Florence by Bus
The Ataf tourism project “Itinerari”, the first in the world with these characteristics, was created in order to promote new exploration of the city with unusual destinations and stories.
A bus named desire… for tasting the specialties of Tuscan cooking, for diving into the pages by the famed names in literature who lived on or were inspired by the banks of the Arno, for admiring ancient churches in the countryside and to be a child again with the story of Pinocchio.
The Ataf tourism project “Itinerari”, the first in the world with these characteristics, was created in order to promote new exploration of the city with unusual destinations and stories. And all with an original means of transport: the bus. In fact, in Florence it's hard to 'get off track,' the wonders are always organized.
Four busses- named “DeGustibus” (30 seats), “I movimenti letterari”(60 passengers, 20 seated), “Le Sacre vie” (60 passengers, 20 seated) and “Occhio a Pinocchio” (60 passengers, 20 seated) allow sightseers to increase their knowledge of the lesser-known aspects which make Florence a one-of-a-kind city, maybe even more unique than the classic stereotypical postcard. A grandiose open air museum which may now be admired and rediscovered from a comfortable seat on an Ataf bus. Actors will be the onboard guides illustrating the itineraries and involving passengers with stories and theatrical improvisations.
“Itinerari” represents the last frontier of the modernization campaign of the Florentine transport company which has been serving citizens for sixty years and which recently has been called upon to address new challenges and new realities. And so, Ataf is aiming to confirm its role as leader in the transportation sector, offering new services and strengthening some of its historical values, for example the role of the city bus as a social location and meeting point for people.
“Itinerari represents one of the latest campaigns put into action by Ataf for the modernization of the Florentine public transportation company" says the president of Ataf, Elisabetta Tesi - "it is a sign of a connection which is striving to be ever more important in the entire area we serve. If, on one hand, Ataf is in fact opening new means such as “Itinerari”for confirming its role as industry leader, on the other with these “special events” the bus serves one of its most interesting functions, that of a place for socialization and of meeting between people. People who will then have an additional opportunity to enjoy the excellent features which belong to the incredibly rich history of Florence and its surroundings. ”
The project was created by the Planning management of the Ataf network in partnership with highly qualified subjects such as the Province of Florence, the Diocese of Florence, the magazine Gola Gioconda and the Accademia della Crusca.
“This is an event which fits perfectly within the spirit of the 'Genio Fiorentino': an innovative idea which has the merit of using a traditional vehicle like the bus,” says the Transportation and Mobility Commissioner of the Province of Florence. “An idea which allows us to use and value the excellent aspects of our territory: the ancient heritage in literature and religious architecture, the world of Pinocchio and food and wine represent the ‘assets‘ that Florence and Tuscany have the opportunity, and the responsibility, to put to use.”
The themes of the four itineraries are: food & wine; the sacred heritage of the “pieve” parish churches; literature; and the world of Pinocchio, the character penned by Florentine Carlo Lorenzini.
The first tour, DeGustibus (Food & Wine tour), lasts about an hour (tickets €20 discounted €10 for kids under 15) and begins running on June 29th from piazza Santa Maria Novella. The ticket includes a daily pass on the Ataf & Li-nea bus network.
The ride covers Florentine streets characterized by a series of anecdotes and curiosities tied to the food and wine of Florence, from the restaurant where Leonardo cooked, to the places where some great Florentine culinary inventions were born, including arista, alchermes and Buontalenti gelato. During the tour tourists can drink excellent wine and sample seasonal products all explained by a guide during the tasting.
Le sacre vie (Sacred Ways) tour begins on June 23, lasts about an hour and is made possible with the collaboration of the Diocese of Florence. The tour winds through Quarter 4 in Florence and allows tourists to rediscover some of the locations important to the faith: the Pieve of San Bartolo a Cintoia with its 14th century fresco and the church of Maria Vergine delle Grazie, constructed following a project by architect Guido Morozzi, in the area known in Italian as "Arcingrosso" because it was reinforced due to frequent flooding by the Arno. The ticket, €15 and discounted at €7.50 includes entrance to one of the museums of the Opera del Duomo.
The characters Mangiafuoco, Fatina, Mastrociliegia, Grillo Parlante, Lucignolo and Geppetto live again thanks to Occhio a Pinocchio (An Eye on Pinocchio), the tour which begins on July 7. Tickets are €15 and discount tickets are €7.50. The tour lasts about 1 hour. The trip rides through the Peretola neighborhood of Florence and is completely dedicated to visiting the places tied to the famous tale of the wooden marionette. Thanks to the new Ataf itinerary it's now possible to "physically" travel through the entire story.
Boccaccio finished the Decameron alongside the Mugnone river? Dante spied on Beatrice on Borgo Albizi? Dostoevsky wrote “The Idiot” in Palazzo Pitti? The tour I movimenti letterari (Literary Movements) starts running on July 14 (tickets €15 discounted €7.50 - tour lasts about 1 hr) and proposes an original itinerary through the places in Florence where the great names of world literature once lived or were inspired. Stops include Palazzo Strozzi and the Gabinetto Viesseux; the National Library and the headquarters of the Accademia della Crusca.
All four tours will run every weekend through October 31st 2007.
Tickets and reservations
Tickets may be purchased on board the ItinerariBus busses, on board Citysightseeing busses, at hotels and authorized agencies, at the APT and IAT points of the City of Florence, on the site www.ataf.net and via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For info and reservations call 199.104.245 or 800.424.500, every day from 6am to 9pm or contact locations with the event sticker on display on the door or in the shop window.