Florence ZTL question

Nuno

New member
Hello,

One thing every forum advises is if you rent a car in downtown Florence to:
- check the rent a car comunicates the license plate so as not to be fined;
- after leaving the ZTL do not enter it again.

Since the car rentals are all in ZTL A zone, and surronding it are other zones (O, F, B, etc..) when it is mentioned that after leaving the ZTL do not enter, does this mean that you should not enter ZTL A only, but you can pass the other ZTL zones until you leave the city?

Best regards,
Nuno
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Nuno,

There are various zones in the ZTL area (A, B, O, G, F) but these distinctions are for local residents' permits -- for non- locals, you can consider it as a single ZTL area.

You have to worry about the license plate being communicated only when re-entering the ZTL to RETURN a car rental, not as you leave it -- the important thing is to not go around in circles and risk re-entering the area as you're trying to leave it!

Checks on plates are always on ENTERING the ZTL area, controlled by cameras at specific entry points. Once you enter, if you are going around in circles, there are many one-way streets so you could theoretically exit and re-enter it if you're driving around one block right by an entry point. Just make sure to have a planned route to follow OUT of the center. The car rental places are happy to help map it out, generally.

Many of the car rental agencies in the downtown area are on Borgo Ognissanti, which is a street along the ZTL border and actually not inside the ZTL area. When you rent a car from there to leave Florence, the important thing is to make sure you take a route that will head out of the downtown area and not drive in circles, since you can then end up entering the ZTL without realizing it. So as long as you follow your route out, you're fine -- and when returning the car, the agency will communicate the license plate to the authorities.
 

Nickk

New member
Ciao Nuno,

There are various zones in the ZTL area (A, B, O, G, F) but these distinctions are for local residents' permits -- for non- locals, you can consider it as a single ZTL area.

You have to worry about the license plate being communicated only when re-entering the ZTL to RETURN a car rental, not as you leave it -- the important thing is to not go around in circles and risk re-entering the area as you're trying to leave it!

Checks on plates are always on ENTERING the ZTL area, controlled by cameras at specific entry points. Once you enter, if you are going around in circles, there are many one-way streets so you could theoretically exit and re-enter it if you're driving around one block right by an entry point. Just make sure to have a planned route to follow OUT of the center. The car rental places are happy to help map it out, generally.

Many of the car rental agencies in the downtown area are on Borgo Ognissanti, which is a street along the ZTL border and actually not inside the ZTL area. When you rent a car from there to leave Florence, the important thing is to make sure you take a route that will head out of the downtown area and not drive in circles, since you can then end up entering the ZTL without realizing it. So as long as you follow your route out, you're fine -- and when returning the car, the agency will communicate the license plate to the authorities.

Hello. New to the forum and have a question in the ZTL within Florence for an upcoming visit. We are picking up a hire car on Borgo Ognissanti which is in zone B. I can see a route out to SS67 straight down Borgo Ognissanti and onto Via II Prato which avoids any cameras. Upon entering again at end of holiday I see I can just reverse this although the one way would take me down Via Curtatone and Via Montebello before coming back down Borgo Ognissanti. I know you mention to ensure the hire car company registers the plate but if I avoid any cameras at all then there is no danger at all of being fined? I know this sounds simple but I’m just a bit confused about being in the zone and being tracked by cameras. Even if I’m in the zone but avoid the cameras all is completely ok?

Also whilst on subject of hire cars does anyone recommend the nearest decent petrol station to fill up before returning the car?
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
The streets you mention are NOT inside the ZTL area, precisely to allow cars to get onto Borgo Ognissanti. As long as you don't pass under any cameras (they have stoplights to indicate whether the ZTL is on or off - red when ON to indicate STOP) and are placed beyond the intersection so they can't be confused with normal traffic stoplights (plus there are signs that indicate ZTL area and what area).

So if you follow that route, you should be fine and never go into the ZTL area at all.

As far as petrol stations nearby, I recommend you stop at any once you're in Florence. You won't consume that much between the station and the car return so the tank should still be full by the time you return.
This way you avoid petrol stations along the borders of the ZTL so reduce risk of entering it without realizing it.
 

