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Pisa and Lucca are two popular day trip destinations from Florence. Their close proximity to one another, small sizes, and handy train stations make them very easy to combine into one amazing day trip from Florence.

On a visit to Pisa and Lucca, climb the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and climb a tower topped with oak trees. Dine on traditional foods in a beautiful piazza and go shopping as you walk through the heart of Lucca. For those with a lot of energy, you can even walk or cycle on one of the best-preserved Renaissance fortifications in Europe.

In this guide, learn how to spend one day in Pisa and Lucca as a day trip from Florence. We cover everything you need to know, from how to plan your transportation, what to do in each place, with a sample itinerary for the day.

Pisa and Lucca Day Trip from Florence

Both Pisa and Lucca are located in Tuscany, Italy. They sit near the west coast of Italy, not far from the Ligurian Sea.

Pisa is famous for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Italy, so it is a popular addition to many itineraries through Italy, especially those that include Florence or the Cinque Terre.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is part of a complex of monuments, including the Pisa Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Camposanto, and two museums. On a visit to Pisa, you can simply snap a photo with the Leaning Tower (free!) or visit the entire complex of sites. A visit here can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Lucca is a small, walled city near Pisa. Walking the Renaissance-era walls, climbing the numerous towers for a view over the city, and having lunch in Piazza dell’Anfiteatro all top the list of the best things to do in Lucca.

Both Pisa and Lucca have train stations with frequent connections to Florence, so this day trip is best done by train. Buses are cheaper but take more time, so it is best to spend a little extra money and use the trains instead. If you happen to have a rental car, you can use that too, although the train is more convenient and environmentally friendly.

This Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence is written as a one day itinerary, starting with Pisa and ending with Lucca.

Pisa Lucca Day Trip Map | Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence

Map of Pisa, Lucca and Florence

One Day in Pisa and Lucca Itinerary

7:30 am to 8:00 am: Train from Florence to Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa and other sites that are part of the Duomo Complex do not open until 9 am.

Direct trains from Florence take between 1 hour and 1 hour and 11 minutes, depending on the speed of the train. These trains run roughly every 20 to 30 minutes.

From the Pisa train station (Pisa Centrale), it takes 22 minutes to walk to the Duomo Complex. You can speed things up by hiring a taxi at the train station.

If you want to be at the Leaning Tower of Pisa at opening time (9 am), plan to take a 7:30 am direct train (1 hour). This gives you 30 minutes to walk or take a taxi to the Duomo Complex.

If you would rather have breakfast at your hotel or in Florence, plan to take a train at 8 am or even later. Just be aware that you will be arriving to Pisa with a lot of other day trippers so it will be busy.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Take the train from the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence to the Pisa Centrale station. You can book your trains and get the train schedule on Italiarail.com.

8:30 am: Arrival in Pisa

I am writing this itinerary with an 8:30 am arrival in Pisa, since that makes the best use of your time today.

From the Pisa Centrale train station, it is a 22-minute walk (1.7 km/1 mile) to get to the Duomo Complex. Save your steps by hiring a taxi, which should get you there in about 10 minutes.

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about the walking route. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

9:00 am: Leaning Tower of Pisa & the Duomo Complex

The cheapest and fastest way to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa is to walk from the train station to the Duomo Complex and then snap a few photos with the tower. Plan on spending about 15 to 20 minutes at the tower if this is all you plan to do.

However, there is a lot to do here, if you want to thoroughly explore the Duomo Complex.

Leaning Tower of Pisa | Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence

Leaning Tower of Pisa

Climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Climb the 251 steps to the top of the tower. Climbing the tower is not difficult but some people report feeling dizzy or getting vertigo from climbing the tight, spiral staircase at an incline. Children under 8 years old are not permitted to climb the tower.

It takes about 30 minutes to climb the tower.

Tickets to climb the tower cost €20 per person. You can purchase tickets 20 days before your visit. For more information, check out the official website, which also includes a link to the online ticket center.

