When taking a train from Florence/Firenze to Lucca what won't be obvious at S.M.Novella station, is that two groups of train services operate on this route:
(1) the trains heading on to Pisa or Viareggio worth targeting, as they're faster by around 25 mins
(2) slower trains, which are more sparse in the morning, but will stand out on the departure screens, because they terminate in Lucca.
All trains also call at: Pistoia, Montecatini and Montecatini Centro
If you want to stop off on the way to Lucca by train to explore the delights of Montecatini Terme leave the train at Montecatini Centro.
If you will be heading off in the morning, look up the departure times on the Trenitalia website, even if you will be buying tickets at the station.
They are fewer departures in the morning, there is typically a gap between 09:10 and 11:38.
The departures are more frequent in the afternoon, in some hours after 13:00 there are two departures, one of which will be a slower train.
Most trains on this route are 2nd class only.
Monday to Friday = 23 x trains per day
Saturday = 18 x trains
Sunday = 20 x trains
Book early and save: No
Tickets will cost the same price if purchased at the station immediately before departure.
Though on this route there are two benefits of booking tickets for your journey in advance on the Trenitalia website.
(1) You can avoid what can be long queues for the ticket machines and ticket office at Firenze S.M. Novella station
(2) You can confirm the departure times on your chosen travel date, it will help you target these faster trains.
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An easy three cities by train from Florence itinerary:
It's possible to see the three cities - Pistoia, Lucca and Pisa in a day trip by train from Firenze.
All of these cities are linked by trains that operate at least hourly (in the pm), and the journey time between them is less than an hour; the longest journey of the day will be the journey between Pisa and Firenze.
It won't cost any more to buy tickets at each station on the day on which you want to travel.
Our recommended itinerary is:
(1) Firenze to Pistoia
(2) Pistoia to Lucca
(3) Lucca to Pisa*
(4) Pisa to Firenze
*Leave the train at Pisa S. Rossore station, it's much closer to the leaning tower than Pisa Centrale.
But head to Pisa Centrale to catch a train back to Firenze.
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