Train from Florence to Milan
Taking the train from Florence to Milan is a bit like traveling from the Renaissance to the 21st century in a couple of hours. Milan has historic monuments, to be sure, but it's also a fast-paced city built on banking and fashion.
Covering the 190 miles (305 km) by car would take at least 3 hours 15 minutes, making the train the clear winner in terms of speed. Not only that, driving through Florence's historic center is a challenge, and driving into Milan requires paying an additional anti-pollution fee on top of your normal car rental charges. In other words, the train wins on the cost-effective front, too.
Frequent Trains from Florence to Milan
Trenitalia's high-speed Alta Velocità (AV) trains leave from Florence's Santa Maria Novella station (often shortened to S.M. Novella) bound for either Milano Centrale or Milano Porta Garibaldi.
The fastest Frecciarossa trains make the trip to Milano Centrale in 1 hour 40 minutes, with 63 trains leaving Florence for Milan each day—that's about 1-2 trains per hour on weekdays. The first train leaves Florence for Milan at 6:53 a.m., the last one at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from $21-135 on this route.
Italo trains serve only Milano Porta Garibaldi station from Florence, making the trip 12 times each day. The journey takes about 2 hours.
Note that weekends and holidays typically mean less frequent service and sometimes longer travel times.
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Direct Trains from Florence to Milan
Italy's high-speed AV trains stop in Bologna en route from Florence to Milan, but passengers don't need to get off or change trains—and there are plenty of direct trains making this trip for you to choose from. There are some slower trains on this route that require changes, so look carefully at the connection options when you're booking your tickets.
The top of the line AV trains are Frecciarossa, operated by Trenitalia, and these train cars all come with air-conditioning and power outlets in the seats for your convenience. There are both 1st-class and 2nd-class cars (1st class passengers get a free drink and a choice of newspaper), and a cafe car that's available to all passengers.
Florence and Milan Train Stations
Florence's Santa Maria Novella station is close to the historic center, and the street in front of the station is a major hub for city and regional buses, making it easy to get to and from the station if you're traveling light.
Milan's main station, Centrale, is also a local transportation hub with the Malpensa Express airport train, plus buses and trams stopping outside, and a Metro (subway) stop in a lower level of the station itself. Porta Garibaldi station is a smaller station, though it also has a Metro stop and several bus lines stop nearby.