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help with Florence - Lucca-Pisa Cinque Terra logistics please!

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help with Florence - Lucca-Pisa Cinque Terra logistics please!

Old Jan 28th, 2018, 01:38 PM
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help with Florence - Lucca-Pisa Cinque Terra logistics please!

Since posting recently, I have made progress but came up with new questions. At end of April we are flying to Florence and then depart for home from Genoa, after 8 nights, allowing us to visit Lucca, Pisa and explore CT and the coast without back-tracking. We thought we would land in Florence, then take train to Lucca for overnight. Do a stop in Pisa en route to CT, then spend a few nights in CT, then move to another coastal town, like Santa Margherita di Figure or Comigli ( suggestions of one vs the other?) for 2 nights then go to Genoa for a couple of nights before heading home. How would a short stop in Pisa work ? Can it be done with luggage? Does the train route go - Florence- Lucca- Pisa. ? or Florence- Pisa- Lucca ? Any good suggestions for doing this easily?
As for our stay in Cinque Terra, I understand each town has a unique personality. Would April-May timing affect where we should choose to stay? I would like to experience staying in CT but am unsure in which town. And I would appreciate suggestions of which town to then move to as a base to explore more. One Fodorite suggested Comigli, my reading implies that Sta Margherita di Figure is another nice town. Always so hard to know from reading travel guides..... I appreciate the wisdom of your collective experience.
Thanks ;-)
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Old Jan 28th, 2018, 01:48 PM
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Trains go often both ways Florence-Pisa-Lucca or Florence-Lucca-Pisa.

If staying in Lucca check www.bahn.de/en to see which schedules are best - I think you get direct Florence-Lucca trains but via Pisa always have to change or usually.

But if staying in Lucca - head there first and check baggage into hotel and take train Lucca to Pisa S Rossore station (one stop before Pisa Centrale) - S Rossore station is a short walk from Leaning Tower area - much closer than from Pisa Centrale - so do the Tower area and go back to Lucca for the night and next day perhaps. Otherwise hitting Pisa Tower en route from Lucca to CT will require checking baggage at Pisa Centrale - no facilities at S Rossore and getting from there to Tower area.

If you can wheel your bags to the Tower area I believe there is a baggage check there but not sure. Anyway much more of a hassle.

For lots on trains check www.trenitalia.com; www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Jan 28th, 2018, 02:21 PM
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excellent advice, although we will be tired from overnight flight arriving in Lucca. Doubt there would be time for nap and still visit Pisa. I'll consider whether we should do 2 nights in Lucca to make it more do-able, I'll think about how important it is to me.
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Old Jan 28th, 2018, 02:45 PM
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Three nights in Santa Margherita Ligure or Camogli and one in Genoa or all four in SML or Camogli.
Camogli is smaller, faces north on the peninsula, is lined with colorful fishermen’s houses. Santa Margherita is larger with more hotel and dining choices, faces south on the peninsula. Both are wonderful, and you can’t go wrong.Portofino is at the end of the peninsula and you can drive there or take a boat from SML. Both SML and Camogli are very different from the villages of the Cinque Terre.
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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 09:16 AM
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Again we stayed in SMLigure and loved it - neat walks uphill thru forests to Portofino or San Fruttosco (?) very popular pilgrimage shrine or something. SML has however someone said been getting more and more cruise ships so may have a different feeling than when we were there years ago. Cimogli seemed a neat more ordinarybut still touristy town like all seaside resorts are but mainly Italian not foreigners like CT towns and especially Portofino, whose mobs even make those in CT IME look small.
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Old Jan 29th, 2018, 04:53 PM
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that's another interesting suggestion! I guess I like the sound of SML with more dining options. However, I read a FF trip report, albeit from about 5 years ago, and she raved about Rapallo as a home base. Does anyone know anything about that as an option? Just trying to gather as much inside info as possible before booking rooms.... Thanks!
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 07:25 AM
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All those towns are nice Italian seaside resorts - who can say Rapollo or SML is better (having seen both) - Rapollo more a seaside resort town.
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 11:31 AM
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Last September I checked my bags at Pisa Centrale for a short visit to the tower. It was no trouble at all.

Do stay two nights in lovely Lucca, if possible. I highly recommend Al Porto di Lucca: https://alportodilucca.com/index.html
It's a garden paradise, right next to the train station and within walking distance of everywhere.

I spent four nights in Santa Margherita, which is glorious, and an afternoon in Camogli, which is also enchanting. As Happy Trvlr has noted, you can't go wrong. Buon viaggio!
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 11:41 AM
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I've checked bags at Pisa Centrale too and on one occasion it was closed for 45 minutes for some reason. If spending two days in Lucca day trip by train to Pisa and use S Rossore station where you can be at the Tower in a few minutes. That is if you do not care to see Pisa itself.
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Old Jan 30th, 2018, 01:42 PM
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Anyone know if the Tower area still has a baggage check? If so as I mentioned before if folks have wheels on luggage or traveling light they could easily head there fromS Rossore station en route to CT - better than going to Pisa Centrale then taking bus or walking to Tower area and back.
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