My partner & I will arrive by train in Florence mid-afternoon on a Saturday and need to get to the Avis car rental at 128/R Borgo Ognissanti, which looks to be about 4 or 5 blocks away. I've heard the area around the train station is "rough" - is it safe to walk with luggage or should we look for a taxi, leave luggage in a locker and come back with the car, or one of us go, one of us stay? Thanks much in advance.
I haven't been there since 1999, but when my mother and I arrived there were many men on the streets and in the tunnels (crossing under the streets) to act as security, with official looking uniforms. We asked and in great English they said they were trying to protect tourists and change the reputation of Florence. We did leave our suitcases in lockers at the train station and only took our carry-ons as we were only spending one night and didn't want to bother. You could do that and walk, returning once you have the car to pick up your luggage.
My wife and I walked this area with our luggage in June, 2005 with no problem. We used Hertz but I think it was right across the street. It was about a 10 minute walk...tons of tourists on the street. The only bad area was around the underground walkway that crossed the main drag...but you won't go that way. Just turn right out of the station and you shouldn't have any trouble.
It is safer then San Francisco. Assuming that you are not arriving at 3 am, you will enjoy the walk.
It's fine in Florence to walk around the train station.
Mid afternoon is OK. There will be tons of people, so just be aware of your surroundings. We've never had an issue in Florence. I hope you are packing light so luggage shouldn't be an issue. There will be lots of other travelers around you and you will blend in.
No need to take a cab for a short walk and no need to hassle with checking your luggage, then coming back with a car. Florence is very easy to navigate!
Thanks all - I feel much more comfortable about making the walk. Sounds like a bit of common sense, public awareness, and good shoes will carry the day.