Best way to get to Tuscany

Jan 3rd, 2011, 02:11 AM
  #1  
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Best way to get to Tuscany

We are planning to travel by train from Cinque Terre to Lucca, I know timetables change but if we get an early morning train - it will take about 2h 30m.to Lucca. Originally I thought to spend 1 night in Lucca and then next day pick up rental car and drive to Montepulciano. There are problems with this plan:

We would arrive in Lucca on a Saturday depart Sunday, no rental place will be open. Do we pick up car Saturday morning and just park it for a day. Or not stay in Lucca and leave later on Saturday for Montepulciano - I wouldn't want to be driving too late to south Tuscany. Is that enough time in Lucca.

- other option is to go by train on Sunday to Florence stay there 3 nights ( we were going to stay in Florence after Tuscany). And then pick up rental car (at airport for easier exit from Florence) and head south. Other recommendation was bus to Siena and pick up car, thendrive to Montepulciano.

- However after Montepulciano we are planning to stay in San Gimignano and head north, originally it was to Florence but if we do that first it will then be straight to Bologna.

I am having difficulty putting the jigsaw pieces together. Any sugggestions would be appreciated.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 04:24 AM
  #2  
GAC
 
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Posts: 3,398
Did you know that you could do all this by public transportation?:

1. Lucca to Florence by train; Florence to Chiusi by train; Chiusi to Montepulciano by bus.

2. Montepulciano to Siena by bus; Siena to Poggibonsi by bus; Poggibonsi to San Gimignano by bus.

3. San Gimignano to Poggibonsi by bus; Poggibonsi to Florence by bus.

www.ferroviedellostato.it
www.lfi.it
www.trainspa.it
GAC is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 06:13 AM
  #3  
 
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You could pick up the rental car at the Florence airport. Car rental places there should be open on Sundays. And no need to drive in central Florence.

That probably requires the train from Lucca to Florence and then a bus back to the airport.

An all-train alternative would be to the Pisa airport for a rental car.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 06:43 AM
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Get your car in La Spezia on Sat. AM and spend 4 hours in Lucca before driving to Montepulciano. That also avoids a one niter stay.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 07:01 AM
  #5  
 
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I agree with Mirmar's suggestions of an either Pisa or Florence airport pickup.

The train from Lucca to Florence is about 1 hour and then the bus just 15-20 minutes to the airport. After getting off of the train in Florence, before walking inside the station building, turn left and the bus and ticket office is right there on the street. I think the bus is 4E. You could also take a taxi from the train station to the airport (~25E). The drive from the airport to the A1 heading south (direction Roma) is very easy.
zoecat is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 09:57 AM
  #6  
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Thank you for your replies.

These are all good options and I think it will either be as Bob sugggests avoid 1 nighter and pick up car in Lucca and then drive to Montepulciano in the afternoon.
Or the train option to Florence, by Mimar and Zoecat. Zoecat thank you for the instructions from the train station to the Airport. Are the A1 and A11 scary to drive on, I have a fear of fast driving Italians. Will they be busy on a weekend?

GAC I tried those public transport sites but they are in Italian I will investigate them further. We will be hiring a car for our 10 day ramble in tuscany.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 01:47 PM
  #7  
 
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Just an FYI to perhaps avoid confusion - Florence is in Tuscany too. Tuscany is like a US state or Canadian province - Lucca, Cinque Terre, Florence, Montepulciano, are all in Tuscany. You will then be in different sections of Tuscany, like Florence or Siena (like counties in the U.S.), which encompass several towns around them. Sorry I can not equate this to Australia as I am not as familiar with your country - but I guess the region of Tuscany would roughly equal a territory in Australia (but much smaller).
InFlorence is offline  
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