Our family is leaving in 6 days for Italy. In checking and printing the train schedules, I'm always given the option for several train stations and am not sure which one to pick. Rick Steves' books don't mention them either. What is the closest one for Pisa in location to the Leaning Tower and such? I figure it's Centrale. In Venice we're staying in the Marriott by the airport--what station is closest to them? Is it Mestre? In Florence we are staying at the Hilton. Anyone familiar with the station closest to them? I've called the hotels--they don't even know (go figure). Thanks in advance for your help.
There is only one major station in all the cities. The smaller ones might be in the subburbs.
The main train station for Florence is the Santa Maria Novella (SMN). However, the Hilton Metropole is nowhere nearby (it's on the other side of the river). But, you're in great luck. We recently stayed at the Hilton and they have a mini-bus that goes from the Hotel to the train station every 30 minutes during the day and I think once an hour in the evenings. As you exit the train station entrance, go to the left along the drop-off/pickup roadway. The mini-bus parking areas are within 150 feet on your right. I believe that the Hilton space is marked. For Pisa, it's Pisa Centrale. It's a 30 minute casual walk down the main street and across the river before you can see the tower. For Venice, Venezia Santa Lucia is the main station. However, since you are staying near the airport, I am not sure if this is the closest. Mestre is 15-20 minutes to the west and is not the main station.