Bagni di Lucca as a base? Car rental when flying in and out of Rome?
We are heading to Italy for a two week vacation in mid September. We have a lot of flexibility on what to do, where to go, and are open to just about everything. Your webpage has been a huge help! Thank you!
We fly in and out of Rome, hope to see Florence, Siena, and are on the fence about making a trip to Elba and/or Cinque Terra. We will likely stay in Rome for a night or two at the beginning and end of our trip to facilitate the trip to the airport. We also think staying in Florence is a good idea. Beyond that we just want to see beautiful places, have a few adventures, and eat and drink well. Our preference is to base out of only a few places and minimize changes hotels, but again we aren’t wedded to that. Like I said we are flexible.
My main question is about Bagni di Lucca.
I have a family member who owns a beautiful apartment in Bagni di Lucca, so we are planning on staying there but we don’t know how long. Should we consider using that apartment as a base for a portion of our trip? Obviously, it would be good on our budget – but not sure what there is to do there. If we do use it as a base, how long and where would you suggest we day trip to? We plan on renting a car.
My second question is about flying in and out of Rome.
With that as our start and end point, do you have any suggestions on how to sequence our trip? I was initially thinking we should train to Florence first and then after a few days there rent a car. Or is it better to just rent a car when we land in Rome for the duration of our trip?
Thanks for your advice!
Very happy to hear my page has been helpful 🙂
In 2 weeks you will really enjoy the best of Tuscany!
First your question about Bagni di Lucca! it’s really a lovely place to stay so use it as a base for part of your trip, let’s say 4 nights. Bagni di Lucca is great to explore the north of Tuscany, like the beautiful Garfagnana area up in the mountains, characterized by a lot of charming little villages, stunning views, and incredible sights like the Isola Santa Lake or the Grotta del Vento. Barga and Castenuovo Garfagnana are just some of its many fascinating borghi. This part of Tuscany is lesser known but all to discover.
In addition to Garfagnana, here are the day trips you could take while in Bagni di Lucca:
– The intriguing Lucca with its lovely historic center encircled by medieval walls and unique shops and restaurants
-Pisa, so famous for the scenic Leaning Tower and the unique Piazza die Miracoli
– Collodi, really a gem! I speak about it here among the most suggestive villages in Tuscany.
These are the most recommend day trips but other charming villages nearby include the thermal town of Montecatini Terme, Pescia, and Pistoia.
For the rest of your trip you may consider 1 or possibly 2 other locations, one in Florence or near it, and another one more south the region, like in Val d’Orcia.
If you like staying in Florence’s downtown, then, as you rightly say, make Florence your first stop after reaching it by a fast train from Rome. Here are my tips on making Florence your base.
So your trip might look like this: 1. Rome to Florence via train, stay in Florence’s center 2. Rent a car and leave Florence for Bagni di Lucca for some days. 3. Considering the greater proximity of Bagni di Lucca to the Cinque Terre (less than 2 hours), you may go for the Ligurian coast instead of the Elba island. 4. Choose your last base more south of Tuscany, near Siena, or better in the scenic Val d’Orcia Natural Park. That way you can go exploring more sights on the south before heading back to Rome.
Here are some tips on things to visit when coming back Rome, while toward the end of this article are the day trips to take while in Val d’Orcia.
On heading south from Florence, you might consider these scenic routes. Siena cannot be missed from your visit!
Feel free to contact me again!
Enjoy your planning,