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Is Lucca a viable base for touring Tuscany and Cinque Terre?

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I enjoy reading all the comments by the knowledgeable posters on this forum. I hope you can advise me on whether or not I need one base or two in order to comfortably explore areas of Tuscany and the Cinque Terre.

We are a family of four (a couple with two young adult daughters) planning our first trip to Italy in August, 2013. We will fly into Pisa and out of Rome.

We would like to see a mix of city, small village, and seaside sites. I am considering renting a place in Lucca for a week and making day trips using a combination of rental car and train/bus. We want to see Florence and Siena and take scenic drives through the Val D'Orcia region and the coast around the Cinque Terre. (After our week is up, we will ditch the rental car, then travel by train to Venice and Rome where we will spend three nights each.)

I picked Lucca for a number of reasons: 1) it looks like an interesting destination in it’s own right 2) from consulting a map it seems like the places I listed are feasible as day trips (albeit long ones), and 3) it’s a short drive from Pisa airport and avoiding a long drive through an unfamiliar country while jetlagged seems like a good idea.

Do you think using Lucca as a base is a viable plan or do I need two bases for the week?

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