Cars are parked in a parking lot at Villa Costanza near Florence, Italy.

How to Park Outside Florence & Take the Tram to the Center – Villa Costanza Quick Guide


Are you day-tripping to Florence and feeling a little stressed about driving in and parking in the city? 

Does the thought of navigating Florence’s streets, trying to find parking, and avoiding the dreaded ZTL make you sweat?

If you answered si (yes) to either of those questions, don’t fret!

I’m a Tuscan local and we live just outside of the city, which means I drive and park in Florence all the time.  I park in different places, depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing in the city.  Today I’ll walk you through parking at the Villa Costanza lot, just outside of the city.

You’ll learn:

  • Where the Villa Costanza lot is
  • Why you should use it (or shouldn’t)
  • How to get to the Villa Costanza lot
  • How to get from the lot to the Florence city center
  • Tips for taking the tram from Villa Costanza to Florence with kids
  • Tips for using Villa Costanza as your parking lot for Florence

My goal is that by the end of this, you’ll feel confident parking at Villa Costanza and making your way into Florence so you can focus on the city and not logistics!

Andiamo – let’s go!

Where is the Villa Costanza Parking Lot?

The Villa Costanza parking lot is in a suburb of Florence called Scandicci, which is about 7 or 8 kilometers from Florence’s Duomo. 

Map of Villa Costanza Parking Lot

Why You Should Park at the Villa Costanza Lot

There are plenty of places to park in Florence (lots, garages, on the street), but parking at Villa Costanza is a good choice for you if:

  • You’re nervous about accidentally driving into a ZTL zone
  • You don’t want to worry about finding a parking spot
  • You don’t enjoy parking in tight spaces
  • You need a place to park your car for one or more nights while you visit Florence
  • You don’t want to spend €€€ for parking in Florence (this is budget parking for Florence)
  • You’re taking a train from Florence SMN and need a place to park your car (we do this often)

Skip parking at Villa Costanza if:

  • You’re just making a quick trip into Florence (the tram takes 23 minutes each way)
  • You need to be able to access your car while you’re in Florence
  • Your hotel stay includes parking
  • You won’t need your car after you visit Florence (just return it and explore Florence on foot)

How to Get to the Villa Costanza Lot

Green sign on the Autostrada in Italy shows Parcheggio Villa Costanza and tram FIRENZE.
The Villa Costanza / tram signs on the Autostrada are clearly marked

The Villa Costanza lot must be accessed by the A1 Autostrada.  You can read more about it in my ‘Tips’ section below

You can enter this location in Google Maps. 

Once you exit the Autostrada, you’ll see a traffic circle about 100 meters in front of you.  Enter it and take the second exit.  Take a ticket and enter the lot. 

Villa Costanza Parking Lot – official website

Read more about
Autostrade – Toll Roads in Italy
How to Pay Tolls in Italy
Driving in Italy

How to Take the Tram from Villa Costanza to the Florence City Center

Tram Basics

Tram Line: T1 – Leonardo

Travel Time from Villa Costanza to Florence SMN Train Station:  Villa Costanza to Alamanni – Stazione SMN stop (in front of Florence SMN train station) is 23 minutes (13 stops).  You can also stay on 2 more minutes as the train curls around to the side of the station to the Valfonda – Stazione SMN stop, but I recommend just getting off at Alamanni – Stazione SMN.

Good To Know:  When you’re on the tram, digital signs state the next stop, and you can also follow along on the maps above the doors and windows.

Ticket Cost & Tram Hours:  Check the official tram website: GEST Tramvia

Where to Buy Your Ticket:  There are multiple ways to purchase tickets (see the official site).  I find the easiest ways are 1) purchase from the automatic ticket machine right where you get on the tram, or 2) use contactless payment on the tram (but at the time of writing you can only purchase one ticket per contactless payment, so not helpful if you’re paying for a group).  I buy from the machines if I’m with my family, but with contactless payment when I’m on my own.

Villa Costanza to Florence SMN – Step-By-Step

  1. Drive to the Villa Costanza parking lot via the A1 Autostrada (you must arrive via the Autostrada to enter the parking lot).
  2. Pay your toll to exit the Autostrada and at the traffic circle, enter the Villa Costanza lot.  Take a ticket to enter.  You’ll need the ticket to pay later, so keep it with you in a safe place.
  3. Park your car in the lot. 
  4. Walk to through the turnstiles at the building by the traffic circle (there’s a big white EXIT/USCITA sign with an arrow pointing to the turnstiles).
  5. Turn left at the end of the building and walk down the stairs or the ramp to the tram stop (you may even see a tram waiting there). 
  6. Buy your ticket(s).  As I mentioned above, there are multiple ways to purchase them.  You can buy them from the automatic machine right on the platform where you catch the tram.
  7. Board the tram and validate your physical ticket by sticking it into the small yellow machine by the door.  You must validate your ticket!  If you forget this step, you will be fined if your ticket is checked.  If you’ve purchased digitally, you can skip the validation.
  8. Ride the 13 stops to the Alamanni – Stazione SMN at the Florence SMN train station.  Enjoy Florence!

