One of the most popular activities to do in Tuscany is making a Florence to Lucca day trip! As two of the most famous cities in the Cinque Terre region, this journey is a great way to get a taste of Italian culture. You’ll be dazzled by the sights of the rolling green hills, traditional villas, and the dozens of Lucca wineries you’ll pass through while you’re on your way.
Tuscany has some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. Luckily, it is straightforward to make the journey between the two cities, as they are not located a little over an hour apart, you can easily visit Lucca from Florence in just one day using the regional trains.
There are direct trains from Florence to Lucca, the driving route is easy enough, or you could book yourself a private driver for the day and sit back and relax!
Day Trip to Lucca From Florence
How to Get to Lucca from Florence
First things first, you’re probably wondering how to get from Florence to Lucca. As both cities are well-established tourist locations, there are several public transport options you can choose from to make the journey. The most popular ways are to board the Florence to Lucca bus or train.
The distance from Florence to Lucca is just 61 miles (98K), but due to the windy roads, the quickest way to get between the two cities is by the high speed train from Florence Santa Maria Novella train station.
Or you can also choose to rent a car and enjoy the windy roads from Florence to Lucca Italy, or if you’d prefer to soak up the views from the backseat, you can get a taxi or private driver to take you.
For a more luxurious experience, there are several guided tours available that will handle the commute for you. However, if you are mostly concerned with cost, you can take the bus as it is an especially affordable way to get between the two destinations. We’d recommend that if you are on a budget you choose the Florence to Lucca train journey.
How Far is Lucca from Florence?
If you’re wondering how far is Lucca from Florence it is just over 61 miles, but you can distract yourself along the way with some of the most incredible lush, green hilly landscapes in the world.
We guarantee that your trip from Florence to Lucca will give you all the European countryside vibes you have been dreaming of.
Florence to Lucca Train Station
There are two main train stations in Florence, the Firenze Santa Maria Novella station (SMN) and the Firenze Campo di Marte. Most trains departing from Lucca leave from the Santa Maria Novella station, and there are train times about every hour. The Florence to Lucca high-speed train is the most popular train journey.
Train travel in Italy is by far the best way to get around. The regional trains are cheap, there are many time options to choose from, and is often the quickest way to get anywhere. It seems crazy, but the Florence to Lucca train is actually faster than driving.
If you choose the direct train travel option, the Florence to Lucca train time can be as low as 1 hour and 20 minutes, making this one of the best day trips from Lucca by train.
FAQ About Florence to Lucca Day Trip
- Is a day trip to Lucca worth it?
- Is it worth visiting Lucca?
- Which is better Siena or Lucca?
- What is there to see between Lucca and Florence?
Florence to Lucca by Train
Look for the Trenitalia trains, this is the national railway company of Italy. You can go from historic center to historic center with ease! The regional trains do not have a cafe car, but the short journey time makes it worth it! You can always stop by a bakery and grab a snack for the trip.
The first train leaves around 6 am and the last train comes back to Florence at 930 pm. Some of the regional trains come with air conditioning, wi fi, and power outlets, but it is never guaranteed.
When you arrive at the Lucca train station, you will be right at the historical city’s walls, making it incredibly easy to get around the city on foot. If you decide to stay overnight in Lucca, there are several other places you can visit by train. Some of the other best day trips from Lucca include Siena, Pisa, or San Gimignano.
How to Buy Train Tickets in Italy
You can buy cheap train tickets for the Trenitalia trains online through Omio.com. This platform is a great place to plan your travel through Italy. The prices are cheap and they are always accurate.
Be aware that train tickets are almost always higher on the day of travel, and during high season, the direct trains from Florence are very popular and can sell out so be sure to buy your train tickets ahead of time.
You can also buy train tickets at the Santa Maria Novella or SMN.
- Use the ticket vending machines in the station. You can use these machines to see all the train schedules in Italy.
- Look at the yellow train schedule boards. It will give you a list of every train that leaves the Florence Santa Maria Novella station.
The red color means that it’s a high speed train and will cost just a bit more.
It will show you what time the train leaves, and the blue writing means what station it leaves from. Always double-check the monitors on the platforms to make sure it hasn’t changed.
