I haven't taken the train to Lucca, but have to Florence. The train station is about a 20-minute walk from the cruise ship terminal through town. Just exit the port and head to the right. I found this information regarding the train;
Lucca is on the Florence-Viareggio train line, with 21 trains daily passing through Florence (trip time: 70-90 min.), Pistoia (50 min.), and Montecatini Terme (35 min.). The short hop from Pisa takes about 20 to 30 minutes (23 trains daily; 12 on Sun). The station (tel. 0583/467-013) is a short walk south of Porta San Pietro, or you can take navetta minibus no. 16 into town.
Now that I've done it, let me answer my own question! Our ship docked at Livorno and the docks are several miles from both the center of town where the cruise ship shuttle takes you and the train station for departures to Pisa and Florence. Take the shuttle and local bus or preferrably a taxi to the train station. It would not be a pleasant walk. Once at the train station, we bought a return ticket for Lucca, requiring a connection through Pisa on both occasions. This was a good thing because we were able to stroll through Pisa and see the leaning tower between trains. But the real treat was Lucca, where you can "walk the walls" of this Etruscan town and then stroll through the winding streets. This proved to be a real hit for us. (We had previously seen Florence, and our friends who took the longish train trip to Florence said that it was totally jammed with tourists and it was only mid-May.)
Stewart, thanks for the information about Lucca. How long of a train ride was it to Lucca from Pisa and would it be possible to include it with a visit to Florence as well? I am going to post it in www.PortReviews.com on the Florence page, if you don't mind.
The train from Pisa to Lucca took about 20 minutes. Based on my experience (which was on a Sunday), I would not really recommend that a person try to visit both Lucca and Florence on the same day using public transportation when their ship is docked at Livorno. There are just too many connections with wait times in between: ship to shuttle drop off point in central Livorno; from there to Livorno rail station; connection at Pisa rail station to Lucca and then return to Pisa to connect to Florence and then return to Livorno and back to the ship. Although I researched this on the 'net, I could not come up with any faster method. (Can other readers help out here? Is there a bus solution? Or should a traveller bite the financial bullet and take a ship organized excursion?) For my wife and I, the time between connections was half the fun. We had a super cappuccino at a funky little restaurant near the Livorno train station and munched on gelato near the Lucca station. I know what you are thinking - yes, we paid to use the "premises" at Pisa.
<<For my wife and I, the time between connections was half the fun. We had a super cappuccino at a funky little restaurant near the Livorno train station and munched on gelato near the Lucca station.>>
You nailed it! Some of the best times my wife and I have had traveling didn't have anything to do with sightseeing. It is those moments of submersion into a different environment that make it so special.
I am going to be in Florence on the Millennium in a week or so. You have talked me into working Lucca into my visit. Thanks.
Tom, I'm sure you will not be disappointed. Incidentally, you should be commended for your wonderful attitude towards travel in which you seem to savour the total experience. Too often, I heard people moaning about ABC ("Another Bloody Cathedral"). We should all be willing to venture down little side streets, try an unknown dish in a "non-tourist" cafe by pointing randomly to menus, reading names and professions on mailboxes written in a different language and then speculating on their origins, and trying to understand the local humour. One example before I sign off: the park across from the railway station in Livorno is dog friendly and a sign announces in Italian that dogs are welcome. However, some wag hand wrote below "per caccare"...