When I research train travel in Europe, my starting point is always the website with the curious name the Man in Seat 61. This is the Bible of rail travel information. From there I can always jump off to research prices and routes – but this is where I always begin.
There are two high speed trains run in Italy. One is called Frecciarossa, operated by Trenitalia, and the other is operated by Italo. I’m not sure which is better – I researched my routes, prices and schedules on both websites and bought what fit my needs best.
Like Amtrak, the price of train tickets in Italy shoots up in price as you get closer to the travel date. However, because we were planning to take a train right after our flight landed, we needed to wait and see our arrival time before buying a non-refundable train ticket. Our BA flight was scheduled to arrive FCO at 14:10 p.m. Most routes from FCO to Florence were not direct but rather required a change of trains in Rome. However, I was shooting for the 15:20 train that went direct from FCO to Florence without changing trains. Luck was in our favor. We landed early and rushed to the train station at the airport.
The tickets were not cheap, approximately €55 per person, one way, 2nd Class.
It looked like it was so much simpler to just go directly to Rome and I questioned whether we should have planned to go there first, rather than Florence.
Anyway, they made us wait until a few minutes before departure time to go through the turnstiles to our train platform.
We boarded the assigned train and took our assigned seats. Neither the air conditioning nor the wifi were optimal, but we were on our way to Florence.
Shortly afterwards, we stopped and picked up passengers at the Rome Stations, but we did not have to change trains.
We sat back and enjoyed the train ride. I think we each slept a little since we had been flying all night.
And then, we arrived in Florence. We stopped in at an Info Center and got a map and directions to our hotel (I like actual maps but I also Google Map everything). It was about a 15-minute walk to the Hotel Orto de Medici.