Catching cabs in Florence

liviaantonia

New member
I know it is unreasonable to expect Italians to speak English, but if I need to call a cab in Florence what are the chances that the taxi operator will be able to take my call. I will be staying in an apartment so will not be able to ask the hotel to call a cab! Thanks for any help that you can give me.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
easy to call cabs in Florence!

Don't worry, the operators do know enough English to send you the cab. If you're calling from the apartment, they will already know your address (yep, through the white pages directory) and will only ask what time - if you need it right away, they will tell you time it will take for it to arrive to your apartment, which could be 5 min or 10 min....
if you're calling from a cellphone, just be prepared to say the street address, such as "via san frediano, numero 15" - they also tell you a name of a city and a number -- that is the NAME of the taxi that you'll see printed on the side of the taxi by the front doors. That is a measure of security for you - you know it is the taxi you were expecting, and if someone else has also called a cab around the same time, your way to also say that is the cab that was meant for you and not someone else. So don't be alarmed to hear something like "5 minutes - Milano 25" from the operator, just make a mental note!

Also, if you need a cab in the early morning for ride to the airport, it is best to just call the night before and set the time you want it, that way you already know that around 6am for example your cab arrives without the need to worry about calling. You just head out a few minutes before and you'll likely find it right on time if not before. They are very punctual!
 

Melany

Well-known member
Lourdes, do you know how early is "too early" to ask for a cab? On the day we fly home, our flight leaves at 0940. I guess I probably need to check in around 0700, so I'll probably need a cab here at 0630. Is that too early?
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Melany, it isn't a matter of too early to call a cab. You can call in the morning even at 4am or 5am, I just personally prefer to do it the night ahead for the time I want to be out of the house. That way I make myself be ready on time, knowing the cab is ready outside!

6:30am would be fine for calling - maybe 10 minutes before to give it time to get to your place? Cabs don't necessarily come from the nearest stand, but whoever is free and "nearby".
 

simple_notz

New member
Can I know roughly how much is the taxi fare from dei benci/tintori to station SM Novella at 5am? Had to catch a train at 5.45am and im afraid i could not make it if i were to catch a bus. or can I walk from dei benci to the station? will it be dangerous to walk at 5am in florence? Im in a group of 3, 2 girls and a guy.

Thank you
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
You could walk to the station, Florence is a small city, the historical center is very small and safe. No matter the hour, there are often other people around. My only suggestion as a woman myself is just to stick to the wider streets, avoid the narrow back streets that see less foot traffic. You just want to remain visible and where other people are.
Via de' Benci/Tintori is right behind Palazzo Vecchio in the end, so from there you head to the Duomo and then to the station --- but the big question is: will you be carrying lots of luggage?
If you are, I'd just call the cab... it is a very short cab ride, with luggage there are supplements to pay... but I think you'll spend less than 15 euros, maybe even just 10, if you split it by 3, it is very affordable.
 

simple_notz

New member
We wont be carrying any luggage as we are on our way for a day trip to Rome..So I think walking would not be a problem.Thanks for the info :D
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Then walking would be absolutely really easy, I'd say it might take you 15min tops to get there... and you'll get to see Florence without all the crowds of the day, it should be a great experience in itself! :)
 

LeoK

New member
Late arrival

Hi Lourdes,

I have been reading through the forums and I think this is a fantastic information site!

I will be flying into Florence late at night and will have to make a stop to pick up keys near the train station for an apt by the Ponte Vecchio. I speak no Italian and was wondering how much English the cabbies speak and any precautions I should take while travelling with luggage at night?

Also when leaving I will be flying out in the morning and wondering if there are taxi stands near the south side of the Ponte Vecchio?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao LeoK,

Glad you're finding the forum and site helpful!

Cabbies do speak some basic English, I am sure there won't be a problem at all in asking to make a stop along the way.

There shouldn't be a problem with leaving luggage in the cab - but as a precaution, make sure when you jump on to take the name of the cab - it is on both sides of the cab between the front door and wheel and is generally the name of a city and a number, such as "Milano 25". That way if anything at all happens or if you leave something behind, you can always identify the taxi you were on.
Also make note of the taxi company - the most common is So.Co.Ta. whose number is 055.42.42.... you'll see this on the taxi itself as well. It is perfectly alright to ask the cabbie himself the info, he shouldn't get offended ;-).

