Lucca is one of Italy’s finest medieval treasures, the centre is sprinkled with palazzi, towers and almost countless splendid churches. The surrounding hills produce some excellent wines and arguably the finest olive oil anywhere, whilst the beaches and nightlife are a short cycle away. Wine is cheaper than water here.
Day 1 Saturday 25 September
Meet in Wetherspoons before security at 3pm. From Edinburgh (EDI) to Pisa (PSA) Sat, 25Sep10 Flight FR2753 Depart EDI at 17:25 and arrive PSA at 21:10. The last bus to Lucca from the airport is 21:18 and the last train to Lucca from Pisa is 21:50. Therefore booked taxi for €10 each from Tau Touring. (€60 in total). They will meet us at airport.
Stay in Casa Bella in Lucca for €1245. A Hollywood Production Designer and his wife have restored this 16th century apartment, within the medieval walls of Lucca, back to it’s original beauty. Others doss at San Frediano Youth Hostel for €19 a night.
Day 2 Sunday Pisa 25 miles
Pick up bikes at 10:30 from Puntobici one street away from apartment. There is a craft fair in and around Piazza San Giusto today. The Italian Glider final is on today at Lucca Airport. Cycle to Pisa and eat lunch with Beppe in Hostaria le Repubbliche Marinare a seafood restaurant with Pizza at €8 and more expensive dishes on offer. Visit Leaning Tower and then cycle back to Lucca.
Day 3 Monday ViaReggio Beach 37 miles
Early cyle into the mountains then down to ViaReggio, the famous beach resort. Market in Piazza Cavour. Trains 11 and 29 minutes past the hour back to Lucca €3. Lunch here. In evening visit the Lucca annual festival of food two streets away in Piazza San Michele where wines, olive oil, honey and lots of local produce on sale from 11:30 to 19:30 and runs to Wednesday.
Day 4 Tuesday Firenze 50 miles
Early start as long cycle but train option along route. Travel along Roman road past Lucca glider airport. Lunchtime stop in Pistoia where Pinocchio was born. Eat in locals trattoria. Option of trains at 12, 22, 42 past hour to Firenze. Arrive Florence and visit Uffizi and see David. We eat in the Peasants Trattoria for €11 including wine tonight. Try the Ribollita soup. Train home every 30 minutes 8 mins past the hour €6. Bike €3.5
Day 5 Wednesday Barga 32 miles
Get train at 8.25 or 11:30 or cycle into mountains to Barga getting off at Barga-Gallicano station, town twinned with Prestonpans and has Edinburgh telephone box. Visit hot springs at Bagni de Lucca. Train home 14:02, 15:14, 16:51, 17:28
Day 6 Thursday Shopping/morning cycle
Morning cycle round walls. Drop off bikes at 13:00. Bus at 14:05 or 15:05 and takes an hour to pisa airport. Taxi at 2:30 I think is better.
Plane at From Pisa (PSA) to Edinburgh (EDI)
Thu, 30Sep10 Flight FR2752 Depart PSA at 17:40 and arrive EDI at 19:25