Returning to Villa Costanza from Florence

  1. If you haven’t already done so, buy your ticket(s) for the tram.
  2. Get on the tram at the Florene train station, choosing either the Valfonda – Stazione SMN or the Alamanni – Stazione SMN stop.
  3. Ride 13-14 stops (depending on where you got on.  You don’t need to stress about missing your stop, as Villa Costanza is the last station on line T1.
  4. Pay for your parking (you’ll need to insert your ticket that you got when you entered).
  5. Drive out of the lot, inserting your ticket at the barrier to raise it. You’ll then enter the A1 Autostrada.

Read more about Florence’s SMN Train Station

Taking the Tram from Villa Costanza Lot with Kids

I’ve taken the tram from Villa Costanza to Florence plenty of times, and it’s easy to do.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Tickets – Kids under 1 meter (39.4 inches) travel for free!

Strollers – You can access the tram via the ramp at the Villa Costanza tram station, so you don’t need to carry it down the steps.  You are allowed to take your stroller on the tram but if it’s crowded, it’s best to fold it up (and it will get more crowded as you get closer to Florence SMN).  I’ve used a stroller on the tram but have always folded it for the ride.

Toilets – There aren’t any toilets on the tram, but you can use the toilet at the Villa Costanza station or the Florence SMN train station (both paid).

Read more about
Florence with Kids (Complete Guide)
Things to Do in Florence with Kids

Tips for Parking at Villa Costanza Parking Lot

People sit on tram at Villa Costanza station. Others wait outside the tram's open door on left.

Go to the Correct Lot – If using your GPS/Google Maps to arrive at the lot, make sure you enter ‘Parcheggio Villa Costanza’ and that your driving route takes you onto the A1 Autostrada.  You cannot access the Villa Costanza parking lot from surface roads.  There is another parking lot adjacent to the Villa Costanza tram stop that can be reached with surface roads.  This lot is free, but it fills up early in the morning (often by 7:00am) with Florentine commuters.  If you arrive and it’s full, it takes 10-15 minutes to get to the Villa Costanza paid lot (the one this article’s about) because you have to get on the Autostrada.  I highly recommend using the paid lot.

Park as close as you can to the exit.  I’ve been in crazy traffic leaving the lot.

Don’t Tempt Thieves – Don’t leave valuables or luggage in your car.

Make a Note of Your Row – Take note of your corsia (lane/row) at the parking lot so you can find your car when you return.

Use the Toilet – If you’re heading into Florence to explore, use the toilet at Villa Costanza, after you’ve passed through the turnstiles (€1 at time of writing).  Otherwise, you’ll need to find a place in Florence (paid inside the Florence SMN train station if you need it).

Validate Your Ticket – Stamp your physical ticket in the small yellow machine on the tram.  If you don’t, and you’re asked to show your ticket to the tram attendant, you will be fined.  It happens all the time. 

Extra Luggage – Buy an extra ticket for additional luggage.  One bag is free. There are limits to luggage sizes and weights (see the official site).

Buy Two Tickets – If you’re buying paper tickets for the tram, buy two so you don’t have to purchase them in Florence for your trip back.

Choose the Correct Tram Line on the Way Back to Villa Costanza – On the way to Florence, you don’t need to worry, as the Villa Costanza tram stop is the first stop on the line (T1).  On the way back to Villa Costanza from Florence, you need to take the T1 tram line, not the T2 line.  If you get on at the Alamanni – Stazione SMN stop at Florence SMN train station, don’t accidentally get on the T2 line.

Good To Know: The T2 tram line is a convenient way to Travel From the Florence Aiport to the City Center (and vice versa).

Allow Extra Time – Sometimes the trams leaving Florence are really crowded, and you may need to wait for the next one.  So, if you need to be somewhere, allow a little extra time.  Also, don’t wait timidly in line – you need to hold your ground or everyone will walk in front of you to get on the tram.  Additionally, sometimes there are lines for the ticket machines, so don’t show up a minute before the tram leaves and expect to have time to buy your ticket and get on the tram.

You may also want to check out:
Renting a Car in Italy
Italian Road Signs
Parking in Italy

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