I highly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance. This is a very popular activity and tickets will sell out in advance. When you make your purchase, you will select a time slot for your visit. You could plan to climb the tower about 30 minutes after your arrival time to the Duomo Complex, just as some added contingency time.

If tickets to climb the tower are sold out for your visit, you can get a ticket for the tower climb through GetYourGuide.

More Sites at the Duomo Complex

If you want to do more than climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa, you can also visit the inside of the Cathedral, visit the Baptistery and Camposanto, and tour the Opera del Duomo Museum and Sinopie Museum. These are all included with the Leaning Tower on a combined ticket for €27.

Before your visit, get updated hours and pricing on the official website.

Pisa Italy Photo | Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence

The Pisa Cathedral and Tower


Pisa Baptistery

The Baptistery

If you plan to visit the entire Duomo Complex, your visit will last 2 to 3 hours.

If you plan to snap some photos with the tower and climb the tower, your visit will last 1 to 1.5 hours.

Once finished at the Duomo Complex, walk or take a taxi back to the train station.

12:00 pm: Train to Pisa

If you are starting to feel hungry, grab a quick snack in the Pisa Centrale station, but save room for lunch.

Direct trains run between Pisa and Lucca about every 20 minutes. The train journey takes 28 minutes to 35 minutes, depending on the train.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Take the train from the Pisa Centrale station to Lucca (there is only one train station in Lucca). These are regional trains. You can book your ticket in advance but it is not necessary. You can show up at the station, purchase your ticket here, and take the next available train.

12:45 pm: Arrival in Lucca

The Lucca train station is on the south side of town.

For lunch, we recommend going to Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. Visiting this square is a one of the best things to do in Lucca and we had lunch here at a restaurant that was fantastic.

From the train station, you will have to walk across Lucca, but it is a small town so it only takes 15 minutes. Take a look at our map for the walking route, but from the train station, you will enter the town through Porta San Pietro and then walk through the city center on Via Fillungo. It is a very nice walk and you will pass several famous squares and towers along the way.

1:00 pm: Lunch in Piazza dell’Anfiteatro

The ring of buildings that surround this elliptical square follow the outline of the former Roman amphitheater. Outdoor cafes and shops line the square, making this one of the best places to have lunch or a drink.

Lucca Restaurants | Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence

Outdoor cafes in Piazza dell’Anfiteatro


Where to Eat in Lucca

Lunch at Ristorante Trattoria L’Angolo Tondo

Many of the restaurants in Piazza dell’Anfiteatro get mediocre reviews. However, Ristorante Trattoria L’Angolo Tondo is one of the highest rated restaurants in Lucca.

We tried several traditional dishes at this restaurant, all which were amazing. La Nostra Carabaccia is an onion filled appetizer that was so good we ordered seconds. I had the Tordellone della Casa, ravioli stuffed with meat and Tim ate the Tagliatella Selvatica, which is pasta with wild boar ragu. We finished lunch with Cheese Cake Santo and Buccellato All’uva.

This lunch was our favorite experience in Lucca and the perfect way to start your visit here.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: There is a long list of things to do in Lucca, so long that it takes a full day to see everything. For this Pisa and Lucca itinerary, I am picking out what I think are the best experiences in Lucca. However, you can take a look at our guide to the Best Things to Do in Lucca, to see if there is something else that interests you.

2:00 pm: Torre Guinigi

There are several towers in Lucca to climb and this one is one of the best.

Torre Guinigi Lucca | Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence

Torre Guinigi

Torre Guinigi is a tower that is topped with oak trees, making it one of the most unique towers to climb, not only in Lucca, but all of Italy. If you also climbed the Leaning Tower today, it will be quite the unforgettable day of tower climbs in Italy.

This tower was built in 1384 by a wealthy silk merchant as a personal defensive tower. The top of the tower was later planted with several oak trees, forming a rooftop garden in Lucca.

To get to the top, you will climb 230 steps. Here is the view.