Florence to Lucca Drive
For those looking to take a Florence to Lucca day trip at your own speed, grab a rental car. This option is great for those who want to maximize the experience and perhaps make some other stops along the distance from Florence to Lucca by car.
There are so many little towns and viewpoints along the way that you may just want to pull over and absorb the scenery. The drive from Florence to Lucca by car will allow you to soak up the sights that you likely wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. The town of Montecatini is about halfway in between and makes for a great stopping point.
When calculating the time it will take to get between the two cities, remember to factor in additional time to deal with parking as the historic city of Lucca is severely restricted for drivers, so the Florence to Lucca distance may vary depending on where you find to park.
Try this rental agency, they compare all the best prices and deliver you the best! Make sure to plan ahead during the busier seasons so that they do not sell out, and be sure to tell them if you require an automatic car as many European cars have manual transmissions.
Florence to Lucca – Taxi / Private Driver
If taking a day trip to Lucca with the utmost comfort is more your speed, you can easily look into hiring a taxi or a private driver to take you. This method allows you to sit back and relax as you can enjoy the Tuscan scenery from the backseat.
For a day trip to Lucca from Florence with the overall easiest experience, you can be picked up from your hotel or apartment and dropped right outside the historic walls of Lucca in just about an hour and a half. Despite being one of the more expensive options, this luxurious experience will truly allow you to make the most out of your Lucca day trip from Florence without having to deal with the train stations and finding tickets.
Florence to Lucca Bus Trip
When it comes to the cheaper options for getting from Florence to Lucca, you can also take a bus. This route takes just about a half hour longer to get from Florence to Lucca than the train but is still a great option for those who don’t mind a slightly longer journey. There are only a few bus departures from Florence to Lucca every day, so make sure to check the bus schedules and book your ticket ahead of time.
The bus station is located in the same terminal as the Santa Maria Novella train station. Tickets are incredibly affordable, allowing you to make the Florence to Lucca journey without breaking the bank.
Private Tour from Florance to Lucca Day Trip
If you want to do more than just visit one city, you can take a Pisa and Lucca tour with one of the operators that visit both cities in one day. You can enjoy the sights of the leaning tower of Pisa, taste Buccellato cake (a typical cake from Lucca), and take a walk on the medieval city walls in just one day.
If you’re someone who has limited time in Tuscany, taking a day trip from Florence to Lucca and Pisa is a great way to maximize your time.
One Day Lucca Itinerary
Ride Bikes Along the Lucca City Walls
You may remember that Lucca is surrounded by medieval city walls that have stood for centuries. What makes them even more interesting is that they are extremely thick, and you can easily walk up to the top of them and walk or bike across the entire circumference of the city. Book a guided bike and food tour! It is three hours, and one of the best ways to get around Lucca and see the sites.
Book just a bike, a tour of the town yourself is also an amazing way to spend an afternoon.
San Frediano Basilica
The Basilica of San Frediano is a prominent landmark in Lucca, Italy. This historic Romanesque church, located in the Piazza San Frediano, is one of the oldest places of worship in the country. It was established by Saint Fridianus, who served as the bishop of Lucca way back in 560 until 588.
Inside the Basilica, you can see the remains of Saint Zita, the patron saint of Lucca. A festival is held every year honoring her, where the best flowers are placed outside the church. The Basilica of San Frediano is not just a place of religious significance, it’s also an architectural marvel with a rich history, making it a must-visit site for anyone visiting on a Florence to Lucca day trip.
The San Frediano neighborhood, where the Basilica is located, is one of the most picturesque and lively squares in Lucca. It’s a great place to explore local culture, history, and cuisine. While the Basilica of San Frediano is free to visit, it’s worth noting that its opening hours vary. The Basilica is generally open from Monday to Saturday.
Take a Tuscan Cooking Class
Italy is known for its cuisine, and Tuscany is no exception. In Lucca, there are cooking classes where you can learn to make handmade pasta and other traditional delicacies, and it comes with wine tasting as well. If you are looking for a way to remember your Italian trip, what better way than making an Italian recipe once you’ve returned home?
