Florence: Renting a scooter (should you do it?)
Ah, Florence, Renaissance city of artistic treasures, architectural icons, and mouth-watering delicacies. And throngs of tourists. And locals zipping up and down tiny streets on scooters and motorcycles.
If you’re an adventurous traveler, you might consider seeing the city like a local — on a cute little euro-scooter. But should you?
Renting a scooter in Florence makes sense if you want to take scenic drives through the countryside. If you rent a typical scooter (like a Honda SH 125 cc or the smaller Cagiva Cucciolo 50), you’ll be able to drive along country roads and scoot your way through Chianti country. Sounds romantic, no?
The hilly countryside (and even immediate environs of Florence) are much less strenuously traversed on a scooter than trekked on a bicycle.
Renting a scooter is not practical if you simply want to speed up your city sightseeing. Sure, the locals zip about town, but they also are trained to avoid the busiest streets and pedestrian zones, and know how to stay alert for tourists and car doors.
Even if you plan to limit your scooting to areas outside of Florence, you will need to exercise caution, as small roads have their share of blind corners, speeding autos, and other scooters. Also, consider that most of central Florence is a pedestrian-only zone, and scooter riding is relegated to the busy side streets.
To rent a scooter in Florence, you simply need a passport, valid driver’s license, and the willingness to plunk down your credit card as a deposit. Anyone riding on a scooter must wear a helmet (which is included in rental). Also included in scooter rental are liability insurance and unlimited miles.
Both agencies below require that drivers have previous experience driving a scooter. As Florence by Bike states in the FAQ, “we suggest not to rent a scooter if you are a beginner.”
Note that you will not be allowed to drive on highways and freeways unless you rent a motorcycle. However, small country roads are just waiting for you.
Where to rent
Alinari scooter rental – Via San Zanobi 38/R. Located near the main train station, Alinari has lower prices than its competitor and offers more types and sizes of scooters. Prices range from €30 for a one-day rental of a Cagiva Cucciolo or Honda 50, to €55 for a Honda Bali 100 cc and €55 for a Honda SH 125. The shop also rents bicycles and motorcycles.
Florence by Bike – Rents the same Honda SH 125 for €65, but offers much helpful advice. Additionally, the shop offers a wide variety of bicycle rentals and organizes bike tours, including a Chianti bike ride that it claims is not terrible strenuous. Florence by Bike encourages tourists to opt for bikes over scooters for visiting the city. Daily bikes rentals run from €14 for city bikes to €35 for fancy racing bikes, with many options in between.
Have you ever rented a scooter in Florence? Tell us about your experience!