View of Piazza dell Anfiteatro | Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence

Overlooking Piazza dell’Anfiteatro from Torre Guinigi

You can purchase your ticket onsite or online in advance. Only so many people are permitted to visit the tower at a time, so tickets are sold in time slots.

Here is the link to purchase the tickets online, but we had a hard getting the website to work (both in Lucca and months later, when I published this guide). Hopefully you will have better luck. When we visited the tower, we were able to purchase our tickets onsite for the next available time slot.

Italy Travel Guide Florence

2:30 pm: Torre delle Ore (the Clock Tower)

From Torre Guinigi, walk on Via Buia to Via Fillungo. Via Fillungo is a pedestrian street that is lined with shops, making this one of the best places to go shopping in Lucca.

Lucca Clock Tower

Torre delle Ore


View of Torre Guinigi Lucca | Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence

The view of Torre Guinigi from the clock tower

Also on this street is the clock tower (Torre delle Ore). If you are interested, you can climb this tower for another great view of Lucca. We really like the view from this tower, since it is centrally located in Lucca and you get the best view of Torre Guinigi from this spot.

The Clock Tower and Torre Guinigi are included together on a combination ticket.

Here is the link to the official website where you can get hours of operation. It states that a reservation is mandatory for weekends, but again, I could not get the website to work. Here is the link to purchase your tickets online in advance.

3:15 pm: Take Your Pick: Churches, Museums & the City Walls

As I stated earlier, there is a lot to do in Lucca. Below I list out more places to visit in Lucca and you can pick out what is most interesting to you. On this list are cathedrals and a museum to visit, and the option to walk or cycle the city walls. Or, spend the afternoon shopping and wandering the historic center of Lucca.

The Lucca Cathedral (St. Martin’s Cathedral). This cathedral is part of a Duomo Complex where you can visit the cathedral, the museum, and climb the bell tower for another panoramic view of Lucca.

Lucca Cathedral

Lucca Cathedral


Lucca Cathedral Interior

Inside the Lucca Cathedral

The Church of Saints Giovanni and Reparata. This church sits on top of excavations that span a time period from the 1st century BC to the 12th century AD. There is also a tower to climb for another great view of Lucca. This church and its tower are included on a combination ticket with the Lucca Cathedral.

Lucca in September

The view from the tower of the Church of Saints Giovanni and Reparata


Lucca Archaeological Excavation | Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence

Excavations inside of the Church of Saints Giovanni and Reparata

The Puccini Museum. For those with an interest in music, don’t miss the Puccini Museum. Giacomo Puccini was born and raised in Lucca and his childhood home has been converted into this museum.

Walk or Cycle the City Walls. The walls that surround Lucca are over 4 kilometers in circumference. They are considered to be one of the best-preserved Renaissance fortifications in Europe. A paved path runs along the top of the walls, which you can walk or cycle. If this of interest to you, you can rent bikes at Tourist Center Lucca, which is right next to the train station. Even if you don’t have plans to cycle the walls, it is still nice to walk a short portion of them, since it is a very pretty walk. As you head back to the train station, you can get onto the walls at Via V. Veneto and walk 5 to 10 minutes in either direction.

Lucca Walls

Lucca walls

Dinner in Lucca. If you plan to stay in Lucca for dinner, we recommend Osteria Da Pasquale, another very highly rated restaurant in Lucca. They do not open for dinner until 7:30 pm. If you plan to stay for dinner, check the train schedule for the last train of the day, so you do not get stranded in Lucca. In my opinion, it is best to return to Florence and have dinner here.

Afternoon/Evening: Return to Florence

When you have had your fill of Lucca, return to Florence by train. Direct trains take 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes, depending on the train. These are regional trains so it is not necessary to book your ticket in advance.

Helpful Tips for this Pisa and Lucca Day Trip

Book your Leaning Tower of Pisa tickets in advance. If you plan to climb the Leaning Tower of Pisa, make your reservation in advance. This can be done 20 days before your visit. If tickets are sold out, then you can still do the climb on this tour.

