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florence to lucca

los angeles, ca
3 posts
1 review
florence to lucca

I will be travelling to Lucca in August. We are flying into Florence and spending the day. What is the best way to get to lucca from florence? I know the train runs quite often but I heard it is not easy to take the train and rent a car in lucca. Should we rent a car in florence and drive to Lucca? we are staying at Villa Torriani which is actually a few miles outside of lucca and we are travelling with kids ages 6 and 8. Any suggestions?

Savannah, GA
Level Contributor
1,910 posts
32 reviews
1. Re: florence to lucca

I'd take the bus to Lucca (station just next to the Santa Maria Novella Train Station) - it's faster than the train and, really, more comfortable and terminates within the walls. (Train stops outside the walls, but not far away...train stops many times between Florence and Lucca!) I'd definitely NOT rent the auto in Florence....rent it in Lucca....there's an auto rental agency in Piazza Giglio just off Piazza Napoleone. At this agency, they'll give you directions on how to get to Torriani.

los angeles, ca
3 posts
1 review
2. Re: florence to lucca

savannahmame,

thanks for the prompt reply. I subsequently searched the listings and agree with your suggestions. I've noticed that all of your postings are extremely helpful and I appreciate your sage advice.

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
211 posts
119 reviews
3. Re: florence to lucca

Whether you train and then rent a car or rent a car up front depends on how much luggage you have and how comfortable you are driving in Italy. Also I don't like schlepping from an airplane to a train to a car rental place. I'd rather schlep from an airplane directly to a car. And you will have a better selection of cars at an airport than in Lucca or any place outside the airport. We just returned from Tuscany and rented from www.autoeurope.com. Worked out great. It took us a few days to get used to driving in Italy. It was wild. But...we lived and it was a huge amount of fun.

Richard

Texas

Boston...
Level Contributor
12,881 posts
12 reviews
4. Re: florence to lucca

Hey Richard...did you happen to do any driving on any of those narrow winding rural roads? Weren't they incredible!!?? A few times I had to actually back up in the middle of a little town to make room for an oncoming vehicle (trying to be a courteous American visitor and all) and once I saw an RV coming the other way. There was absolutely NO WAY he was going to get by us. I had to pull into a driveway that was strategically located to let him by. I gave him a lot of credit for being an optimistic soul and renting it in the first place! Driving in Italy...what an experience!

UK
5 posts
5. Re: florence to lucca

The trains are very simple and very cheap. You would have to get a train into Florence Central and then a train into Lucca. You can get a direct train from Florence Central to Lucca for about 8 euros. If you purchase your ticket from the airport to Lucca, you can use the same ticket to get to get into Florence Central.

The trains are fanatastic and run like clockwork. Only trick with the trains is to stamp your ticket before you get on the train (there are yellow boxes on the walls around the station platforms and you just insert your ticket and it stamps it with a time).

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
4 posts
20 reviews
6. Re: florence to lucca

How was your stay in Villa Torriani? Was it beautiful, comfortable, and are you glad you went? My family is going to stay there in summer 2007. The pictures are gorgeous and it sounds really special. I know we will rent a car because otherwise an out of the city villa would be very difficult.

los angeles, ca
3 posts
1 review
7. Re: florence to lucca

Thanks for responding to this thread. Our stay at Villa Torriani was wonderful. I hope you are travelling with several families because the place is quite large and can accomodate many people. The villa itself is very charming. The furnishings harken back to a refined, genteel time, but they are quite utilitarian, well worn and comfortable. The gardens are lovely and well taken care of and the patios offer sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside and city down below.

We had the great fortune of having the care-taker's mother and mother-in-law prepare dinner for us a couple of times while we were at the villa. They cooked some of the dishes off site but cooked most of the meals in the large, well stocked kitchen. We feasted on home-cooked Luccan meals prepared with local ingredients. It was wonderful. I wouldn't call it five star dining but it surpassed any restaurant meals we had in Italy by far. It wasn't exactly cheap but how often do you get the chance to have home cooked meals in a foreign country. Try it at least once. There is a Carrefour, a large supermarket, a little ways outside the town center, there are many signs pointing the way there, and there is a smaller grocery store just outside the city walls as well. We prepared our own breakfast each morning and made dinner a couple of nights as well.

It takes about 10-15 minutes to drive out to the villa from the center of town, most of the roads are marked but it can be a little difficult to find the villa the first time there. Ask the caretaker for detailed driving directions. You have to turn off the main road and drive down a little driveway to get up to the villa. It is marked with a different sign but I forgot the name. I will ask one of my travelling companions and post the name here if we remember it.

