July 15, 2015, 02:16 AM
Train from Monterosso to Florence (and Pisa)
I wish to Thank you as you have all been so very helpful in my plans to visit the Tuscany region during the first 2 weeks of August. It's getting close!
We are planning on staying 3 nights in Monterosso, then taking the train to Florence for 3 nights before moving on to other areas. My question is related to the train from Monterosso to Florence. For our longer train rides (Milan to Monterosso as well as Florence to Venice), we have already purchased our train tickets in advance. Do you recommend that I also buy the Monterosso to Florence tickets in advance, or should I simply buy them at the station at the time I plan to depart? I don't want to get into a situation where the train may be sold out.
The second part of my question involves a visit to Pisa. I have read elsewhere a recommendation to visit Pisa as part of the train ride from Monterosso to Florence. Specifically, instead of taking a full day to travel to Pisa from Florence, simply hop off the train on the way to Florence from Monterosso, stay a couple of hours in Pisa, then get back on the train to Florence. Have you any thoughts or advice? Is this enough time to visit Pisa? Might this be too difficult to do with luggage or can I store luggage at the station for a short time?
July 16, 2015, 03:52 PM
Glad to see you back - and almost here!
I suggest, as you're going to be taking regional trains, to just wait until you get here.
And recommend doing the following:
- get ticket from Monterosso to Pisa
- there is luggage storage at the train station, so leave the big pieces there
- I would dedicate the whole morning to Pisa and taking your time, have lunch.... then continue on to Florence
- get ticket from Pisa to Florence - you can get them both in Monterosso or just wait and get them in Pisa right before you get on
The regional trains don't get sold out in traditional way -- tickets are sold for a type of train but not a particular one... so seating is first come, first served. Just remember to STAMP the tickets in the yellow boxes you see before going to the tracks - that prints time and date on the ticket making it valid for travel right after. Bus system works in similar fashion.
The longer distance trains require seating and thus time and date must be selected - that makes the ticket valid for that particular train, so you don't need to stamp those (unless you really want to practice ahead of time before the regional trains ;-)) I just do it since it is a way for me to never forget to stamp tickets, if it isn't needed.
July 16, 2015, 10:23 PM
Thank you so much, Lourdes!
While in Florence, do you suggest a day trip (via train) to Lucca? If so, is a full day recommended or just a few hours?
July 17, 2015, 12:24 PM
I would recommend a whole day to see the city in a relaxed mode - see the sights but also enjoy a walk (or rent a bike) around on the walls that surround the historical town of Lucca.
July 22, 2015, 03:24 AM
Thank you for your advice. Grazie!