Lovely Lucca is set on the plains and largely surrounded by a magnificent grassy town walls which can by walked or cycled round. In central Tuscany and easily reached from Pisa airport by bus, train or hired car. (Car parks outside city walls). The Rail station is perfectly placed for ease of access to the inner city and taxis are readily available just outside the station. We have been twice, and visited most of Italy, and on the previous occasion when we hired a car (we use Europcar) and stayed in a lovely apartment set in the vine grounds of a hillside estate found via Onwers’ Syndicate – booklet available – (ownerssyndicate.com) but this time found a lovely apartment in the city, overlooking the busy amphitheatre (with windows shut and air conditioning on no problems re. noise – but we liked the buzz of happy evening diners etc. – plenty of quieter accomodation available – but catch the early morning sun on the amphitheatre = heart warming start to the day) – ours via HomeAway.
A beautiful place without the flash of some cities. Ideal for the quieter visitor is one statement I heard made. However, many lovely hill/mountains villages to visit and do go to Barga – accesible by train and bus. Wonderful views – a great place to stay for a few days if mood takes. Florence by train is more onerous a journey. A good hour and a half, usually, and on the way back due to – heaven knows what!- we took 2 and a quarter hours. However, public transport in Italy is usually good and we haad no trouble getting to and from Pisa by train (cheap too!)
Some guides seem to suggest that there is not much of note to see! Huh! Totally disagree. Try the beautiful gardens of Pfanner – tip book up for Sunday night (very reasonably priced) concert in Palazzo Pfanner – a total joy. As are the gardens – we went three times. A wonderfully tranquil place – beautifully kept – the gardens are the highlight. The walk around the walls – lovely any time/ in part or all the way round. The city of Puccini also as a tower with oaks growing on the top floor – not for those with mobility restrictions (sorry) a lot of steps – no lift = Torre Guinigi. The Duomo is a gem, churches galore to explore but my favourite = Basilica Di San Frediano. The Pinacoteca Nationale for art lovers.
Wander round, explore, get lost at times then re-emerge in familiar territory (oval shaped city) so have a map at hand at all times. Oh, concerts also at the Church of San Giovanni – plenty of places to eat and very good delicatessens, and good supermarket for the self caterer – we were half and half! We both enjoy cooking.
For a wonderfully relaxing and refreshing holiday in a charming city we recommend. Enjoy!