Europe Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Trip Report Scotland in 18 nights, smirr and sun and mud!
  2. 2 He Musta Saw Us a-Comin': A Brief, Cautionary Tale about Taxis in Rome
  3. 3 Caution picking car from Europcar at Stazione Termini
  4. 4 Ambitious 1st time trip through Europe whilst pregnant??
  5. 5 Trip Report No Reservations...our laidback Paris Christmas
  6. 6 Northern Ireland ideas
  7. 7 Trip planning to Paris, Lyon, Strasbourg
  8. 8 Paris Neighborhood Help
  9. 9 Poor weather outlook 10/16-19 Grindenwald
  10. 10 Itinerary input for trip to Spain and France
  11. 11 Trip Report Long weekend in Albania
  12. 12 ASTURIAS IN LATE OCTOBER??
  13. 13 Online Site for Alhambra Tickets
  14. 14 Trip Report Just the wine list please and Daisy came too.
  15. 15 scotland itinerary
  16. 16 Northern Italy in 2 Weeks?
  17. 17 Itinerary for 5 adults, 3 kids, 2 weeks, & 1 holiday adventure!
  18. 18 Trip Report Stanbr and Lolly visit Eastern Crete
  19. 19 Hotel in Florence
  20. 20 Travel between Civitavecchia and Rome
  21. 21 Advice needed for family trip to Belgium and Germany
  22. 22 Missing Toronto Woman May Be in France
  23. 23 Malta - how to do it?
  24. 24 Using CPAP machine in France
  25. 25 Castle Stays in Wales
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report An introduction to Italy (Lerici, Barga, and Lucca)

Jump to last reply

This was my first visit to Italy, but I did not want to spend a week in a city or overdo it, so I went with a triangular triad of places around Pisa, where I flew in/out. Here's a brief trip report--with apologies for any misspellings, as I am typing this up without my notes.

1) After negotiating the train from Pisa airport to Sarzana, we were picked up by our b&b agent for the drive to La Serra, 2 km above Lerici. He stopped at his sister's gelateria in San Terenzo, where we were treated to free gelato--one of the best I had all week (fior di latte...sublime).
On to the b&b Pimpanella, also known as as La TaTa, which I recommend for its setting in tiny quiet La Serra and Raphaella's fantastic cappuccino and breakfast pastries. It is bright and clean, with a nice sea view over Lerici. In low season, there are only buses during the day, but we were up for the 2km uphill/downhill walk along a lit path. (In summer, buses run at night). http://www.liguriaguide.com/b-and-b-pimpinella.html
We spent the next two days walking the trails to Tellaro and around Montemarcello. Some trails (unfortunately those to beaches) were closed due to landslides. We barely passed any other people while walking. Had simple fantastic lunch fare in Montemarcello and Tellaro. Notable restaurants: Il Pescatori; Bonte Nascoste; Enoteca Marina for apertivo.

2) To the mountains and breathtaking Barga, and wonderful Casa Fontana, which more than lived up to its rave reviews http://www.casa-fontana.com/. The food here equaled that of the coast, even the seafood. Notable mentions: L'Altana, L'Osteria (including a bit of opera!), Scacciguai. Luckily, we spent the day hiking to make up for all of the eating! This region is just gorgeous.

3) To Lucca, where we stayed in a spacious room just outside the city walls at http://www.luccainvilla.it/elisaindex.asp. Nice breakfast too, but unless you wake up very early I found it quite loud -- do not stay in room 3, just across from the desk.
Spent our time meandering through the streets and the city walls on bikes and foot. We even took bikes outside of town along the river pathway, which was also nice. Dinner was never as good in Lucca as in the previous towns, but simple things like sandwiches were still excellent, and my favorite gelato was probably had here---pinola.
Dined last night at Il Cuore, which was overpriced but delicious.

I left the last few days rather open for day trips, but we just enjoyed Lucca and then decided spur of the moment to go to La Cinque Terre. Mistake. No matter how gorgeous those views are, what I will remember is miserable crowds. I would only return to do the other trails, not the main one, and I would not want to stay in one of those towns.

A few basics
Learning a bit of Italian was definitely useful. House wine was excellent in the vast majority of cases. Use the ticket machines at stations when possible, or arrive early as there is often a line. The only confusion I ever had with train system was knowing when to transfer, as this was not indicated on tickets. I had looked at the train lines in advance of the trip, so that helped a lot.
Don't order all four courses unless you have a mammoth appetite. I usually wanted to try everything so over-ordered anyway, but I often could not finish it all. I thought the antipasti and primi would be small, but they were rarely small enough.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous questions when trip planning!

11 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement