Florence is an easy day trip from Bagni di Lucca. It is possible to drive there in about 90 minutes, but driving in the city is difficult and parking is scarce and expensive, so I usually catch the bus. CTT (usually blue) buses go regularly in the mornings from Bagni di Lucca to Lucca and from the bus stop in Piazza Verdi (there is a bus office here where you can get timetables) take the DD (direct) bus to Florence. Once again, it is the blue CTT bus. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to the centre of Florence.
UPDATE! The bus no longer drops you near the station, but just outside the centre. You will need to cross the road and look for the tram stop. Take the tram one stop to the station. I believe it is free, but I am not completely sure about that.
The bus trip is very pleasant. I always sit on the river side of the bus to Lucca to get good view of the spectacular Ponte della Maddalena. The bus follows the Serchio river to Lucca and the scenery is gorgeous all the way.
The bus trip from Lucca to Florence is also interesting. The direct bus takes the autostrada and the scenery along the way is delightful. My favourite part of the trip is the area around Pistoia, where on either side of the road there are plant nurseries. Row upon row of perfectly manicured shrubs and trees are grown to be sold all over Italy and beyond. The photos are taken from the bus so there is a bit of reflection.
Please check the timetables before your travel, but here are the best connections I have found. Take the 7.45am bus from La Villa which gets into Piazza Verdi in time to catch the 8.55am DD bus to Florence. You should arrive at about 10.10am. On the way home I catch the 3.40pm bus from Florence which arrives in Lucca in time to catch the 5.10pm bus to Bagni di Lucca which will get you home by 6.00pm. Or there is a bus from Florence at around 5.15pm which will have you in Lucca to catch the 7.00pm bus to Bagni di Lucca.
If you catch the 7.45am or the 5.10pm bus from Lucca to Bagni di Lucca say hello to Massimo, he is almost always driving these buses.
You can buy bus and train tickets at Tabacchi and some bars. There is also a bus ticket office in Lucca and Florence. Don’t forget to validate your ticket as you enter the bus.
It is also posible to catch a train from Bagni di Lucca to Lucca. It leaves from Fornoli. Local buses will take you to the train station, but probably won’t actually coordinate with any of the trains (don’t ask me why). The road to Fornoli has no footpath for some of the way, so be careful. If you catch a train from Lucca to Florence try to catch an express, which takes about 1 hour 20 minutes. The regular trains take about 2 hours and stop at every station along the way. Validate your ticket before you enter the train at one of the machines on the platform.
The website for the bus is www.vaibus.it
For trains go to www.trenitalia.com
Have a great day in Florence.
Click here for another post about getting to Bagni di Lucca.