Climb the Guinigi Tower
For those who love a great viewpoint, look no further than the Guinigi Tower or Torre Guinigi. Originally built in the 14th century, you can climb the 25 flights of stairs of the tower to get one of the most spectacular views of Lucca from above. You’ll be able to soak in views of this beautiful walled city. You can see various plazas and churches, the red roofs of the buildings in the town, and the narrow winding streets.
Torre Guinigi address, but you can’t miss it!
Visit the Lucca Cathedral
If taking things slow is a little more your speed, you can enjoy magnificent views from the Lucca Cathedral. This is a Catholic church in the center of the old city, and the exterior of the church will astound and amaze you. It is tiled in red and white and has existed since the year 1060. Many Italians travel to visit the cathedral to see the Volto Santo, the effigy of Christ on the Cross.
Admire the Piazza Dell’anfiteatro
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the old streets of Lucca and take the time to wander in the Piazza Dell’anfiteatro. This is a lively outdoor square that has many restaurants and shops nearby, as well as many hotels for those who want to prolong their stay.
The square isn’t just beautiful, however, it also has a lot of history: it was originally an ancient Roman amphitheater built in the second century BC. For those with a watchful eye, you may be able to spot the few original remaining Roman stones on the outside of the piazza. Find the address to the beautiful Piazza Dell’afiteatro here!
Check out the Torre Delle Ore
The Torre delle Ore, also known as the Torre dell’Orologio, is a remarkable clock tower located in the heart of Lucca. Positioned on the bustling Via Fillungo, this tower is the tallest in the city, reaching a height of 50 meters (164 feet).
Built-in the 13th century, it’s a testament to the rich history and architectural prowess of the era. The tower was owned by several noble families over the centuries, adding to its historical significance.
Climbing the tower is a relatively easy task, thanks to its stairs. As you climb, be prepared for the clock tower to chime on the hour and on every quarter. It is a delightful, but loud, reminder of the tower’s original function. Once at the top, you’re rewarded with breathtaking views of Lucca, making the climb worth every step.
Interestingly, local legend suggests that the tower is inhabited by the ghost of Lucida Mansi, adding a touch of mystery to its allure. The Torre delle Ore is conveniently located in Lucca’s city center, making it easily accessible from the Lucca train station.
Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca and is one of the town’s most famous residents. The Puccini Museum, located in the heart of Lucca, Italy, is a tribute to the life and works of the famed composer. The museum is housed in the very building where Puccini was born back in 1858.
A visit to the Puccini Museum offers insight into the composer’s life, his creative process, and his contributions to the world. The Puccini Museum is part of a larger complex dedicated to tracing the impact of this great composer.
The museum is open daily from May 1 to October 31, from 10 am to 7 pm, and in April from 10 am to 6 pm. The admission fee is 7 euros. The museum is a must-visit for music lovers and is often included in music-themed walking tours in Lucca.
Puccini, known for pushing the boundaries of opera, is celebrated for his masterpieces like La bohème, Tosca, and Madam Butterfly. His innovative work, Suor Angelica, featuring only female roles, is also highly regarded.
Where to Eat on Your Day Trip to Lucca
For Lucca restaurants, you try the Buca Di Sant’antonio. This local Lucca restaurant offers incredible handmade pasta and a variety of traditional Tuscan dishes. What’s more, the atmosphere inside the restaurant will make you feel right at home. You can enjoy some macaroni with rabbit ragout, and pork tenderloin (and of course, you’ve got to try the gelato).
Location of Buca Di Sant’Antonio: Vía della Cervia, 3, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
Where to Stay in Lucca Italy
If you’d like to extend your Florence to Lucca day trip to an overnight adventure, there are so many different hotels you can choose from. You can see a full list of 18 of the Best Hotels in Lucca.
The Hotel Ilaria Lucca is truly one of the very best. It is an elegant four-star hotel that is conveniently located in the center of the old town of Lucca.
Hotel Ilaria offers an incredibly unique experience by allowing you to stay in a renovated historic stable and 14th-century church. You can borrow the hotel’s bicycles for free to go exploring, or you can enjoy the free aperitivo (Italian happy hour) that they offer every day.
Check rates here: Booking.com
Other Popular day trips from Florence Italy
If you are reading this and thinking I’m not sure if a Florence to Lucca day trip is enough, then you can also throw in a few other day trips from Florence. Pisa and Siena are very popular add-ons!
