We set out a lot of information below – if you get stuck at all, however, or would like to discuss how to get here, please DO get in touch and we will see what we can do to help.
Head on down to Getting Around (by clicking on the link) if that is your priority.
A) Getting Here
Wherever you are coming from, it makes sense to think about getting here in terms of 2 main stages:
- getting to Lucca, the nearest city (regardless of whether you stop there), and then
- getting from Lucca, up the Serchio and Lima valleys, via Bagni di Lucca, to Vetteglia
Admittedly, it is possible to get here without going via Lucca, either down the Serchio Valley through the Garfagnana, or over the mountains from Emilia Romagna (Modena/Bologna direction) and down the Lima Valley – or by driving via a high and winding route from Pistoia, in the Florence direction – but if you have your own transport and are happy to look at those routes, or any other routes, then you should do just fine with SatNav and/or a map. So here we will concentrate on the ‘via Lucca’ route – whether you stop there or not.
Beware – if you decide to stop-off and explore Lucca while traveling by car then try not to drive into the restricted traffic area within the walls, as you might then receive a fine. There is some public parking within the old walls where it is ok to park, and the restricted area is marked with signs – but take care!
We are happy to put guests in touch with any others who may be arriving at the same time so that they might coordinate travel to Vetteglia if they so wish.
Stage 1: Getting to Lucca
Lucca has no airport, but is well-served by public transport (see below) from Pisa Airport and Florence Airport – which each have many flights a week from various UK and European destinations (on carriers such as Easyjet, Ryanair, and European national carriers). International flights from other countries might arrive at other airports, such as Rome. Wherever you land – whether in Italy or elsewhere in Europe – you will find the train network a viable and relatively inexpensive option for onward travel, especially if booked in advance (see below).
Each airport has car-hire services and with in-car or smartphone Satnav you should be able to drive to Vetteglia in around 80 minutes from Pisa Airport and 90 mins from Florence Airport – longer from airports further afield. For those not hiring a car, the other options for travel from either of these airports are set out below.
From Pisa Airport to Lucca By Train & Bus
It is very straight-forward to get to Lucca by train: follow the signs at the airport for the Pisamover shuttle train and buy a ticket as you enter the platform (or buy one in advance online) for the frequent 5 minute trip to Pisa train station, where you then buy a ticket for one of the frequent trains to Lucca.
From Florence Airport to Lucca By Bus & Train
The options from Florence Airport to Florence’s centre include tram and bus, as detailed on the airport’s website. From Florence’s main train station, Santa Maria Novella it is a 90 minute or so train journey to Lucca. A direct bus from the airport to Lucca might be quicker, but reports differ as to whether this is running regularly.
Airport Taxi/Private Transfer
This is always a possibility, but will obviously cost quite a bit more than public transport. If you are going this route then you might as well consider taking it all the way to Vetteglia. A local blogger has reported that one local chap has set up a suitable service – here is his website – otherwise, unless you engage a taxi at the airport, it will be a case of doing your own research online, perhaps asking on local English-language Facebook Group Bagni di Lucca Community.
Contact us if you would like to discuss other possible options for airport collections/transfers.
Europe is blessed with a comprehensive, reliable and relatively inexpensive rail network. If you can afford it (sadly it is much more expensive than flying), traveling by train (and Channel ferry or tunnel) is a wonderful way to get to Italy from the UK; nobody makes this easier to arrange than The Man in Seat 61, who provides details of UK-Lucca train travel – as well as other European connections. Alternatively ItaliaRail, The Trainline, and other websites provide details of train services, including the opportunity to purchase tickets in advance – Rail Europe caters in particular to travelers from North America.
Stage 2: From Lucca to Vetteglia
By Train &/or Bus
Trains run from Lucca to Fornoli (Bagni di Lucca, although this still leaves some way to get up through the more easterly parts of BdL (‘Ponte’ and ‘Villa’) to Vetteglia. Another option is the E10 bus from Lucca to Bagni di Lucca (timetable available here), which will go to ‘Villa’, the main part of Bagni di Lucca. From Bagni di Lucca bus service E46 (see below) has a small number of services a day up to ‘Vetteglia junction’, a 5 minute downhill walk to Casale di Clio.
The Taxi Option
See Airport Taxi/Private Transfer, above. Contact us if you would like to discuss other possible options for Lucca or Bagni di Lucca (Fornoli) Train Station collections/transfers.
If you are driving up from Lucca after a stay there then Satnav (in-car or smartphone) is your friend and it should take a little under an hour from the centre of Lucca, via Bagni di Lucca, to Vetteglia.
Other Sources of Information
A web-search will throw up more information web-pages on how to get to Lucca (or maybe even Bagni di Lucca), such as this one or this one (with more information an alternative airports and international flights) – though always check that information is up to date by then checking with the suggested carrier.
B) Getting Around Once Here
There are a wealth of walking opportunities right on the doorstep for those who would like anything from a gentle stroll to nearby stores and the local bar/trattoria at San Cassiano to more serious mountain hikes. We will, over time, add a lot of information here, but here are some suggestions to get you going in the meantime (research them online – and come back to us if you have any questions…):
- Cammino di San Bartolomeo (passes by the door to Casale di Clio!): see the official website
- Short circular woodland walk (ask us for details once here)
- Circular walk to San Cassiano; through woods, along mule tracks, past hamlets, with optional excursion part-way up a mountain and back(!) and optional stop at a bar/trattoria – ask about this when you are here!
- Walk to Montefegatesi (with bus there or back – see below)
- Walk to Bagni di Lucca (with bus there or back – see below)
- Walk up/around Monte Prato Fiorito (possibly with bus part-way, up or down the road to Montefegatesi)
We are currently researching local options for renting bicycles, and the perhaps more practical (given the terrain) possibility of hiring an e-bike. In the meantime, although we have not used their services yet, if this is something you would like to consider then maybe get in touch with this outfit: E-Bike Hire & Tours: http://www.ebikeadventuretour.it/en/
The Bagni di Lucca Tourist Information website provides links to local bus services, the most useful service being the E46 which runs between Bagni do Lucca and Montefegatesi, stopping at the Vetteglia junction. By getting the bus to Bagni di Lucca, and then another service, it is possible to visit many local villages – though beware there are not many daily trips on each line, and so you should study the timetables with some care!
The E46 is particularly useful since allows one-way walks to both Montefegatesi or Bagni di Lucca, using the bus one way – either uphill or downhill in each case!
A Bella Bagni di Lucca post from a few years back points to car-hire in Bagni di Lucca – it would be worth following up if that is of interest – it would give the option of hiring for part of your stay rather then for all of it, as would be the case renting at the airport (unless you were happy to make an extra trip to the airport to collect/return the car during your stay) – we will look into other possibilities …
Local Taxi Services
See Airport Taxi/Private Transfer, above.
Contact us if you would like to discuss other possible options for getting around.