Is there a more beautiful place in the world than Florence, Italy? To many, the answer is no. As the capital of Tuscany, Florence features such breathtaking sights as the Duomo, the famous David sculpture by Michelangelo, and The Birth of Venus.
Are you allowed to fly your drone in Florence, Italy?
Flying a drone in Italy as a whole is legal, which should extend to Florence as well. Always follow the guidelines of the Italian Civil Aviation Authority when flying and don’t get too near to Florence’s beloved architecture.
Ahead, we’ll talk further about Florence’s drone laws and then delve deeply into all the ins and outs of ENAC’s regulations so you don’t accidentally violate any.
This guide will be full of useful information for your Italian vacation or business trip, so make sure you keep reading!
Can you fly a drone in Florence, Italy?
Let’s dive right in with that most burning question. Are drones allowed in Italy, including Florence (or Firenze, as the locals call it)?
Going back to what we discussed in the intro, commercial and recreational pilots can and popularly do fly throughout Italy, including Florence. You’ll find plenty of footage of pilots doing just that across YouTube.
It might surprise you that such a historical and famous city like Florence would allow drone pilots, but that’s at the discretion of the Italian Civil Aviation Authority or ENAC for short (in Italian, the name of the federal agency is the Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile, which is where the acronym comes from).
Now, don’t get it twisted. ENAC does enforce plenty of drone laws, which you’ll learn more about in the section to come. Compared to other countries though that crack down hard on drone flights in some areas, the ENAC doesn’t do so quite as much.
An article from Italian video production company Dallato Production  does mention that in 2022, their pilot did a flight zone analysis using AIP and D-Flight before flying in Florence.
Since the area they were interested in flying in was classified as a No-Fly Zone, the pilot went through a request for information through ENAC and issued a Notice to Airman or NOTAM.
The pilot also sent a request to Florence’s municipality and spoke to the police.
Some of these steps might not be required, especially for non-commercial pilots or those flying in allowable areas, but if you want to be extra certain that you’ve done everything you can to minimize risk before you take to the skies in Florence, you might do what this pilot did.
Drone flight rules and tips in Italy to know before you go
If the extent of your drone flights has only ever occurred in the United States through the FAA, then flying under ENAC regulations might be surprising to you in some ways and quite familiar to you in others.
Ahead, we’ll present all the flight rules to know as you arrive in Florence and fly your drone through this stunning part of Italy.
Flying a drone in the Open classification
In the European Union, drones can legally be classified as Open, Specific, or Certified.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on UAVs in the Open category, which are labeled 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4, with each digit referring to the class identification.
Your drone is also categorized as Open if you don’t plan to use it to drop off anything and it will never carry dangerous items and goods.
If you will only fly the drone within an altitude of 400 feet, maintain a visual line of sight (or use a UA observer if that’s not possible), keep your drone away from people and crowds, and if you bought your drone before January 1st, 2023, then it should also meet the Open requirements.
Further, your drone will weigh at least 0.55 pounds but no more than 55 pounds.
Review the ENAC website for flight information ahead of your trip
This next one is more of a tip than a law but is still a good habit to get into anyway.
The ENAC website always presents relevant flight information about conditions in Florence and other parts of the country. Since you’re not from Italy, it’s doubly important that you stay abreast of any changes to regulations that might impact your ability to fly your drone.
Oh, and we’re sure you’re wondering, how will you ever access the ENAC site if it’s in Italian? While Italian is indeed the default language for the site, you also have the option to switch it to English.
You won’t even have to use a third-party translation service to understand the information on the site!
You must have an identification plate
Before you take off, make sure you have the requisite identification plate on your drone. An identification plate in Italy produces information on both the operator and the system.
You need a secondary plate that goes on the remote ground station that displays the same information as the first plate.
Will your drone transmit real-time data? If so, then you must also have Electronic Identification Device. Drones that are not transmitting such data, including both recreational and commercial drones, can forego the device.
Only fly during daylight hours
In Italy, much like in the US, you’re prohibited from operating your drone at certain hours. You should only be in the sky after sunrise and until sunset.
Although some nighttime shots of Florence would be incredible, it’s illegal to fly during those hours, so don’t risk it!
Obtain a statement of compliance from ENAC if necessary
Commercial pilots, listen up, as this next drone rule is for you. If your project will involve any “low-risk operations,” then you have to contact ENAC and send them a statement of compliance.
In addition to the statement, you might be required to meet certain requirements as well. Oh, and you’ll have to pay a processing fee of 94 euros, which is about $100 USD.
If your drone operations are deemed to be more “high-risk” as a commercial pilot, then you will need to take further steps through ENAC before flying your drone.
For example, you’ll need a valid health certificate and an operating certificate, and you will likely have to undergo additional drone flight training as well.
Limit your flight distance from airports
Florence Airport is the main one you have to watch out for when flying in Florence, but any other airports you pass on your travels require the same consideration.
That is, you can’t fly within three miles or five kilometers of the airport. The same rule applies to airfields, so keep your distance.
Watch your altitudes during recreational and commercial flights
Depending on whether you’re a recreational or commercial pilot, your drone altitude limits in Italy vary.
Commercial pilots cannot exceed heights of 150 meters or 492 feet, while for hobbyists, the max altitude is 70 meters or 230 feet over the ground.
Avoid populated areas and crowds
In any crowded condition, including during an event, a concert, a sporting event, or even just on the busy city streets of Florence, you must keep your drone away. You’re also never allowed to fly over people.
The recommended distance from busy urban environments is 150 meters or 492 feet away while you’ll have to keep back 50 meters or 164 feet from people.
Keep your drone in your visual line of sight
At all times that your drone is in the sky, it must be within your visual line of sight. That refers to the distance you can see the drone when wearing glasses or contacts or with your naked eye but not when using vision-enhancing tools like binoculars.
Florence, Italy is a massively popular attraction for its wealth of artistic and historical exhibits. While drones are permitted to fly here, it’s always best to be precautionary and request approvals before you launch your UAV.
Keep in mind ENAC’s drone rules as well so you can enjoy safe, legal, happy flights!
1. Dallalto production (link)