Florence is an easy day trip from Bagni di Lucca. There are several ways to get there. The train is convenient. It can be boarded in Fornoli. The trip takes about 25 minutes to get to Lucca, where you change trains for Florence. The more direct train takes about 1 hour 20 minutes, add 25 minutes for the train that makes more stops along the way.
You could also drive to Lucca, park beside the station and take the train. This offers more flexibility for the return journey as the return connections are not great.
I used to recommend the bus from Lucca, but it no longer goes right into the centre. The bus stops beside a tram stop which is one stop from the centre, making it slightly less convenient.
Clever Mark Hickman has found another way. There is a car park just outside the centre with a tram connection into the city. Touch the photo below for details.
It is great to see festivals reappearing after the 2 years of Covid restrictions that prevented them from happening.
I particularly like the autumn festivals, chestnut, pumpkin and, a new one for me, a polenta festival.
I attended the Festa di Polenta in Gallicano on the weekend. A good crowd gathered in the town square, which was closed to traffic, to sample delicious polenta, bacala, necci, rosticiana and other delights.
There was entertainment and the fun of watching children have a great time.
One of my favourite local festivals is the chestnut festival in Cascio, which I believe is on next weekend. I have been twice and I suggest getting there early to get a park nearby. It attracts a large crowd.
I recently given a wonderful book to read by the author, Dawn Cumming, who lives in Granaiola. Dawn is an art historian specialising in Italian Renaissance Art. She divides her time between Bagni di Lucca and the UK. She has a passion for Tuscany, particularly its art and culture. Her book is called In Search of Annalena. A Life of Tragedy and Triumph in Renaissance Florence, published in October 2020. It follows the life of Annalena, born in the time of the Medici. Her story is set in Florence where she marries, becomes a young widow and establishes a convent. Part of the building still exists.
I loved the book! I felt that I was with Annalena in Florence, walking the streets she walked, seeing the buildings she saw and getting a feeling of life in Renaissance Florence.
In Search of Annalena is exquisitely researched. Dawn’s love of Florence is clear. I look forward to my next trip to Florence so that I can visit Casa di Annalena and find the other places that were important in her life. She was a remarkable woman with a fascinating life.