Florence’s airport set for huge expansion to double number of passengers to 6m | Travel News | Travel

The international airport in Florence, one of the most famous art cities in Italy and the world, is getting a new terminal expected to nearly double the number of passengers travelling through it.

The Firenze-Peretola Airport, named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, hit a record number of clients last year, when it welcomed more than three million people.

But the new international terminal being planned by designers at the US studio Rafael Viñoly Architects is hoped to raise the number of passengers it can welcome to around 5.9 million people per year.

At the time, the architects have only shared a few details about the expansion, including that the future terminal will measure 164,041 square feet and will be topped by a huge sloping roof.

The top of the roof will be lined with skylights and 38 rows of vines, turning the area into a 19-acre vineyard. 

The decision to add the vines is a nod to Tuscany’s superb wines, and won’t be purely decorative.

Rather the area beneath the roof of the terminal will be fitted with cellars in which the grapes can be turned into wine.

Speaking about the planned in-house wine production, a spokesperson for the studio told Euronews: “A leading vintner from the region will cultivate the vineyard and the wine will be crafted and aged in specialised cellars beneath the terminal’s roof.” 

The new project isn’t focused only on the roof of the revamped airport. The terminal itself will be designed to streamline the circulation of passengers and improve the experience of visitors.

The ambitious plan also aims at turning the airport into an area visited not just by people flying in and out of Florence but also by locals, as it will feature commercial spaces and a large parking area.

In order to make the Amerigo Vespucci Airport an integral part of the Tuscan city, plans are being drawn to build and boost a light train service able to link the city centre to the air hub. 

Plans to boost the airport’s international profile include turning the existing runway by 90 degrees, in order to make it better suited to modern aircraft.

After making changes to the runway, the airport in Florence will be able to welcome many of the international flights which, right now, need to land at another Tuscan airport – in Pisa.

The construction of the new terminal will be carried out in two phases, the first set to be finished in 2026, while the second one will be completed by 2035. 

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