Florence's undeniable status as a premier tourist destination masks its historical importance. The city was where the Italian Renaissance began in the 14th century, spreading out to change Europe over the next two hundred years.
This history is writ large in this once Roman city, a place where poetry, art and architecture all come to life. Car hire in Florence is the ideal way to start your visit here. We have several pick-up points located around the city, including at the airport, so we'll soon have you on your way whether you're here on business, as a culture vulture or to sample the fantastic food.
The flexibility of paying in advance or on collection means you can really make the most of your precious time here. Our car collection allows you lots of scope, whether you’re staying in the city or driving out further to explore gorgeous Tuscany region.
Opening hours:Mo-Fr 0830-1830, Sa 0830-1230, Su closed
Address:Via del Sansovino 53
Opening hours:(Seasonal Location) Apr to Oct: Mo-Sa 0800-1900, Su 0800-1300 // Nov to Mar: Mo-Fr 0800-1900, Sa-Su 0800-1300
From 1 April 2017: Mo-Su 0800-1900
Address:Via Borgo Ognissanti 137/R
Opening hours:Mo-Sa 0830-2330, Su 0930-2330
Address:A Vespucci Airport, Amerigo Vespucci Airport
Opening hours:Mo-Sa 1000-2000, Su 1100-2000
Address:Via Francesco Redi 1
Car hire in Florence is one of the best ways to get out and see more of Tuscany, as many of its beautiful areas aren't served by public transport. Autostrade – such as Tuscany's A1 – are toll roads, while there's also an extensive network of state and regional roads to help you get around.
South of Florence, the SR222 (Via Chiantigiana) is a popular and scenic drive that winds through wine country, peppered with picture postcard towns full of rustic restaurants and cafes. Heading east on the SS67, meanwhile, will lead you through the Casentino Valley to Arezzo, taking in chapels, bridges and ancient abbeys.
You also find that many other major Italian cities are within reach for day trips. Bologna is around an hour and a half’s drive away by car to the northeast, while Pisa is just over an hour’s drive to the west.
If you’re planning on driving around Florence itself, the centre is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this protected status has led to it having a Zona a Traffico Limitato or Limited Traffic Zone. To drive in it you'll need a special permit.
The only day you can drive into the ZTL is on a Sunday but parking here can be difficult. If your hotel is in the ZTL area, you need to let the hotel know your vehicle details in advance so they can in turn let the authorities know so that you'll be able to access the area without a fine.
With a wide range of travellers passing through our locations every day, we've got a wide range of vehicles on offer to suit your needs - from smart executive saloons to compact family hatchbacks. ***
***Specific cars may not be available when booking
Michelangelo's 'David', Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus', and the terracotta-tiled Duomo that looks like it's made of gingerbread - the Renaissance gave Florence incredible art and architecture, but there is more to this enchanting city than looking to the past.
Buck the trend (and avoid the major crowds of tourists) by starting your visit to Florence in the Oltrarno district. While steeped in history – there are surviving parts of the medieval fort that once stood here, and squares dating back to the 14th century – this is an area that has recently been revived.
Filled with artisan workshops and a place where jewellery and ceramics were expertly crafted, it now also boasts boutique hotels and destination restaurants such as pizza place Berbere. The speck, gorgonzola, walnuts and acacia honey pizza makes a real change from the more traditional Margherita.
It would be strange to visit Florence without immersing yourself in the stunning art and eminently photographic buildings. The cathedral, Il Duomo, was started in the 13th century with Brunelleschi's dome added in the 15th century. For those who can brave heights, and some cramped corridors, a climb to the top of the cupola is worth it to see the dome up close.
The 13th century Basilica of Santa Croce is another feast for the eyes whose history spans many centuries. It hosts a relief by Donatello, Giotto frescoes and is where Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Galileo and Rossini are buried.
The Ponte Vecchio Bridge which spans the Arno River is famed for the shops that line it. These have evolved over the years from butchers to souvenir sellers, but there is still a real character to this storied bridge.
Florence is a fantastic place to tick off some of the greatest artworks in history from your checklist. Gaze at Michelangelo's 'David' at the Accademia, while a visit to the Uffizi Gallery is almost overwhelming in its riches. Here you'll see Botticelli, Titian, Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Leonardo da Vinci masterpieces.
One of the joys of visiting Italy is tasting the different cuisines in the 20 different regions. Tuscany has its own unique culinary heritage and Florence is famed for its 'cucina povera', a form of cooking that takes pride in elevating humble ingredients through care and attention.
Beans, bread and good olive oil are to the fore, while a fresh panzanella salad is the best use of stale bread you'll ever taste. Florence is home to both traditional and modern restaurants, pizzerias and gelaterias, and your palate will thank you for wandering away from the main tourist traps.
Florence is a timeless city whose appeal is obvious and rewarding. Car hire will let you see what lies beyond this sparkling Italian jewel.
Please note that from 15 Nov to 15 Apr many cities are required by law to restrict the circulation to only vehicles equipped with snow chains or winter tyres. For a summary of the orders, please visit www.poliziadistato.it. To comply with the regulations, in specific locations subject to this requirement, vehicles are equipped with snow chains - the price is included in the rental charges through the cost of "Winterization Fee". At pick-up if you decide to bring your own snow chains or do not intend on driving on the roads subject to this requirement, you may decline the equipment by signing the appropriate release form. This change will be reflected in the rental charges. For more information on the fees, please click here. In all other regions, we recommend that you check before renting if your journey includes one of the roads subject to this requirement and therefore request the snow chains, if necessary.