Lucca / Pisa / Cinque Terre / Viareggio (Italy)

Our mission in Florence was basically to eat.  We allocated ten (10) nights in Florence in order to visit every neighborhood, both sides of the River Amo and hit up as many of the top restaurants and renowned street food sandwich shops Florence had on tap.

I hate to sound uncultured, but Barbie and I are both not really interested in museums, basilica’s, art galleries or duomos.  And, the Disneyland-like lines during Easter week to get into these sites sealed the deal even attempting to be cultured and venture into these places.

It was now time to escape the swarms of people in the touristy hotspot of Florence and take a train to relocate to the nearby Tucson town of Lucca.   In my opinion, Lucca is significantly more relaxed and a way more pleasant base to explore Tuscany and the surrounding regions.  We both really enjoyed hanging out in Lucca for our eight (8) nights.  We took day trips via the Trenitalia train to hike between the colorful villages of Cinque Terre, to check out the Leaning Tower in Pisa and catch some sun and ocean air in the beach town of Viareggio.

So glad we had the opportunity to visit the ever so popular Cinque Terre in April before the hordes of tourists descend upon the towns.  I cannot even imagine dealing with the massive summer crowds that descend upon these towns during the peak season of July and August.  Cinque Terre was a really cool place with some nice beaches to chill on and also partake in some vigorous hikes between the local villages.


We will always have positive memories of our time in Lucca.  It is a must visit and I would suggest basing in this relaxed picturesque town when exploring the region of Tuscany.  Walking and riding our bikes thru this quaint, sleepy little town and around the beautiful green walls surrounding the city was a highlight.  On this trip, we did not have a chance to visit the other popular towns in Tuscany, such as: Siena, San Gimignano, Pienza, Castiglione del Lago and Montepuiciano.

It is now onto another region of Italy, called Emilia Romagna, home to the most famous foodie cities of Bologna, Modena and Parma.




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