This information is for those groups of travelers coming to Florence from other parts of Europe or even Italy that need to arrive into Florence and know where to drop off and pick up their passengers as well as where they can park during your group's visit in Florence. All buses have to get a pass, at all times.
The information contained in this article is extracted and rewritten from details found on the "official" website which is supposed to be in English but really is part in English and reverts back to Italian often. So I've read the information myself and tried to present the information in a more clear manner - hope I've succeeded!
For the most current information on Bus ZTL and Bus PASSES in Florence, read the official page here. The information changes and is out of our control, so please always check that site for specific details on costs and more.
First things first
Tourist coach buses need to obtain a bus pass to be able to enter into Florence and drop off and pick up their passengers and park in the coach parking areas. You can wait until you get to Florence to get the pass (there are two checkpoints for this) but a better idea is to request the pass ahead of time. If this is the first time you're coming to Florence and have never gotten a pass before, arm yourself with lots of patience to navigate through Italian bureaucracy. The specific procedure is described on this page and in a nutshell says:
Before anything else, you need to register your coach bus. Send your request by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (055 34 06 65) at least a month before you need it but the sooner the better just to be on the safe side. In your request, attach a clearly legible copy of the vehicle's registration documents where this information is found: license plate number, owner, the length of the bus and exhaust emission class (Euro 0,1,2,3,4,5, etc., natural gas, electric). Indicate your contact telephone and fax numbers and your email address.
Once the vehicle is registered, you can then buy the bus pass online. You'll receive details once you're registered.
There are also two checkpoints in Florence where you can buy passes:
Check Point "Nord" also has an Information office. Viale XI Agosto (Info office is open 8:30am-1pm, 2pm-5pm, Monday through Friday while the checkpoint is open 7:30am-7:30pm every day), Tel. 055.374.277 for the Info Office, Tel. 055.404.0650 or 055.404.0651 for the check point. This area also has a coach parking area.
Check Point "Sud" - Via Visconti Venosta (7:30am-7:30pm, every day), Tel. 055.650.4675
Buying the right pass
There are several different bus passes available and these are divided according to various factors. Pass A and B are the most common - both let you enter the historical center ZTL if your passengers' hotel is located within it to drop off and pick up your passengers. The difference between the two is that if your hotel is not within the historical center, pass A offers more drop off/pick up points for your passengers closer to the historical center than pass B.
Pass A -
With or without hotel within city limits: circulation within the bus ZTL but NOT within the historical center ZTL unless the passengers' hotel is located within the historical center. If so, you can only enter and drop passengers off at the hotel, then immediately exit to park in designated areas.
This pass lets you drop off and pick up passengers in: lungarno Pecori Giraldi, via della Dogana, p.le Michelangelo, viale Ariosto, v.le Machiavelli and v.le Strozzi.
For this pass, you need to show that your hotel is booked within city limits.
Pass B -
With or without hotel within city limits: as above, except less drop off and pick up points for your passengers: only p.le Michelangelo, viale Ariosto, viale Machiavelli, v.le Strozzi.
Pass C -
This is for vehicles already authorized for public transport services such as public school buses that often come to Florence. It is available as a daily pass as well as an annual pass (Jan.1-Dec.31) but only allows access to the bus ZTL, NOT the historical center ZTL.
Pass D -
Like for Pass C but also includes the historical center ZTL. This pass is also available as daily pass as well as 6 or 12 month pass from the time of authorization.
Pass E and Pass F -
These two passes are for specific events occurring in the city and for drop off and pick up of passengers at their hotels as well as transit from the Florence airport to the SMN train station. The main factor here is time: passes are only valid for the time of the specific event or for up to 3 consecutive hours if it is just to drop off passengers. The pass does not allow the drop off/pick up of passengers in the points designated for Pass A or B. Pass F can only be purchased at one of the two checkpoints in Florence.
Rates for the passes depends on the size of the coach bus and the type of motor exhaust emission class. The most current rates can be found here.
Drop off and Pick up of Passengers
The following areas are designated as drop off/pick up "points" for your passengers (with the exception of via La Pira/Dogana which is a drop-off only area). All have marked spaces on the ground for stopping, and a maximum time for the stop allowed, after which coach buses need to proceed to the parking lots.
Lungarno Pecori Giraldi: 24 hours a day with maximum 20 minutes stop (pass A)
Via la Pira/Via La Dogana: Drop off only from 9am to 5pm (pick up of passengers is prohibited) and a maximum of 5 minutes stopping time. Transit in via Cavour (Libertà-Dogana section), via Dogana, via La Pira, and via La Marmora is therefore not permitted at all other hours (pass A)
Viale Ariosto: on the Mura ("wall") side, 24 hours a day with maximum 10 minutes stop (pass A and B)
Viale Machiavelli: near via Farinata degli Uberti on the scuderie ("stables") side, in the marked spaces on the ground, 24 hours a day and maximum 10 minutes parking (pass A and B)
Pzle Michelangelo: within the marked spaces, 24 hours a day, drop off and pick up with max 20 min stop (pass A and B)
Viale Filippo Strozzi: on the railway side near the access ramp to Platform 16 of the main station, in the marked spaces on the ground 24 hours a day and maximum 10 minutes parking (pass A, B and E)
P.zza Torquato Tasso, in the signed spaces on the ground with a maximum stop of 10 minutes allowed
Viale Visconti Venosta: on the grass median side in the spaces indicated on the ground from 8am to 8pm. This is also the location of the Checkpoint "Sud".
As for parking spaces, coach buses can park in the following areas with the bus pass:
Viale XI Agosto: 24 hours a day - the location of the Checkpoint "Nord"
Via Palazzeschi: in the area on the corner of via della Torre in the spaces indicated on the ground, 24 hours a day
Viale Maratona/Viale Paoli: 24 hours a day (not accessible during sporting events at the Artemio Franchi stadium)
Viale Visconti Venosta: on the check point side (right side), the spaces are for buses obtaining a pass and are for only 15 min maximum stopping time; other spaces from 8am to 8pm
Lungarno Aldo Moro: in the spaces indicated on the ground, from 8am to 8pm
Piazzale Galilei: in the spaces indicated on the ground, from 8am to 8pm
This information was all extracted from information found on the official site.