent flights to Florence. I would also include Pisa in your searches. I have never found one-stop flights more expensive than direct flights--usually the opposite actually.

Check into Venice and out of Florence/Pisa--flights to US from Venice often (not always) leave super early, and it can make departing from there a drag.

Posted by
1773 posts

As mentioned Florence is a very small airport flying there direct from anywhere in the US is not happening. The train station there gets more traffic than the airport.
It is an easy train ride from Rome though.

In general Italy has poor direct connections to the US. Other than Rome, there are a small number of Milan, Venice, Naples options but even some of those are seasonal.

If you must have a direct flight you will never have many options, as the flights are serving the leisure market which don't make the airlines much money. The business routes to other cities in Europe will always be their focus.

The good news is you can always fly to most anywhere in Europe ; stay a night or two and then catch a very cheap inter-Europe flight to Florence, Venice, Pisa, Verona, Bologna, etc...

I often explore multiple options like that to try and save money.

Posted by
12923 posts

Washington Dulles (IAD) is a United hub, therefore you have plenty of options to Frankfurt (FRA) or Munich (MUC) with United or their partner Lufthansa. Both those German hubs are well connected to Florence (FLR) with 3 to 5 daily pairs a day. They are also easy airports to navigate during a layover. The segment from Germany to Florence is operated by Air Dolomiti, an Italian airline part of the Lufthansa Group, aboard Embraer 190 regional jets.

The other good options from IAD to FLR are via Paris CDG (with AirFrance), Amsterdam AMS (with KLM) and Zurich ZRH (with United/Swiss). CDG and currently also AMS are not as friendly to navigate.

Posted by
2590 posts

the only problems with transferring at Heathrow are the expensive taxes/fees added for that "privilege" and the huge size of that airport

Posted by
123 posts

I’ve flown into Heathrow in the past (coincidentally heading on to Italy), and have no desire to do that again. There must have been a thousand people waiting to get through customs. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m actually kind of interested in the idea of flying into Zurich or some other place and maybe staying there a few days before heading on to Florence. See, this kind of thinking is something I love about this site. :)

Posted by
12923 posts

There are no flights from LHR to FLR. If you plan to fly to Heathrow the only way to get to Florence is to transfer via ground to London City (LCY) with British Airways or to Gatwick (LGW) with Vueling (part of the IAG group like British Airways). Unless you plan to visit also London, I wouldn't choose that route. The only sensible option to fly via LHR would be to fly to Bologna (BLQ) which has 3 daily pairs from/to LHR with British.

Posted by
123 posts

Oh no, someone mentioned Heathrow upthread, so I was responding to that. I’d definitely want to fly into somewhere interesting with a direct flight onto Florence. Of course at this point, it’s still all just dreaming…