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Florence’s New Pedestrian Zones: Where you can put your foot down

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Florence pedestrian zone
Strolling through the streets around the Duomo. Photo: Rodrigo Soldon

Florence was recently billed as the most polluted city in Italia. Not cool. So what did the mayor do? He started kicking out cars from the center in favor of more pedestrians zones. Coolissimo! So which streets are making happy feet? Check this out to know more.

The Danger Duomo

The first area to go completely car-free was the ring around the Duomo. It seems ludicrous in retrospect, but just two years ago the snaking lines of church-goers ran the risk of “attack by speeding car.” But not anymore. The entire Duomo ring is now carless and harmless. But do keep an eye out for the bicycles, horses and determined stroller-pushing nonnas.

Okay, that’s great. But what about the rest of the monuments (or monumental walking hazards)? Well, it’s just been announced that as of June 24, 2011, the following parts of the city will be completely car free! (Click here for a map of the city’s new pedestrian zones.)

Palazzo ["it’s a"] Pitti there are so many cars

Remember the good old days of getting clipped by the mirrors of passing vehicles while walking from Ponte Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti? Ah, the nostalgia of injuries past.

Okay, it never happened but now it surely never will because the entire Piazza de’ Pitti area will soon be traffic free. That includes that congested 5 inch-wide deathtrap of a sidewalk all the way from Ponte Vecchio to Palazzo Pitti. (But please, hold your applause until the end.)

Shopping Sanctuary

Florence, city of fashion, has a street called Via Tornabuoni where you’ll find the shops of style sultans such as Gucci, Prada and Emporio Armani.

And soon, that little strip of garment pedigree just off Palazzo Strozzi will be – wait for it, wait for it – traffic free! Just imagine meandering with a gelato in your hand and gazing through the windows of fashion greatness with only the sounds of ringing cash registers echoing through the street. Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

Be the best pedestrian you can be

In Italy, two pedestrians per day are killed by cars. This is a place where even motorcyclists use their mobile phones when they drive. Be careful!

Sidewalks are notoriously narrow which makes walking in the street a common habit. Italian drivers may be very good at slalom but still, make use of your peripheral vision!

About the author

Marc Justin Cinanni

About the author: Marc Justin Cinanni has recently begun experimenting with polenta without much success. You can follow him on Twitter here: http://www.twitter.com/marcstories

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