A day in Florence

Florence is an easy day trip from Bagni di Lucca. Here are some suggestions for things to see and do in fabulous Florence.

I always begin my day in Florence with coffee and a snack at Giacosa, the gorgeous caffe behind the Roberto Cavalli shop on Via Tornabuone. Click here for more on Giacosa.

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I then head to the Palazzo Davanzati in Via Porto Rosso. It is a beautifully preserved Florentine house from the 15th century, full of exquisite decoration. Click here to see this gorgeous house.

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You simply can’t go to Florence without seeing the magnificent Duomo. It is also possible to climb the campanile for a view over the cathedral and the city. Click here to see more.

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Say hello to Neptune in Piazza Signoria….and David (not the real one) and friends outside the Palazzo Vecchio.

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Step inside to see the little Cupid.

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Find the little fisherman in the Bargello Museum. Click here for more on the museum.

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Cross the Ponte Vecchio to see the jewelry shops and Arno river.

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The beautiful Ponte Vecchio.

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The Arno from the Ponte Vecchio.

Have lunch at Trattoria Bordino. Click here for more on the restaurant.

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Or visit the amazing food market. Click here to see more on the market.

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Wander in the Boboli Gardens.

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Go up to the exquisite San Miniato to see the church and the gorgeous views over Florence. Click here to see more on this amazing church.

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The church is not far from Piazza Michelangelo and is overlooked by many people, which is a crying shame as it is lovely…..and take a look at the view of Florence from here.

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Go back to Piazza Michelangelo for more.

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Try to fit in a gelato at Grom or Venchi. Click here for Grom and here for Venchi.

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You may need more than one day.

Take the bus to Florence

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.

Ponte Maddalena

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.

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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.

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