Family Travel Question:

Q | Is five days long enough to stay in both Florence and Lucca with a preschooler and teen?

We are arriving in Pisa in June with 4- and 16-year-old. We love Lucca, but want to do Florence too. Should we stay in Florence or Lucca, or both before Cinque Terre? We have five days to spend in the Florence/Lucca area. Thanks! -Robin, CA

A | Exploring Lucca and Florence with kids

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Lucca is one of my favorite cities in Italy! That said, the city is compact and can be explored in a day versus Florence which takes more time.  Given the relative short distance between Lucca and Florence (an hour by car or train), I’d stay in and around Florence and visit Lucca for a day trip.

If you want to hit the museums in Florence and have a more urban experience, I’d stay in town. See our list of recommended family-friendly hotels in Florence for ideas on where to stay. If you’d like to visit Siena and the Chianti countryside, it would be easiest to stay on the outskirts of Florence where you’ll have easy access to the highway and don’t have to fight what can be hideous traffic going in and out of the city. I’m about to stay at a new hotel this weekend that is the perfect example of an “outskirts” location called Li Zuti Country Resort — I can’t vouch for it yet, but the website certainly looks promising. Check back on Ciao Bambino for a full review in the next few weeks.

If you want a fun adventure with your 16-year-old, be sure and climb to the top of the Duomo in Florence. We just did this last October for the first time and it is a blast (note, it may be too big of a climb for a four-year-old). One last note: If you want a fantastic Italian beach day be sure to stop at Forte dei Marmi on your way up the coast towards Cinque Terre. This resort city has wonderful relaxed ambiance and a sandy beach that is filled with families over the summer season.

Photo courtesy of Ciao Bambino!


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