Our kids are 6 and 9, and they had a great time there. They really liked the pool and exploring all the rooms of the villa. There really isn't much to see or do in the immediate area outside the villa but we were usually going on day trips anyway. Our kids had a good time but to be honest, they weren't quite up to seeing all the museums and monuments. They appreciated the swimming pool at the villa or the daily gellato more than seeing Michaelangelo's David or the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

As far as day trips we spent a day in Pisa, a day hiking around Cinque Terra, two days exploring Florence, a day in Lucca and a day of exploring the Montalcino wine region. There were 14 of us and we had two rental cars, one Fiat sedan and one Mini-bus that held 9. We actually flew into Florence, took the shuttle bus into town from the airport and then got on a train to Lucca. Once we were in Lucca, we rented our cars in Lucca and got around by driving. On the days we went to Florence we drove back into town and took the train from Lucca to Florence. Driving around Florence looked very confusing and the parking looked terrible. Unless you are very patient I would suggest going to Florence by train and avoid driving there.

For our wine tour I arranged a tour with Franco Fadda, whom I discovered on this website. Through many emails we worked out a pretty good deal. He normally bases his tours from Florence but we arranged to have him pick us up at Villa Torriani and bring us back. It was well worth the added expense. Otherwise, we would have had to get up very early, take the train or drive to Florence. take the tour and get back in time for the last train back or face the long drive from Florence to Lucca. If you want I can give you his email as well. He took us to a small winery near Montalcino, to taste the Brunello del Montalcino, we then visited a monastary and heard some monks singing Gregorian chants. That was followed by lunch at another winery that Franco seemed to be very familiar with the owners. By far that was the highlight of the day. The lunch was prepared by the mother of the owner of the winery and we dined outside under some trees, a home-cooked Tuscan lunch of salad, pasta , peas and roasted pork., and of course, Brunello wine. When we were there they had just finished bottling some wine and Franco literally scooped up a pitcher of wine from the holding vat and we got to taste the raw wine before it went into bottles. It was a great treat. We weren't even done, yet. We visited an ancient Etruscan archeological site and then went into Montalcino and shopped and relaxed even more. We didn't get back to the villa until 9 pm.

Just a couple of caveats. Villa Torriani is a great villa and I really enjoyed staying there, but..... it's a little hard to get to, and definitely off the beaten path. There are plenty of Villas to rent around Tuscany, you just have to decide whether you want convenience (being close to a large city like Florence or Pisa, and efficient public transportation) versus getting to see and experience the smaller, more quiet country towns like Lucca or Montalcino. Two, the mosquitos at Torriani were vicious. Bring lots of mosquto repellant and I would suggest mosquito nets. We were in Lucca in August, it was hot and we would have liked to keep the windows open, but they do not have screens on the windows and the mosquitos would have free reign if you opened the windows. If you had mosquito nets you could try to hang them from the ceiling fixtures or adjacent furniture and try to remain unbitten that way.

Overall, we had a wonderful time in Italy, the kids probably would prefer Hawaii, but we had so many great experiences that I would go back in a heart beat. Please repost here if you have more specific questions and I can try to help.

UK
5 posts
8. Re: florence to lucca

I would recommend going on the train. It is direct and very cheap and the views are fantastic. The trains are air conditioned too. You have to buy your ticket before you get onto the train and there are various yellow boxes on the platforms. Just before you get on the train, put your ticket in the yellow box to stamp it.

I recently went to Barga and visited Pisa, Lucca and loads of other places and used the train. The services are fantastic and run on time.

Enjoy your holiday

9. Re: florence to lucca

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San Francisco...
Level Contributor
4 posts
20 reviews
10. Re: florence to lucca

Thank you so much for the wonderful long posting on 12/16! It is chock full of good information, and I will send a link so my family & friends can all read it too.

We are going in early June, so I think mosquitoes won't be a problem, though it may be a bit cold.

Your day of wine tour sounds great; I've only been to Italy once before and loved Montalcino and the abbey there, Sant Antimo I believe. We even bought a CD of the Gregorian chants. About half the group hasn't been to Italy before, and that day sounds just perfect. And how great not to drive! It scared the dickens out of me, though I did drive even in Florence. So yes, I would love to get Franco's email address. Maybe I can find it here on tripadvisor.

We will have to have dinner cooked for us at the Villa, beyond the welcome dinner that is included.

I think being in the countryside will work for our group, and Pisa is close, Lucca of course, and the ponte del diavolo (Borgo a Mozzano

) just upriver from the Villa. Love the Cinque Terre. Florence and the Ufizzi - with a reservation. We could easily spend a month.

One question: were the beds comfortable? We are all adults by the way; cheers to your children for putting up with cultural events! The gellato makes it all worth while. ;-)