ZTL's in Florence - again

Sorry - this topic has been discussed to death it seems, and the more I read the more anxious I get, but I have a specific question as it relates to ZTL's in Florence (renting from Hertz, driving to Autostradale): If you received a violation, was it because you got lost on your way to the Autostrada from Hertz (or anywhere inside the city) - OR is it impossible NOT to receive a violation driving from Hertz to Autostrada, since Hertz is in the historic zone?

And - are you pretty much 'safe' after you cross the bridge, on your way to Autostrada?

I'm going to pick up the car at the airport instead of the city, but was wondering, if one is given directions out of the city to the Autostrada (or is reading a map or GPS...etc) and you don't stray from your route, how likely is it that you will end up in a ZTL zone?

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6808 posts

You'll be okay if you pick up from the airport, as you say you're going to do, and then head directly to the A1 by going west or southwest from the airport.

Avoid going southeast from the airport towards the historic center. You don't need to do that to get to the A1.

Where people have gotten in trouble is: they thought they could pick up the rental car from the train station rental car places and then thread the needle out of the historic center. Technically, this is possible: the train station is not itself in the ZTL, although it's surrounded by the ZTL on three sides.

These people had, apparently, been told they could "go for it", save the taxi fare to the nearby airport, and thread the needle of staying on the approved route out of the historic center. But then, due to traffic conditions or the other weirdnesses that occur while driving in Florence (you'll understand after you've there), it didn't work out for them, they took a wrong turn, and that's all it takes, one wrong turn and you've then driven by one of the many automated cameras, it snaps a pic of you and your license plate and months later you get the big fines in the mail.

In 2008 Florence issued one ZTL violation per minute, 24/7/365. That's the figures we got from an Italian website, one per minute.

Posted by Kent
Pacific Northwest
6808 posts

This map is from the City/Commune of Florence:

click here to see a map of the Florence ZTL's

The map is interactive, click on the ZTL zones to see the streets.

Posted by Connie
Everett, WA
827 posts

Anna- the ZTL's are designed to protect the older parts of the city. If you are not driving anywhere near the "heart" of the tourist part of Florence you will be fine. (The heart if where the Duomo, train station, Ponte Vechhio, etc are) You should be fine. It is always a good idea to be familiar with what the sign for a ZTL looks like as they are in many towns and cities. Also be familiar with what a speed camera sign looks like...or better yet always go the speed limit. They are on the autostrada's but also on small country roads as well. Here is web site that talks a little bit about this:

http://www.bella-toscana.com/traffic_violations_italy.htm

You are doing the right thing by researching this and being familiar with their systems before going. I spent a considerable amount of time looking into traffic tickets in Italy before our last trip. We drove all over Italy and have been home a year and have not received any tickets to date (they have 2 years, but the vast majority of tickets are issued within a year) Being proactive on this will pay off for you.

Posted by Scott M.
Dallas, TX, USA
1166 posts

If you are picking up from the airport, you will be far enough from the city center that you won't have to worry about the ZTL. The Autostrada is not too difficult to get to as it is close-by. I definitely recommend a GPS. I wouldn't go to Italy without one. With all the one way streets, etc. around the city center, if you rent there, inevitably you will cross into one of the ZTL's (5 zones). Not only that, but if you cross from one ZTL into another, that's yet another fine. They don't care if you are lost. If you Google the Florence ZTL, you will eventually find a map showing the boundaries. Basically, the boundaries are within the "ring road" surrounding the city center and bordered by the Arno River. Also, there is a ZTL across the river around the Pitti Palace. I have taken a "virtual drive" through the streets of Florence using Google Earth street view and have found most of the places where the ZTL's begin. It is very confusing if you are in the city center trying to avoid them.