If you want, you can write this phrase in Italian down on a piece of paper and fill in the addresses for the stop and for the apt.... and if the cabbie really doesn't understand about the stop in the middle, show it to him! :D

"Devo andare a ...... (fill in the apartment street address)
ma prima dobbiamo fermarci a ..... (fill in the street address for picking up keys) a ritirare le chiavi dell'appartamento. Va bene?"

If you're leaving after 7am, there is a taxi stand on
PONTE VECCHIO - LUNGARNO ACCIAIUOLI - hours are 07 - 01
If you're leaving before 7am, call the taxi to your apartment... otherwise, you'll find no taxis at the stand and will still need to call one there!

If you need any other tips, feel free to ask :)
 

LeoK

New member
Late Arrival

Hi Lourdes,

Thank you for the advice! After thinking about it, I don't think I would feel comfortable leaving my luggage in the taxi. How would you say in Italian "Please wait for me. I will be back but I want to take my luggage with me to be safe. I will be back in 10 minutes." I hope that doesnt offend the driver.

In the worse case, I would rather have the taxi leave and have to walk 15 minutes to catch another one than to have to go through the trouble of trying to locate my luggage because I left it in the taxi and I was taking too long.

Thank you once again.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
You definitely have to do what you're more comfortable with!

You could also have the one handing over the keys meet you at the apartment... or meet you at your cab on your first stop.

You can also go to your first stop and get off, particularly if you're at an agency and need to complete form and not sure how long it might take... maybe too long to have the cab waiting while the meter is running.
In that case, definitely take two cabs!
 

reneeamodeo

New member
Late Night Cabs

Because of a missed train connection, we arrived unexpectedly at Firenze Campo Di Marte train station at about 2:00 a.m. on a Thursday. Along with a few other passengers, we called the numbers on the taxi stand sign. Everyone else's taxi came quickly (they were all Italian speakers) but my daughter who has the most Italian of all of us, had trouble understanding the dispatcher/recording she was hearing when she called. (She was not able to use English as we had been in the past calling cabs.) It seemed to involve instructions for a text/SMS message? A car finally came for us, at least 20 minutes after everyone else was gone, but we think it was the same driver that had previously picked up another of our fellow missed connection travelers (We think he sent it back to check on us - he had been very helpful in explaining our situation to the conductors on the trains we eventually used to get back to Florence).

We are just curious if there is a certain procedure for getting a late night cab. I'd like our daughter to know as she is staying here until Christmas.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Very sorry to hear of your troubles when you arrived in Florence, particularly with the missed train connection - never any fun finding the best next one to get to where you want!

As you might have ready in my earlier posts on this particular thread, when you call a taxi here in Florence they give you the name of the taxi that you're to expect. It generally is the name of a city and a number - such as Berlino 125 or Roma 456 or something of that sort. They say it in such a matter-of-fact voice that you might miss it if not prepared for it, since they don't tell you "here is the name of your cab" before saying it. It is just likely that with so many cabs arriving for all the passengers, someone else took yours! :(

Definitely your daughter needs to know how to call one during her time here, and also know that after 9pm, if she's alone, she should catch a cab and get a small discount. She needs to ask for the 10% discount off the rate given for women traveling alone at night once she arrives at destination, they won't give it automatically.

So when you call a cab, just indicate the address where you're at, be prepared for their answer:
the approximate time it will take for the taxi to come pick you up and the name of the cab - or maybe in the other order, don't recall right now!

You can also call for a taxi with a text (SMS) message.
For the 055-4242 So.Co.Ta. taxi company, the number is: 334-6622550
while for the 055-4390 taxi company the number is: 333.8077555 (this second one also offers calls with Skype at "taxi.firenze")

In the message, send the address where you need to be picked up (street and number).
If it's a restaurant, hotel, cinema or something like that, indicate the name of the place and add your last name to the message.
You'll get an SMS confirming your taxi with the name of the cab and the estimated time for it to arrive at your address.
In this way, you can also reserve a taxi for tomorrow or another date... for example:
"via aretina, 12 - per le 6.15 del 02 novembre - Rossi" (the address, time and date for pick up, last name).
Oh.... if you're heading OUT of Florence, in the SMS indicate that your destination is out of Florence so they'll send the appropriate taxi.... otherwise is is always assumed your destination is Florence.

Hope this doesn't happen to you or your daughter again!
 
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