April 29, 2014, 11:25 PM
Garfagnana with small children and no car...
We're staying in Lucca for a week at the end of May and we're starting to plan day trips. We'd like to explore the Garfagnana region using the train line along the Serchio valley. Does anyone have any recommendations, baring in mind that we have a 2 yr old and a 5yr old so will not be able to do any serious hiking. Is it possible/sensible to make it to the Grotta del Vento?
Thanks in advance!
April 30, 2014, 12:17 PM
From Lucca you can certainly plan several day trips by train or bus - to Florence, Pisa, the coast if you want to go to the beach.
Garfagnana is also reachable by train as well as bus.
You can see train schedules here: www.trenitalia.com
And bus schedules here: http://www.vaibus.it/index.php?optio...&id=4&Itemid=5
You can use Google Maps to search for transportation - there is the icon for moving around by train/bus and it is now pretty well connected to local transport companies so that it can give you train or bus numbers and schedules as well.
Keep in mind though that train travel can be limiting as it travels along the Serchio river and towns might not be right along there. That is the case for both Gallicano and Barga.
Bus would be better since it often takes you into the towns - but then there is the trouble with schedules. It can be done, but it does take careful planning!
As far as the Grotta del Vento, you can arrive at the Gallicano train station and then take a bus to Fornovalasco and then walk the rest of the way (it isn't far but is uphill).
Read more details here: http://www.grottadelvento.com/ENG/dove_siamo.aspx
(I see they also link to Google Maps to show bus/train schedules).
Otherwise, you can also use their bus shuttle to get there - but since the bus only runs when at least a certain number of people have reserved it, service is not guaranteed. You can read more details here: http://www.grottadelvento.com/ENG/servizio_navetta.aspx
The cave is beautiful, hoping you can make the train/bus schedule work out so that you can go visit!