Get an early start. The earlier you start your day, the fewer crowds you will have at Pisa, and the more time you will have in Lucca.

Consider hiring a taxi in Pisa. To save your steps and energy, you can take a taxi to and from the Pisa Centrale station to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. You will do a fair amount of walking in Lucca and since most of Lucca is pedestrian only, you will not have the option to take a taxi here.

To get train timetables and prices, use the Italiarail.com website. You can purchase your train tickets in advance here, although it is not absolutely necessary, since you will be taking regional trains.

Via Fillungo

Via Fillungo in Lucca

Tours of Pisa and Lucca

If want to day trip to Pisa and Lucca but prefer to do this with a guide, this 8-hour tour is done as a day trip from Florence.

If you want to get more out of your visit to Pisa, there are a variety of tours that include the Duomo Complex and the city of Pisa.



Frequently Asked Questions

Is Lucca worth visiting?

With its scenic piazzas, numerous towers to climb, and local foods to try, Lucca is a joy to visit. Lucca is worth visiting for those who are looking a nice day trip from Florence or the Cinque Terre. If you like the idea of seeing the Leaning Tower of Pisa on the same day, Lucca and Pisa can easily combined together into one day.

Is Pisa worth visiting?

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of Italy’s most recognizable landmarks. Some say it is an overrated tourist attraction and others say it is absolutely worth it. The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the associated sites in the Duomo Complex are quick and easy to visit, which means it is easy to add on to a day trip from Florence or while traveling to the Cinque Terre.

How can I visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa on a day trip?

The city of Pisa is well connected to other cities in Italy by train. The Leaning Tower of Pisa can easily be visited while traveling by train between Florence and the Cinque Terre. You can also combine Pisa and Lucca together, visiting both on a day trip from Florence.

More Information for Your Trip to Florence & Tuscany

PISA: Learn how to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa while traveling from Florence to the Cinque Terre.

FLORENCE: If you are planning your first visit to Florence, don’t miss our guide to the 10 Best Things to Do in Florence. We also have guides about the best rooftop bars in Florence, the best viewpoints in Florence, and how to visit the Florence Cathedral.

FLORENCE ITINERARIES: Learn how to plan your time with our articles on how to spend One Day in Florence and Two Days in Florence.

DAY TRIPS FROM FLORENCE: Here are 15 day trips to take from Florence, with practical information on how to plan your day.

TUSCAN HILL TOWNS: Check out our detailed guides to Siena, Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, San Quirico d’Orcia, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Volterra, Arezzo, and Cortona. 

TUSCANY: Get started with our guide to the Best Things to Do in Tuscany. Learn how to plan your visit with our Tuscany Itinerary, which has sample itineraries, whether you have 3 days, 5 days, or an entire week in Tuscany.

CINQUE TERRE: One of the best experiences in the Cinque Terre is to hike between all five towns. If you are traveling on a budget, get our money saving tips for the Cinque Terre.

If you have any questions about this Pisa and Lucca day trip from Florence, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Italy

MILAN & LAKE COMO: Learn how to visit Milan on a day trip or while traveling between the Cinque Terre, Florence and Venice. Lake Como and Bellagio are two more beautiful places in Italy that are great day trip destinations.

LAKE GARDA: Get started with our article Best Things to Do in Lake Garda. Learn how to plan your time with our Lake Garda Itinerary. We also have information about things to do in Sirmione and Riva del Garda.

DOLOMITES: For a list of where to go and what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in the Dolomites and Best Hikes in the Dolomites. Learn how to plan your trip with our Dolomites Itinerary Travel Planner.

ROME: For a list of the top experiences in Rome, read our article Best Things to Do in Rome. Learn how to put these together in our 2 Day Rome Itinerary. And don’t miss our guides to the Best Views of Rome, best Rooftop Bars in Rome, and our Rome Restaurant Guide.

We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, Basilicata, and Puglia.


Pisa and Lucca Day Trip from Florence


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