Traveling across Tuscany by train is definitely one of the most stress-free ways of exploring the region. The main cities are well connected to each other and, money-wise, trains in Tuscany (as well as in the rest of Italy) are quite cheap.
Here are some general info about trains in Tuscany and some tips to help you plan your trip.
Thanks to its central position, Florence is the most important railway hub in Tuscany. The Cradle of the Renaissance is home to a number of train stations and it is connected to Livorno and Massa via Pisa, to Viareggio via Prato and Lucca, to Siena via Empoli, and to Cortona and Chiusi via Arezzo.
Florence's main train station is Firenze Santa Maria Novella (sometimes shortened in Firenze SMN), set a in the very heart of the city centre, a few hundred metres away from the Duomo. Many tourists often seem confused by Firenze Rifredi, another station in town, but you should know that when you get there, there are still 5 minutes left to reach Santa Maria Novella station. The Firenze Campo di Marte station is also set in a strategic position, especially in case you're staying in the Campo di Marte, Sant'Ambrogio or Santa Croce areas of Florence.
Along the coast, there is a main line that goes from the Liguria region to Massa, Viareggio, Pisa, Livorno, Venturina, Grosseto and Orbetello until reaching Lazio region. Depending on the train, it also stops in small stations.
Many other Tuscan towns and villages are not well-connected by train because they are on a hilltop and the train station is quite far from the town centre. This is the case of Siena, Volterra, San Gimignano, Cortona, Monteriggioni and the list can continue. The solution is to add a local bus to the train or decide to rent a car and reach the place without the worry of combining public transport timetables. Another problem, in fact, is that sometimes train and bus timetable don’t match.
Traveling by train with your kids too? On the regional trains you don’t have to pay the ticket for children up to 4 years of age (but they are not entitled to occupy a seat); children up to 12 years old can pay a reduced ticket price and have a seat.
Traveling by train + bicycle? You can carry your bike on the train, but ask before because not all the trains accept bikes. In addition to your train ticket, you will need to purchase a ticket for the bike. Trains have specific cars at one end or the other to carry the bike. Fix them and use a locker if you’re not staying in proximity of the bike.
Traveling by train with your pet? No problem! Pets can travel on trains in Italy but don’t forget your dog registration certificate/passport. Small dogs, cats or other little pets, kept in carriers no larger than 70x30x50 cm travel for free in all the different types of trains. A dog of any size can travel with a muzzle and leash on many trains buying a second-class ticket for your dog at half off the standard fare. More info here.
Another thing you should know is that there are various kinds of trains, depending on how fast you want to go and how expensive you want to buy the ticket. The types of trains in Tuscany are: Regionale, Regionale Veloce, Intercity, Frecciabianca, Frecciargento, Frecciarossa. Each one is different, for example the Regionale Veloce is perfect if you want to move between Pisa or Livorno and Florence as we told you in this post: "From Pisa to Florence by fast train" Looking for something really different and… “vintage”? Hop on a steam train! These journeys are organized in specific periods of the year (in general spring and autumn), giving you the possibility to travel slowly in the most beautiful villages of Tuscany and discover the food and wine events dedicated to local products.
Trenitalia website Italo website Check out our post “How to book a train ticket online in Italy” Download the app “Prontotreno” (in Italian) to buy a ticket or access other services through your smartphone. Check out this web app to see trains in real time (departures and arrivals) in the main Italian stations. Check out this website to find out how to move in Tuscany with public transportation simply adding your address. For any other questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to write us!