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ph. Lorenzo Cotrozzi

February 11, 2019

On the wings of the tram

Line 2, the airport and the centre of Florence have never been closer

There’s a new way to travel from Amerigo Vespucci airport to the centre of Florence in just a few minutes from touchdown. 22 minutes, to be exact, the journey time of the new tram Line 2 - due to open on 11 February 2019 - from Santa Maria Novella station to the airport and vice versa. It’s a service that has totally revolutionised the flow of travellers who, for business or pleasure, arrive and depart by air. There are eleven stops on the route between the two terminals (towards the airport: Alamanni-Stazione, Rosselli, Belfiore, Stazione A.V., Corsica, Circondaria, Forlanini, Regione, Baracchini, Montegrappa, Guidoni), and trams will run every about 4 minutes, Monday to Sunday. Here too, the lines will be graced by the modern, minimalist shape of the Sirio tram, already an iconic sight in the city.

But the tram is more than just a convenient and environmentally friendly way to travel, especially for a city which saw Italy’s first electric tram line inaugurated in 1879 - in those days linking Florence and Fiesole. Just like a human body, a city cannot live without arteries, the communication pathways that connect its vital organs. These are social channels that speak of transformation, changing the face of the city and the habits of its residents, and bringing new life to often little-known places, making them more accessible.

This was seen with the tram Line T1, which since February 2010 has departed from Santa Maria Novella station to arrive at Villa Costanza, passing through Isolotto and Scandicci, and which since summer 2018 has also extended in the other direction, as far as Careggi Hospital. These new routes open up access to some crucial points in Florentine culture, from the most famous - like the Teatro del Maggio Musicale, Leopolda Station, the Fortezza da Basso and the Stibbert Museum - to the more secret, but still delightful, such as Villa Carducci Pandolfini, near the Arcipressi stop, Acciaiolo Castle, with its lovely gardens, or - for those who prefer contemporary architecture - the Rogers Centre in Scandicci, both easily visitable from the Resistenza stop. And all along the way, passengers can admire great views of the city, such as the one from the bridge that links Piazza Paolo Uccello with Viale Stendhal - built especially to carry the new tram system - which offers views of the Arno’s banks as far as Ponte Vecchio and Palazzo Vecchio in one glance. Similarly with Line 2, which passes, for example, the Tribunal of Florence in Novoli, the astonishing work of architect Leonardo Ricci, pupil of Giovanni Michelucci.

Summer 2019 will see the start of work on the Variante Alternativa Centro Storico (VACS), from Fortezza to Piazza San Marco, and work is planned for 2020 on the first stage of Line 4, to link Leopolda Station and Le Piagge. In the planning stage, meanwhile, are the subsequent phase of Line 4, linking Le Piagge to Campi Bisenzio, the prolongation of Line 2 from the airport to Sesto Fiorentino, and Line 3.2, which will extend from Piazza della Libertà to Bagno a Ripoli.

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