transportation in Italy

Our group of 12 fly into Florence with final destination in Lucca. My question is: What is the best and least expensive way to get to Lucca where we plan to pick up rental cars? Thank you.
Elizabeth

Posted by Sam
Green Bay
2279 posts

Why don't you pick up the cars at Florence airport? It will save a lot of time. Private minibus transfer might be the best way to go with 12 people.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

If you are going to rent a car anyhow, you might as well do it in Florence. Renting at the airport tends to be more expensive, but Europcar has also a city location on via Forlanini (Novoli district) next to the Social Sciences campus of the University of Florence, really close to the airport. It's a walk from the airport, but by taxi the drivers in your party could get there in 3 minutes. Once the drivers pick up the car(s) they could drive back to the airport and pick everyone else at the airport and together get on the freeway to Lucca. The A11 freeway to Lucca begins right next to the airport terminal.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4877 posts

Roberto's suggestion is great. There's no reason to buy train tickets for 12 people when you plan to get a car anyway. I would compare the price between picking up at the airport and in town before making a final decision.

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
3584 posts

Roberto (and anyone else) - I have a serious question. Will Elizabeth and her party have trouble finding 3-4 taxis that will drive only 3 minutes away? In many cities, the drivers will simply shake their head 'No...', whether that's against the rules or not.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

Only the drivers need to get on the taxi, therefore only one is needed. Everybody else should wait at the airport. Once the drivers pick up the car, just drive back on Viale Guidoni and pick everybody up in front of the terminal. Parking is free for the first 20-30 min. at the airport. The drive is 2 miles. Taxi's can't refuse to take you there. They might still charge the 20 euro airport flat fee anyhow. There is a major Hilton Garden Inn next to the University near the Europcar. I don't think the guests reach that hotel on foot from the airport and I don't think they have a complimentary van.

Posted by marie
west Chester, PA
37 posts

Elizabeth I am going to disagree with everyone else on this....You definitely don't need a car in Florence or in Lucca. Lucca has a train station very close to the walls and you can easily hop on and off trains as needed. Driving in Firenze is a nightmare and the ZTL make mistakes very costly in fines. In Lucca, just a block or two past the bus depot is a car agency we used a few years ago. You can rent from them when leaving Lucca.

Posted by marie
west Chester, PA
37 posts

Elizabeth I am going to disagree with everyone else on this....You definitely don't need a car in Florence or in Lucca. Lucca has a train station very close to the walls and you can easily hop on and off trains as needed. Driving in Firenze is a nightmare and the ZTL make mistakes very costly in fines. In Lucca, just a block or two past the bus depot is a car agency we used a few years ago. You can rent from them when leaving Lucca.

Posted by Tim
Knoxville, TN, USA
3076 posts

If there's a way to avoid rental cars then definitely do it. Rental cars harbor too many hidden costs and problems. Take the train.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

Renting a car or not will largely depend on where your accommodations are. If they are outside of Lucca (smaller village or farmhouse) you need a car. If you just stay in Lucca city center, then a car is not needed. If you rent a car from either the airport or via Forlanini you are not going to encounter any ZTL (Restricted Traffic Zone), not even close. Novoli is the district near the airport and you are going away from Florence, not into Florence. The ZTL is only in the historical city center not where I sent you. Trust me, Florence is my home town.