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Old May 25th, 2008, 11:36 PM
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Default Livorno/Florence

Any advice on how to get to Florence if one wants to avoid paying for the ship's excursions?
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Old May 26th, 2008, 02:41 AM
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If there is no train strike you can take a train to Florence from Livorno it will take about an 1 1/2 hours. According to the website it would be Livorno Centrale to Firenze. The Trenitalia (italy train) website is difficult to use here. I would suggest to wait until you get there than book. You will have to decide 1st or 2nd class tickets. We took the train from Rome to Venice and I found it easy to do. Here is a link to the Trenitalia website to get more information. http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html
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Old May 26th, 2008, 02:48 AM
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Paola Migliorni (info@florencetours.com). Paola is a art major so her tours of the museums were marvellous. Option: her husband specializes in tours of the Tuscany wine country. Either way, you can't go wrong!
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Old May 26th, 2008, 06:02 AM
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Aagin although the trains are good, the station is a way out of the Livorno, so if you are going to take the train, your best bet is to take a bus out there. You buy your tickets (a couple of Euros each) BEFORE getting on the bus from the machines by the main bus station (100 yards from the shuttle drop point). I think the bus number is #1, it runs from the town to the station. Once you board the bus, you stamp the ticket in the machine. If you buy the ticket on the bus, there is aan additiona charge, I think it may be as much as €5 per ticket.

If you do take the train to Firenze, you may have to change at Pisa, which can make the time in Florence quite limited, and put your return to the ship in time for sailing at risk, so plan well ahead by using the trenitalia schedules. Pisa is much easier & we would laways take the train if going there, but Firenze is definitely more risky.

Once you get to Florence, there is still a mile or two's walk to the main attractions, make sure you have a good map, and allow plenty of time.

Hope you have a great time,

Alan & Katrina
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Old May 27th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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Kandajones great advice. I have a question. Have you taken the train to Lucca it seems to be fairly close to Pisa? I wasn't that impressed with Pisa once you see the tower all there seems left to do it shop at the overpriced stands. Also we had a train strike so we ended up on a ship shore x to Pisa we couldn't hear the guide at all. They should have passed out audio headsets. We did a Vatican tour that supplied the audio headsets and it was much nicer.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 04:57 PM
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Hi Katlady, oddly enough last time we were in Livorno, Lucca is exactly where we headed off for. We had to change trains in Pisa, but it was very easy. The journey to/from Lucca was also very pleasant with lots of castles on the hillsides
The train actually terminated in Lucca, so there was no risk over missing the stop. One the way back, Katrina realised that we weer actually passing just behind the Tower, so we hopped out at the next station, walked up the road & turned right, crossing the main road into the Tower area, unser the arches. We then walked back to the main Pisa station for the train back to Livorno.
The return journey from Lucca to Pisa did have a little concerned, as we had a 25 minute wait due to some sort of incident at a level crossing, so please make certain you have plenty of time, or an alternative plan just in case you have any problems.

Once you arrive at Lucca station, you cross over the road & there is an entrance through the wall hidden by a turret, you then head into the town. there are plenty of tourist map boars up & we used these to find our way to the TI office (if you look at the town as a clock, with the train station being 6 o'clocl, then the TI office is at 3 o'clock.

The town itself is quite amazing, narroww streets, lovely plazas & grounds, cathedrals & churches, the Roman Ampitheatre which used to be covered in marble, but this was all stripped years ago, and most strangely, a very high tower with a tree growing out of the top !!! to mention but a few points. Definitely check out the web & plan the day carefully. We need to go back as we saw about 2/3rds of it in a fairly rushed fashion, so want to see the rest & revisit several areas to enjoy the properly.

On the cruise we were on, they did offer a trip to Lucca, but only lasted half a day, so we got a couple more hours there after those crowds had gone :o)

Hope this helps,

Happy cruising,

Katrina AND Alan
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