Week to Pisa, Lucca and Florence
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Jan 9, 2013 2:46 PM Last Post By: mike9
Jan 9, 2013 9:18 AM
Week to Pisa, Lucca and FlorenceHi
I'm taking my boyfriend away as a birthday present for his 40th and was looking for some advice. Florence is the number one place he'd like to go, but would also like to visit Lucca. We will have to fly into Pisa.
Can anyone recommend how to get around? I hear that car hire is a pain especially in Florence, but also that trains can be unreliable? Would it be worth getting a hire car in Pisa to get to Lucca and then leaving it there and getting the train to Florence?
Day 1 - Pisa
Day 2 - Pisa
Day 3 - Lucca
Day 4 - Lucca
Day 5 - Florence
Day 6 - Florence
Day 7 Florence to Pisa for flight.
Am i missing out on anything with this schedule? Am i trying to pack too much in?
Jan 9, 2013 9:53 AM
Jan 9, 2013 9:57 AM
2Renting a car would be a serious handicap since driving within the walls of Lucca is basically useless and Pisa is famous for issuing traffic tickets for driving in forbidden places. The public transportation between your three cities is frequent and reliable. Since you only have a week, if you arrive in Pisa in the morning and you are efficient, you can DO Pisa in 24 hours and leave for Lucca on an early morning bus or train the next day. If you don't have you heart set on trying to get tickets to climb the Leaning Tower, then the time to see it at its glory is after dark when it's lit up and brilliant. Also all the crowds are gone-although there are many police still around for security. Lucca can also be done in a day. After you walk the 4.2 kilometers around the wall or rent a bike to make the trip, then most of the rest of your time can be spent walking the streets. Remember than Lucca is closed on Mondays with most of the shops not opening until 3:30 or 4:00PM. Also during the rest of the work week, many shops close for Florence where there is much more to do and see.
Jan 9, 2013 9:58 AM
Jan 9, 2013 10:03 AM
Jan 9, 2013 11:01 AM
5Agree with all the above... I did a long weekend in Florence last summer, and managed Pisa and Lucca in one day (by train... Florence - Pisa - Lucca - Florence)... although we didn't climb the tower (and hadn't planned to...). We had climbed the Duomo in Florence the day before (which I highly, highly recommend) and so the Leaning Tower didn't seem as attractive.
Lucca is nice to amble around, have a leisurely lunch, and beautiful, but if Florence is what he wants to see, I think it's better to just spend 24h in Pisa and Lucca and cram more of Florence in, but it depends on how you like to travel! Each to their own!
Trains are really cheap for the trip mentioned above, so you can just buy on the day.
Aside from inter-city trains, we walked around all 3 places without need for a car.
If you want to see the sunset over Florence - everyone heads up the hill to Piazza Michelangelo - but don't stop there, carry on up the road another 5-10 mins and watch it from the steps of the church (name escapes me for the moment...) much more civilised!
Jan 9, 2013 1:16 PM
6Am i missing out on anything with this schedule?
Many worthwhile sights in Florence, if you stick to your original itinerary. If you want to visit one world-class museum per day and avoid sensory overload, you'll need five days. Some would say longer. That's not to mention the merely really interesting museums. Or churches. Etc...
Not that it matters, but the church in question is called San Miniato al Monte--not that there's a big flashing sign with the name in front of it. It's just the big old church further up the hill with a whole bunch of stairs--you can't miss it if you keep heading up the hill. Well worth a look inside during opening hours. The Florentine who originally suggested it to me agrees.
Jan 9, 2013 1:18 PM
7Trains are pretty reliable in Italy,and even more so in Tuscany than most other parts of the country.And,as noted above,they are both cheaper and easier for the type of trip you are intending.....
Jan 9, 2013 2:13 PM
Jan 9, 2013 2:46 PM
9Pisa and Lucca are sufficiently near that you could consider staying in one rather than moving base. If it were me I'd stay in Lucca. The train runs about every 30 minutes and takes about the same - and the station after leaving Pisa Centrale, at Pisa San Rossore, is only 5 minutes walk from that tower - you can just about see it from the station platform. Buses also run between Pisa and Lucca about every half hour, taking a bit longer, but most of these run trough to Pisa airport.
If you want somewhere a bit different, there are buses and trains (both about every 1 - 2 hours) heading north from Lucca towards Barga and Bagno di Lucca on the edge of the Massa Carrara with some excellent scenery on the way along the Serchio valley.
Buses in and around Lucca were run by CLAP but I've read recently that they've merged with someone else so the website may have changed, but buses and trains in the area are generally good and quite cheap and as others have said, a car is more of a hindrance.I assume you have checked the trenitalia website for trains - don't bother about booking in advance, local trains charge a fixed rate, just turn up at the station and go. It is sometimnes worth getting a return ticket - you won't save any money, but it will save queuing up again at the ticket office. Train tickets need to be cancelled before you board the train - just look for the little green and grey boxes either near the booking office or near the entrance to the platform and slip the end of the ticket in.
The bus station in Lucca is just inside the city walls at the western edge of the city, and the train station is a block south of the walls on the south. You'll have a great time.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$27.88 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$81.60 per night
San GimignanoBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$31.36 per night