Day trip from Florence there are so many options and you can buy all your train tickets at one time at no extra cost. You may have to change trains a few times if you want to hit more than one city, but they are so easy to navigate!
Leaning tower of Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence
Taking a day trip from Florence to Pisa and Lucca offers a delightful experience of Tuscany’s rich history, stunning architecture, and charming culture. Both cities are easily accessible by train from Florence, with frequent trains throughout the day. This is the most popular combined tour of the two towns.
Pisa is often the first stop on such a day trip. Known worldwide for its iconic Leaning Tower, Pisa can be explored in just a few hours. The city’s main attractions, including the Leaning Tower, the Baptistery, and the Pisa Cathedral, are all located in Piazza dei Miracoli, making it convenient for visitors to explore. Pisa also offers several dining options where you can enjoy a traditional Italian lunch before heading to Lucca.
Lucca, a picturesque medieval town, should be the second stop. It’s worth dedicating a few hours to exploring this charming city. Start with a leisurely stroll along the well-preserved Renaissance walls that encircle the old town. Then venture inside to discover the cobbled streets, quaint piazzas, and impressive churches, including the Basilica of San Frediano. Then hop on a train back to Florence with a journey time of just over an hour.
- Tour from Florence to Pisa and a cruise around the Italian coastline.
- Half-day tour from Florence to Pisa
Florence to Siena Day Trip
Another popular town to visit from Florence is Siena.
Taking a day trip from Florence to Siena is a fantastic way to experience the beauty and history of Tuscany. The journey between the two cities can be made by bus or train, both of which offer stunning views of the Italian countryside. The express bus journey is usually slightly faster, with the journey taking around 1.5 hours.
Once in Siena, there are plenty of sights to see and activities to enjoy. Start your day at the Piazza del Campo, one of the greatest medieval squares in Europe. If you’re lucky, you might even catch the Palio di Siena, a famous horse race that takes place twice a year.
Don’t miss out on visiting Il Duomo di Siena, the stunning Siena Cathedral is known for its intricate facade and ornate interior. For an extra special experience, take a tour of the ‘Porta del Cielo‘ (Gate to Heaven) at the top of the cathedral for breathtaking views of the city.
Two other popular day trip destinations from Florence are San Gimignano and the Chianti region, which are known for their medieval structures and world-renowned wines respectively.
Remember to also explore the local cuisine. Siena offers many fine dining options where you can savor traditional Tuscan dishes.
- Day Tour from Florence to Siena, with stops in Pisa and San Gimignano with lunch!
- Tickets to the Siena Cathedral
- Walking tour of Siena
Is a Day Trip to Lucca worth it?
Yes! A day trip to Lucca is worth it! There are so many amazing things to do in Lucca and you can take the train from Florence to Lucca at all times of the day. You can enjoy viewing the beautiful piazzas, and churches, and there are plenty of restaurants in Lucca to enjoy.
Is it worth Visiting Lucca?
Yes! Lucca is worth visiting. It is one of the best small cities in Italy for a day trip and there are plenty of ways to get to Lucca. In Lucca, they have world-class wineries, the beautiful Puccini museum, and epic clock towers to climb!
Which is better Siena or Lucca?
It is hard to say which is better Siene or Lucca. Both cities are worth the visit. You can take the train from Florence, as it makes stops in both Siena and Lucca.
Siena is renowned for being an important medieval city. It’s famous for its wine tasting at the Enoteca Nationale, the Palio, and Piazza del Campo, and is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. Lucca is quieter and smaller, making it easier to get around, and has some great medieval art. Lucca’s key features include its incredible Renaissance walls Lucca is generally less expensive than Siena.
What is there to see between Lucca and Florence?
If you are making the day trip from Florence to Lucca one of the best places to stop is at Montecatini. And, you can make the stop between Lucca and Florence easily. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling by train, bus, or car. Montecatini Terme, located in the heart of Italy’s Tuscany region, is a renowned “spa town” celebrated for its thermal waters since the start of the 16th century. Besides being a spa town, Montecatini Terme is also known for its rich culture and Tuscan foods, with several amazing restaurants serving authentic Italian dishes.