April 5, 2014, 08:25 AM
How to make the most of 5 days in Tuscany...
My husband and I are coming to Tuscany (1-6 July this year) and will be based in Lucca. We will have come from Venice and be heading to Rome afterward, both by train (and bus into Lucca).
We originally hoped to get up to Cinque Terre and also to Montepulciano but we really don't want to hire a car.
We will have 5 full days and would like to head to Pisa for 1/2 a day and 1 day in Florence. We would also like to go somewhere on the coast and also during our time we'd like to explore some of the wineries (if possible without a car). I guess what we look forward to most is a slow paced trip with plenty of opportunity to enjoy good food and wine! We like to see a few historical sights along the way but tend not to get caught up in galleries and museums.
I wonder if you may have any suggestions for things to fit into our time? We're also quite happy to just spend a day in Lucca relaxing too.
Look forward to hearing any ideas to make the most of our time there!
if I'm right, you would like to move around Tuscany by bus and train only. No problem for going to Pisa and Florence, there are many buses leaving from Lucca and heading to both the two cities, have a look at the offcial Italian rail website for more information on timetables (click on th English flag on the right hand on top of page).
On the site you may also find information for going to the coast. From Florence there are trains leaving to the Etruscan coast, but I'd rather prefer a location along the Versilia coast, like Viareggio for example, more easily reachable from Lucca (about 15-20 minutes train trip).
You'll easily get around Lucca by foot: if you book an accommodation in the old center or closeby, there will be no need to take a bus for visiting the city. If you want to spend a relaxing day in Lucca, have a look at this article about a day trip.
Hiring a car is the best way for visiting wineries out of city centers, but if you prefer travelling by train only, you could stay in Florence 2 days instead f just one and take a bus from there heading to some of the most locations of Chianti, for visiting wineries and tasting local foods. Have a look there for further information.
A few suggestions for a day itinerary in Pisa there.
Enjoy your trip!
Last edited by Chiara; May 9, 2014 at 03:35 PM.
May 13, 2014, 08:02 PM
If you're taking a bus to Lucca, you could also look into taking a bus to Cinque Terre (to La Spezia, for instance, then taking the train the last few km into the CT) to fit at least a day in. It can be done, since it is along the coast and easy to reach without a car (actually a car in high season is highly not recommended). You could also just head to Lucca and then take the train back up to CT.
You can see Montepulciano AND enjoy wineries and wine tastings without the need for a car if you take advantage of TOURS!! There are a mix, many are not so large that you feel herded around, but there are also private ones if you want to go that way. Lots of good food and wine are also included. Take a look at the tours offered here in general, but more specifically here for those that do wine tastings/tours in Chianti as well as Montepulciano and Montalcino.
There are many things to do in Tuscany - the 5 days will fly by so do make sure to take time to just relax in Lucca, take a bike ride on the walls and soak in the atmosphere. In Tuscany, and in Italy for that matter, doing less is actually doing more - you will enjoy it more fully!
May 24, 2014, 11:59 AM
Thanks so much to the both of you for your ideas and input.
We are staying in Lucca for 5 nights/4 days and have decided the following:
-Cinque Terre day trip.
-A day in Pisa/relaxing back in Lucca.
-Wine Tour from Florence (will be an early start, but seemed a bit cheaper and with more options!). There will also be time to see a bit of Florence.
-A day in Florence.
We will also have 1/2 a day when we arrive in Lucca to relax and look around.
Thanks again, we're very excited about our trip and can't wait to experience Tuscany!
May 26, 2014, 11:45 AM
Sounds like a great plan!! Have fun