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Getting Around in Italy Without Car

Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Getting Around in Italy Without Car

We're planning a trip to Italy. Arriving in Milan and then planning to go to Florence (2 days), Cinque Terre (2 days), Lucca(7 days) and then to Rome (5 days). Any suggestions on the easiest way to travel without a car and the best way to get to each of these places will be greatly appreciated. Which place should we go to first, second and so on. Looking for inexpensive apartments, B and B and hotels. Would love any help. Thanks.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 10:17 AM
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hi miamigirl,

ordinary trains should get you to all of these places easily - they are all on main line services. just go to www.trenitalia.com and put in your destination and arrival points.

this may be a silly question, but why are you spending so long in Lucca compared with florence and the CT? if, as i anticipate, you are arriving from the US you frost day in Florence may be wrecked by jetlag - you could easily borrow a day from Lucca for florence and the CT and still have plenty of time there.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2011, 07:56 PM
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Thanks. we're going to rent an apt. in Lucca which only rents by the week. so, we should go to Lucca first to recouperate from the 2 days of flying. Any help with apts. or B and B's or hotels?
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 03:40 AM
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I really ejoy Lucca, so don't think yo have to worry about being there for too long, but you can do day trips to Florence from there (75 minutes by train)

Everywhere you want to go is easy to do by train.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 06:09 AM
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yes, I think that I would do just that - go to Lucca and enjoy your week there first. you can, as willlit says, do a day trip [or two] from there to Florence, which will free up time for the CT - you could give yourselves 4 nights there, before making for Rome.

this would give you a very nicely balanced trip, and far less moving about which always takes up time.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 06:46 AM
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Lucca is a good base for Pisa and Siena as well. Trains would be best but buses also exist.

In Rome if you stay our of the main tourist area you can get good rates, for example in the Vatican (an area of Rome, not the fortress) and for 5 days an appartment may be better than a hotel. I'd search these forums for best agents.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 09:30 AM
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I would have to disagree about Lucca as a base for Siena as it would be around two and a half hours by train, probably similar by bus.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 02:43 PM
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So I'm thinking of arriving in Milan then going directly to Lucca. From there going to Florence on to Cinque Terra and finally Rome. Thanks.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 05:08 PM
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That doesn't make sense. You should go from Lucca to CT, not Florence. It's only an hour by train from Lucca to La Spezia and it's over 2 hours from Florence. You would be backtracking.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 05:22 PM
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Just FYI. That first train ride (Malpensa to Lucca) is about 5 hours. Some options involve two changes, others only one. All options involve a change in Florence. Malpensa to, say, Vernazza in the CT is also about 5 hours with two changes.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2011, 07:37 PM
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You can fly into Pisa or Florence, too, which would shorten your train trip to your apartment in Lucca dramatically. I would go to Florence for a day trip or two. Go early in the day, or plan to stay later into the evening, so you have some time there when the cruise ship hordes are not clogging the streets and you can even get across the Ponte Vecchio in less than 15 minutes. (I am not exaggerating by much)

There are plenty of apartments to rent for fewer than 7 days in Rome. Try VRBO.com and sleepinitaly.com. Two factors to consider when looking for less expensive places: If you are willing to forego A/C and an elevator. But if you are going in July and August I would not advise giving up the A/C. And be aware that the first floor in Italy is like the second floor in the US -- up one flight. So subsequent floors are one higher too. And because the rooms have very high ceilings in Italy, the flights of stairs are long. If you are in good shape and energetic that may not concern you.
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Old Jun 24th, 2011, 03:40 AM
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You can easily do this trip via trains
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Old Jun 27th, 2011, 05:33 PM
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We did Italy by train in 2009 and 2010. In Milan we stayed at Hotel Berna, in Florence Hotel Alba Palace and we stayed in Santa Margherita Ligure and did a day train trip to the Cinque Terra villages. We chose hotels that were close to the train station and it all worked out wonderful for us. We used TripAdvisor for our hotels and couldn't be happier with our choices.
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