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Day trips - 5 days to explore

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posts: 219
reviews: 21
Day trips - 5 days to explore

We will be staying in a villa near Lucca for 5 days this spring, actually having 4 full days to explore. We plan tovisit Florence for a day, explore the CT another day, and also visit Lucca. Where do you suggest we should venture for the final day, or along the way to these destinations? Barga and San Gimignano both look really interesting. We will have a car.

After our 5 days in Tuscany, we will head to Rome so we can make a stop along that route as well. Thanks for recommendations.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 7,276
reviews: 55
1. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

I'd spend the extra day in Lucca itself, you are unlikely to be able to cover it all in one day. Barga is lovely, but very, very small and everything will be closed up in the afternoon, but you could make a day trip up the Gargfagnana, Bagni di Lucca and the Ponte della Maddalena make nice stops along the route. San Gimignano is quite a drive from Lucca and will be heaving with tourists. Will you have visited the Field of Miracles in Pisa?

posts: 219
reviews: 21
2. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

Thanks for your ideas! I do not know about the Field of Miracles but will read up on it. We may be in Pisa area to pick up and return our car.

Surrey, United...
posts: 2,568
reviews: 4
3. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

Hi,

Just in case you aren't already aware, Lucca, Florence and Pisa plus other places in Italy have ZTLs (limited traffic zones) in operation. Here is a helpful article about driving in Italy: tripadvisor.co.uk/Travel-g187893-c140065/Tus…

mesh

Ocean City, MD
posts: 6,915
reviews: 7
4. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

In addition to learning the driving laws, if you're from the US or a non EU county, you'll need an Int'l Driving Permit. AAA issues them for about $20.00, bring a passport type photo. The Permit translates the fact you have a valid drivers license for your home State/Country.

posts: 219
reviews: 21
5. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

I will need to read-up on that. Do you know if there are shuttle services that go from Rome to Lucca? I'm thinking that this could be an option and from Lucca we could take a cab to our lodging. And the continue to use cabs throughout our trip to get to train stations that aren't within walking distance. We are staying one week, split between Tuscany base for day trips (this is where we are considering a car) and then 3 days in Rome (no car planned). I'm beginning to get very concerned that driving in Italy, especially picking up and returning vehicles, may prove to be a big hassle and time waster. Thanks fo ryour continued input.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 7,276
reviews: 55
6. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

You could train between Rome and Lucca. There are likely to be cabs at the train station at Lucca, but there will not be at the train station at Barga for example (which is several km from the town). You could get around this by taking the bus to Barga and of course there are plenty of trains to Florence, Pisa and Cinque Terre. How about getting from your lodging back to Lucca/Lucca train station? That is going to be the trickiest part of the plan not to have a car.

posts: 219
reviews: 21
7. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

Is it possible to simply call a taxi cab as needed for travel between towns and in the countryside? If the taxi system works another way, would you please explain? Thanks again.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 7,276
reviews: 55
8. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

Yes main hubs will have taxis you can call - how is your Italian? Taxis in the countryside are few and far between.

posts: 219
reviews: 21
9. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

Unfortunately no Italian! I'm very concerned about both options: renting a car and not renting a car!!

I may end up back to the original plan that I didn't like which is taking a train from the Rome airport to the train station, followed by another train into Pisa, then taking a cab from Pisa rail station to a rental car place and then driving the rental car to lodging. I wanted to simplify this and I just don't see how. Any better plans please? I'm open to all input!

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 7,276
reviews: 55
10. Re: Day trips - 5 days to explore

There is no real need to worry about having a rental car. The ZTLs sound worrying, but they really are easily coped with once you know all about them. The only place to avoid is Florence, but you can easily park in the long stay car park at Lucca and just catch the train there.

I would take the train to Pisa, then take the 5 min train from Pisa Centrale to Pisa airport and pick up a car there and drive to your lodging. It will give you the most flexibility and will certainly be cheaper and easier in the long run than trying to get around by taxi.

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