Trip planning for Venice and Lucca

Old Dec 5th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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Trip planning for Venice and Lucca

Hello Fodorites.

(I posted an almost identical query on Slow Travel so apologies to those of you who like to follow both.)

I have been bitten by the bug—the Italy bug. I returned from my trip to Venice, Florence and Rome on November 19th and began planning the next trip on November 20th!

The plan so far: I’ll travel with my husband and be away for two weeks. We will limit our destinations to two cities, one week each. He has a particular interest in Venice, so that will be one destination. I’ve been reading quite a bit about Lucca, it sounds intriguing, so that will be #2. I think that will be an interesting mix.

Fly from ATL to VCE, non-stop, I hope; around the middle to third week of April. I would like to try the vacation rental thing in Venice. I have been looking around here and on slowtrav as well as on VRBO. Here are some of the apartments that have popped up.

Real Venice Vacation Flats in Dorsoduro near Ca’ Rezzonica. They have a garden apartment for 750E and one with a balcony for 835E. Does anyone have recent experience?

I am finding this part of the planning to be a bit of a struggle, there are many many options.

If we get bored with our week in Venice we will make day trips to Padua and Varenna. But we are not people who get bored very easily.

Then, train travel to Lucca. Looks like it will take between four and five hours and involve at least one change. Surprisingly, it looks like the IC plus the R trains will get us there faster and cheaper than the ES plus the R because of the connection, if I am reading the Trenitalia stuff right. Any other ideas about the journey from Venice to Lucca?

Again, I would like to find an apartment within the city walls for a week in Lucca. I have found a number of possibilities.

1. the apartment Velazquez is available the week you request at 900 Euro,
including towels, bed linen and the final cleaning

2. has a terrace, that sounds nice, and is 700E

3. This one is the Residenza for 800E
The apartment includes a double bedroom with twin beds, a sitting and dining
area, a kitchenette,
and a large en suite marble bathroom, as seen on our website

Again, I find that choosing accommodation is the hardest part of trip planning.

What if we find that we get bored in Lucca? Unlikely, but it looks like there are easily accessible side trips including the Cinque Terre and Pisa.

At the end of our seven days, I hope to fly from Pisa to ATL via Milan. There is a very civilized 10:00 am departure on Air France. It looks possible to get a shuttle or taxi or early train from Lucca to Pisa airport.Has anyone had any recent experience departing Pisa early in the day?

Any thoughts, suggestions or inspirations provoked by these ideas? We will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in Lucca if the itinerary outlined above works out.

Thank you for any comments or suggestions.

Olive Oil
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 03:07 PM
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Hi OO,

A week in Lucca is a long time.

Do some research on where you can go by train.

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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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I agree with Ira. Spent two days in Lucca a few years ago during a festival. That was enough. you may want to consider Florence if you haven't been there before.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 04:39 PM
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Another vote for "too long in Lucca"! It's a lovely city, glad we went but we had pretty much "done it" in a day. And if you do get bored, I'm not sure there are enough interesting side trips to keep you busy. You're kind of boxed in on the coast. What about Bologna?
We were on some kind of crazy itinerary last year and only spent one night and I don't think we did it justice. Side trips could take you into Le Marches, or over to Parma, or Mantova (Mantua).
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 04:46 PM
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We spent four nights in Lucca and it wasn't too long. We went to Pisa one of the days, then on to Liguria for a week.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 04:49 PM
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I agree with the previous posts. Even though the town is beautiful, a week is a long time in Lucca unless you use it to drive to Pisa or western Tuscany for day trips. Try no more than two nights in Lucca and the rest of your time in the Cinque Terra, perhaps the Villa Steno in Monterrossa.
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Old Dec 5th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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If you look carefully at the photos for the Residenza you will note that there is no separate bedroom, just one large room. The description calls it a bedroom alcove, but it looks like a large studio to me.
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Old Dec 6th, 2006, 02:22 AM
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In terms of getting from Lucca to Pisa, this should be quite easy by train (Depending on luggage). The train to Pisa is only 20 minutes, then you can connect to the Airport train (Every 30 minutes)

The 7:10 from Lucca will get you to the Airport at 7:55.

I have stayed in Lucca several times, and really do love it as a city. I can understand why people may think it is too long, but it is possible to do day trips out to Barga and the Garfangnana, Pisa, possible even Cinque Terre.

As an Alternative I would possibly suggest Siena which is bigger but still not as frenetic as Florence, and is a good base for San Gimignano, Montalcino, Montepulciano and southern Tuscany. It might be a little difficult to make it to the airport for an early flight.
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Old Dec 6th, 2006, 07:09 AM
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Hmmmm....interesting input. Possibly too long in Lucca...

It looked to me like a lot of opportunity for side trips if required. I will investigate further. Maybe a car rental will be required? That would also solve the getting to the airport dilemma.

Thinking on line, here. Sorry. Thank you for the input. More as the plan progresses.

Olive Oil
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