Ravenna, a city in Italy's Emilia-Romagna region known for the Byzantine mosaics adorning its San Vitale church, is located about 116 miles (188 km) east of Florence and is easiest to reach by train. For more freedom, you can rent a car or hire a private driver. No matter what your mode of transportation is, you'll pass through scenic forests and countryside as you make your way north. 

Whether you travel by car or train, on your way to Ravenna you'll pass by Bologna which can be an ideal stopping off point to experience the cuisine of Northern Italy, such as with this 7-day culinary tour.

By Train

Duration: 2 to 3 hours

When you search for tickets, you'll notice a few options to get from Firenze Santa Maria Novella station to Ravenna. You can catch the Italian National Railway system, Trenitalia, to Bologna on one of the fast trains (Frecciarossa or Frecciargento)  and then transfer to a regional train for Ravenna. This is the fastest type of ticket and the journey will take around 2 hours with trains running from early morning until around 9 pm.

A second option is to travel on regional trains (which will be a bit less expensive, and give you more time to take in the scenery) and transfer in Faenza to catch another train or a bus to Ravenna, and this journey will take about 3 hours. The fast trains have different ticket classes, while the regional trains have only one class with open seating. With either option, you can show the conductor your ticket on your smartphone, for convenience.

By Rental Car

Duration: 2.5 hours, more with stops. 

With a rental car you'll have more freedom to experience the culinary and outdoor delights of Emilia-Romagna. Leaving from Florence you'll find many options a few blocks from the train station, with several companies to choose from. It is possible to rent an automatic transmission car in Italy, but manuals are more prevalent and will be less expensive to rent. You’ll also want to factor in the cost of gas (prices are by liters, not gallons) for your road trip. 

If you want to go for the culinary route, you could take the E45 and head for Bologna, which is 65 miles (106 km) north of Florence. This city that is also home to one of Europe's oldest universities is know for its Bolognese pasta sauce and Mortadella cured meat. You may want to linger for a while to get your fill of this culinary city. 

If you prefer mountains, you can take the scenic route, following Strada Regionale 302and perhaps take a detour to hike in Parco Regionale della Vena del Gesso Romagnola which is about 55 miles (89 km) north of Florence.

By Private Transfer

Duration: 2.5 hours, more with stops. 

With a private driver, you'll have the luxury of making stops on your route, without having to worry about navigating Italian roads. Especially if you decide to take the scenic route on the SR302, you might be happy that you don't have to drive the twisting and turning roads yourself.


Map of How to Get from Florence to Ravenna
Map of How to Get from Florence to Ravenna