Taupe

New member
Guest House in ZTL area

Hello,

One thing every forum advises is if you rent a car in downtown Florence to:
- check the rent a car comunicates the license plate so as not to be fined;
- after leaving the ZTL do not enter it again.

Since the car rentals are all in ZTL A zone, and surronding it are other zones (O, F, B, etc..) when it is mentioned that after leaving the ZTL do not enter, does this mean that you should not enter ZTL A only, but you can pass the other ZTL zones until you leave the city?

Best regards,
Nuno

Writing from Quebec, Canada... we are booking a 2 weeks trip in Italy and I have a question about the ZTL in Florence. We'll spend our 3 last days of Tuscany tour in Florence and one of our first move will be to bring back our rental car to Avis in Florence (which is in ZTL area). We also booked the Emy Guest House which is the other side of the river but still in a ZTL area..

I read we just have to ask Avis to put our name in the white list... and same thing about someone who need to join his hotel (the hotel will communicate our name to the authority to be in the white list). But my main question.. is a Guest House which is not exactly a hotel is able to provide the same kind of ''operation'' or it's only apply for a ''real'' hotel

Thanks

Taupe
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Generally commercial businesses that are registered in the ZTL will offer that service - hotels and car rental agencies will for sure, if they are inside the ZTL!

Small B&Bs and guest houses -- and all airbnb apartments -- often do not offer this communication of your license place to the local authorities as a service, even when they are in the ZTL. If they do, they highlight it as part of their services for offering this extra service.
I highly doubt the apartment you booked offers this service, at least not from I was able to find and read about it.

If you're wondering how to get your luggage to the apartment and whether to return the car before or after:
you should know that in your case AVIS in NOT in the ZTL area, it is on Borgo Ognissanti which borders the ZTL area and you don't have to go into the ZTL area to return the car to them.
So it is likely they won't be offering the service of letting you off the hook for going into the ZTL first to get to your apartment, and then to them.

I would drop off the car, and if you need to because of luggage, take a taxi to your apartment.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Glad to help sort out these types of doubts, often times looking at a map is not sufficient if you don't have the local know-how, unfortunately.

I would prefer everyone who visits does not leave with a bad experience...or have their memories ruined by getting a fine months after! So glad to be of help!
 

Leehop

New member
More ZTL questions

Hello,

In October we are staying in an apartment directly across from Pitti Palace.
We will staying 3 days after driving in from Rome. After our stay in Florence, we drive out again for Cinque Terra. Parma, etc., leaving Italy from Milan.

My thoughts are, after hearing so many horror stories about the ZTLs,
we would drive straight to the Hertz closest to PP and taxi/Uber to our apt.
Upon leaving, do the same in reverse.There are 5 of us so we will prob split up but I avoid the ZTL headache. Is this advisable or are the ZTLs not that difficult?
I’ve driven in quite a few foreign countries. We will be in a mini-van.

Thanks
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
By driving to the Hertz, do you mean dropping off the rental completely and then picking up a new rental on departure?

Because if you really don't need the car while in Florence, you could do that - save on the rental and the parking fees. But minivans are hard to rent, particularly automatic ones, so you might also consider keeping it.

If instead you want to do day trips into Chianti, for example, then I suggest finding a parking garage and keeping the car (maybe that's what you meant, as there is a parking garage right next to the Hertz place on via di Sansovino).
You could find another parking garage closer to your apartment -- if the garage is in the ZTL area, they take care of putting your car's license into the white list EVERY TIME you return to them and thus enter the ZTL area (which you'd do if you do day trips).

What you absolutely must not do EVER is drive up to your apartment in Piazza Pitti because this particular street is regulated in such a special way that only residents and cars with a special permit can actually enter that street. This part of the ZTL is never turned off even at night or weekends, so definitely do not drive in front of Palazzo Pitti (cameras 26 and 27 on the map on this page - which I suggest you read https://www.visitflorence.com/tourist-info/driving-in-florence-ztl-zone.html ).
 
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