A friend and I (two adult females) are in Rome heading up to Lucca for three days... any suggestions for clean, not-too-expensive, good location? Also any suggestions for restaurants/wine, any 'to dos/not to dos!!?!' We are using the train as transportation... After Lucca it is on to CinqueTerre for 3 days, would welcome suggestions there too! Thanks so much... Martha
I continue to recommend the very clean, family-run, Hotel Melecchi just outside the St. Elena gate of the city walls. They don't have a website but can be contacted through the Lucca tourist office. They have large, airy rooms and the family couldn't be nicer. Giovanni, the son who is the manager, speaks English and has great touring recommendations. For eating, I recommend the Trattoria da Leo in the center of town. Make reservations.
Can you quantify "not too expensive" in euros or dollars? BTW, we stayed at B&B La Romea right in the middle of the historic center of Lucca and really enjoyed it. Wonderful people and beautiful rooms. And one of the best breakfasts in Italy. They even cook your eggs to order. http://www.laromea.com/index.html
Thank you for the great (quick) input! "not too expensive" would be ideally no more than $120 total per night...
If you can find a place inside the walls of Lucca, I would recommend you stay there. I've stayed both inside and outside; inside feels more "authentic" as a place to sleep in a walled city...... Arriving by train, you will be outside the wall on the south side of town. If you don't want to do too much walking to get to your hotel, look for places near that south gate.
We rented a charming, well-equipped apartment in an historic building Inside the walls for that price. Casa Olivieri. It was great to feel like we were actually living there, although for onlyba few days. The owner is very kind and friendly. I believe there is a three-night minimum but it is worth asking.
We had a great meal at Trattoria da Leo in Lucca. Not too expensive and really good food.
We just stayed at the Hotel Rex, right by the train station. It was a great location for not having to take luggage very far, and it was an easy walk into town. They have free bikes for their guests to use too. We ate at Trattoria da Leo too, and enjoyed it very much.
A strong recommendation here for Piccolo Hotel Puccini. http://www.hotelpuccini.com/ We stayed there 2 years ago and would return in a heartbeat. Wonderful location, terrific service. They won't steer you wrong on restaurant recommendations, either.
Martha, I love Rick's recommendations as a rule but one place I would never stay again is in Lucca called Da Elise. This place continues to get mentioned in Rick's books but my cousin and I hated it (we were in our early 40's at the time) when we stayed there in 2004. It had a very hostel-type feel and was not clean (neither of us are clean freaks but this place was downright dirty). We prefer B&B or small hotels. That being said, we loved Lucca, so good luck finding something better. I am planning to return to Lucca in May '11 and like the looks of the hotel Puccini, recommended above.
We just came back from the vacation in Italy. We stayd in Lucca, inside of the walls in Il Seminaro , B&B. Clean, modern, unexpressive, excellent location.
Martha, I would echo Jeffrey's recommendation for the Piccolo Hotel Puccini. We discovered Lucca several years ago, and stayed there 3 nights. Great location...there's nothing like staying inside the walls.