Art, Travel & Life in Italy & Europe

Where to get free wifi in Florence

Florence’s wifi hotspot network is in continuous expansion but the great news is: as of September 2013, thanks to a change of law, access is now free and open. This is where you can get Firenze wifi free internet and some other access points in the city of Florence, Italy.

Italian law (thanks to the decreto Pisanu) required users to register to use internet services, so all of these systems require some form of authentication. Firenze wifi, available most widely in the city, requires the insertion of an Italian cell phone number; a code then reaches you by sms so that you can log in. Paas, on the other hand, has a human authentication system that foreigners can more easily use. Important update – September 3 2013 – due to a legislative change, access to wifi in Florence is now possible without password and registration! With the city’s wifi service you get TWO free hours per day (per device, it seems).

While the city of florence provides a list of sites with free wifi and a very difficult to interpret map. I have taken the list and exported it into excel to place the points on a google map so that you can easily navigate and find the nearest wifi point. Please note that I cannot guarantee accuracy of the points! Also, many have reported trouble connecting to the networks or navigating; unfortunately the system is not perfect :)

(previous information about access to systems pre 09/2013 & non city-provided free wifi areas)

Free internet in Florence with Paas

Use this system to get free internet for a few hours a day. The Paas system is active in various closed spaces that are open to the public, such as libraries, associations, circoli, etc. Paas is set up by the Regione Toscana and the same access data can be used in points across Tuscany.

The most central place on the paas system, and the best place to sign up for a user card, is the Biblioteca delle Oblate on via dell’Oriuolo. You need to go to the desk on the first floor and sign up for a free library card, and then to another desk that will take a photocopy of your ID and activate your internet card. This service works very well, and you can enjoy excellent study spaces, open til midnight, with free wifi.

Search for Paas locations – free internet in Tuscany

Free internet in Florence with Wifi Firenze

Registration is via italian cell phone. When you find yourself in a wifi zone, connect and point the browser to any page, and you’ll be asked to enter your name (nome), last name (cognome) and cell phone number. You’ll receive (hopefully) an sms that asks you to phone the following number with that same cell phone: 055/4650034. Doing so authenticates you to use the system, and you get a password via sms. This system was pretty iffy at first, but now it works most of the time.

As of Sept 4, thanks to a legislation to encourage “getting things done in Italy”, wifi will be OPEN in Florence. For details on the change of law, please see this news article in Italian.

The first piazzas in florence to have active internet service in 2010 were: Piazza Signoria – Piazza S.Croce- Piazza S.Spirito – Piazza SS Annunziata – Parterre – via Canova c/o Anagrafe – Piazza Ghiberti e Annigoni – Piazza Alberti Villa Arrivabene -Piazzale Michelangelo – Piazza Bambini e Bambine di Beslan – piazzale delle Cascine – Parco di San Donato

As of September 28 2011 the following locations along the arno were added: Obihall (ex Saschall), Anconella park, Albereta park, Piazza Ferrucci, Lungarno Pecori Giraldi, Bellariva Garden, Torre San Niccolò/Le Rampe, Lungarno Torrigiani, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, Lungarno Santa Rosa, Piazzale Kennedy, Piazza dell’Isolotto.

Now, in 2013, the list is much larger, covering all the major parking lots (for some odd reason) and many other piazze, especially those connected to any city services – you can check the textual list provided by the city in this handy pdf.

If you do not have an Italian cell phone:

  • As of september 4, 2013, thanks to a change in legislation, you SHOULD be able to connect to any of these systems which will now be OPEN wifi networks.
  • one way to access this system is if you are using the Firenze Card, or three day museum pass – when you pick up the card they will assign a password to you!
  • Second, the information page for Firenze Wifi CLAIMS that the PAAS password- mentioned above- can be used on this system too – it’s worth a try

Along the tram line

Along the Linea 1 tram that goes from the Santa Maria Novella train station to Isolotto, there is free wifi at the stops and on the tram. At most stops there are ample metal benches so this is not a bad idea for half an hour of catching up on email!

Other sources of wifi

Wired.it map of wifi spots – the best resource for italian wifi locations, search your location in the map and click each point for info

Cafe’s with free wifi – this map and app shows bars and restaurants where wifi is free. I’m not sure how up to date it is.

-free wifi firenze app for iphone appears to be a homegrown app, I don’t know if it is reliable

This article has been updated  September 2013

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By: arttrav

Alexandra Korey aka ArtTrav is a Florence-based art historian and arts marketing consultant.

  • the GyPsY

    I love Firenze when I visited a few years ago .. I definately have plans to go again. Thanks for the informative post.

  • http://twitter.com/_MarcJustin_ Marc Justin

    A much needed post! Grazie!

  • http://crystalking.com/ Crystal King

    Grazie mille per questa notizia!

  • http://www.arttrav.com arttrav

    You’re welcome! sono belle notizie, no?!

  • http://crystalking.com/ Crystal King

    Una domanda. If they don’t require registration, how do they know if you’ve exceeded your two hour use?

  • http://www.arttrav.com arttrav

    Hmmm… Crystal, you have asked a question that is beyond my technical abilities. I guess they have a way to note which device is connecting so probably you could connect for 2 hours with different devices, but as a single person. I should try to experiment with this….

  • http://crystalking.com/ Crystal King

    Must be. Because if I used 30 minutes in one place, crossed town and used it for 20 more minutes, will it all add up? Not sure how IP addresses on mobile devices work but it must be something along those lines.

  • http://www.arttrav.com arttrav

    Hi Crystal
    When there was login, it was connected to your account. If you change locations, I think your IP address changes… Now I am very curious. Will try to poll people on facebook :)
    AMK

  • Anonymous

    Is it possible to open/save this map in Google maps for iPhone? It crashes my browser when I try to use it embedded in your site. Thanks!

  • http://www.arttrav.com arttrav

    Hi Robbin
    this is a good question. I would suggest first changing or updating your browser. I am using firefox and my guess is that google maps loves Chrome, and works in safari, but if you are using IE it will crash.
    Second, I think you can open just the map from this link: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/viewer?mid=zY7ZPEU0kYQM.kzr_wTKwScS0 And then add it to “my places”, and then it will show up when you log into your google maps account from wherever you are.
    Cheers
    AMK

  • Anonymous

    I meant on my iPhone! That link worms great Ive saved it.