Vespa tours in Florence
When visiting a city like Florence you’re usually trapped within the parameters of the city walls. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing of course: Florence’s city center has plenty to offer for a lifetime. But there are times when a city gets a bit too crowded and you long for the wind, making a mess of your hair, endless green fields and picturesque hillsides.
For times like these, Vespa tours in Florence offer a perfect getaway from the masses around Il Duomo and take you to the Chianti countryside. Which is as astounding as the Ponte Vecchio.
Vespa tour Florence: guided or DIY
When planning your Vespa tour there are basically two options: a guided tour or driving around on your own.
A guided tour takes you to the prettiest places around the city. You will learn a lot about the history of the Chianti region and Florence. These tours usually take around 2,5 hours, but longer and shorter versions are also available.
The perks of a guided tour is that your only responsibility is to show up. You don’t have to fiddle with maps or ask around for directions. Just hop on your Vespa and follow the guide, listen to the stories, learn about the rich history of the area, and enjoy the amazing scenery.
A guided Vespa tour is most definitely the best choice if you prefer relaxing over adventure.
Vespa tour: solo
Understatement: Italian traffic can be a bit stressful. Cars seem to rather drive through than around you. And a great way to get your daily dose of adrenaline is trying to cross a crowded junction during rush hour.
So driving around on your tiny Vespa can be pretty intimidating, but it also offers a lot of freedom. And it’s cheaper too, since you don’t have to pay for the guide.
When going DIY, make sure you’re well prepared and have a map of the area. Plan your trip and make necessary reservations. Also, make sure your insurance covers damage to you and other vehicles, and have a number you can call in case of a flat tire.
After that, put on your helmet end start your engine. You won’t regret it!
Chianti hills and Tuscan countryside
Gelato is great and all, but have you ever driven through the greenest hills imaginable? The Chianti hills south of Florence offer spectacular views of the city and sceneries you remember from postcards and movie scenes.
The Tuscan countryside is well known for its vineyards, where the grapes are grown for the famous Chianti wine. Roads snake over sunny hillsides, accompanied by tall cypress trees, leading to large mansions, of which some were already around when the Medici ruled over Florence.
Exploring the area by Vespa offers a lot of flexibility: you can drive and park for pictures whenever you please. And the scooters are fast enough to cover a lot of ground in one day.
On top of that: a Vespa tour definitely adds to the authentic Tuscan experience.
Places to rent a Vespa in Florence
There are plenty of scooter rentals in Florence. Most of them are around the train station, in the northwestern part of the city center.
It’s not always necessary to make a reservation. But if you want to make sure there is a Vespa available for you, contact the rental company in advance. Especially in the summertime.
Here are some places where you can rent a Vespa:
- New Tuscany Scooter Rental Snc
- Florence Station Rental
- The Vespa Rent
- Tuscany Vespa Cycle and bike tour
How much does a Vespa tour cost?
The costs for a Vespa tour in Florence depend on your preferences. A guided tour of 2-4 hours costs anywhere between €90 and €150, but you may have to pay extra for meals and admissions.
If you plan to drive on your own, the rental fees for the Vespa start at €60 a day.
Keep in mind that most rental services require a deposit, which could be close to €1.000. This amount will be refunded when the Vespa is returned undamaged.
You also have to pay for gas, and you will be charged if you return the Vespa with an empty tank.
In addition, always check and read the rental conditions. And make pictures (or a video!) of the scooter and existing dents and scratches, before you’re heading for the hills. This will save you a lot of trouble afterwards.
Vespa tours in Florence: frequently asked questions
Here is an overview of questions you may encounter when you’re planning a Vespa Tour in Florence.
Is a helmet mandatory?
Yes! We all love the old pictures of James Dean, sitting helmetless on his motorcycle. But – and I can’t believe I’m saying this – don’t be like James Dean in this case: wear a helmet. It’s safer and you’ll get a fine if you don’t.
A helmet is usually included in the rental price.
Do I need a driver’s license?
An international driver’s license is mandatory to rent a Vespa (125cc) in Florence and other Italian cities. If you plan to drive a Vespa 150, 200, or even 300cc, you need a motorcycle license.
You don’t need an international driver’s license if you live in the EU (and have an European license).
Some rentals will accept national licenses, but you risk an expensive fine if you get pulled over by the police.
What is the minimum age to rent a Vespa?
You’ll need to be at least 18 years old. Or sit on the back and leave the driving to someone else of course.
Do you need to book in advance?
During the high season it’s recommended to book your Vespa tour in advance, especially if you prefer a guided tour.
Can we rent one Vespa for two persons?
A Vespa has room for a driver and a passenger, so yes, you can explore the Tuscan countryside together. And it’s really fun!
Does the insurance cover any damage done by myself and others?
Hard to say, because it depends on the situation. Usually you’re not insured for the damage that was caused by you. And you may lose your deposit, or a part of it.
Always make sure to read the rental and insurance conditions of the rental company and ask your own travel insurance what costs are covered. Good to know: some credit cards cover damage to rented vehicles. So it’s worth to check with your credit card company before paying for the same insurance twice.
Most rental companies offer additional insurances, if you want to be on the safe side.
What if I get a parking/speeding ticket?
You’re responsible for your own actions, so you will have to pay your own tickets. Camera’s that measure your speed and take a beautiful picture of you whilst speeding are usually well indicated, but don’t rely on that and just stick to the limits set in any particular area.
How much alcohol are you allowed to drink when driving in Italy?
Sure, driving through the epic vineyards where the famous Chianti wine is produced makes you thirsty. But make sure you don’t drink too much.
Italy has a strict alcohol limit of 0,5mg, which roughly translates to one glass of wine.
And if you want my advice: save the Chianti for after the tour! Don’t drink and drive. Order a bottle at one of the many restaurants in Florence and relive the day, driving on your Vespa, through the lush Tuscan hills, ancient villas on both sides of the winding road, and not a care in the world.
Another life goal off the bucket list!