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Getting to Northern Tuscany

By Air

The closest international airport is Pisa with direct scheduled services from the UK via London's Gatwick, Stansted, and Luton airports. There are also services from Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands, Coventry. Glasgow and other regional airports as well as services from many other European cities. As an alternative it is also possible to find flights into the, smaller and more distant, airport at Florence including flights from London City.

Alternative airports within a couple of hours drive include Bologna (not Forli Bologna which isn't really near anywhere) and Genova.

Intercontinental flights into Italy usually arrive in Rome or Milan. There are frequent connecting flights from both airports to Pisa.

Italy is a popular destination so there are a wide range of flights. From London we've often found that you can pick up a scheduled flight from Heathrow or Gatwick for less than the cost of a "low-cost" airline so it may pay to shop around.

By Car

There an infinite number of routes from the UK to Tuscany, each with their own merits and problems. We drive out several times a year and this is the way we go:

Cross the English Channel/ La Manche/La Manica Dover-Calais, either by ferry or Eurotunnel and then travel via Belgium and Luxembourg, re-entering France to the west of Strasbourg. This route avoids high French motorway tolls until the last 30 miles. Stay overnight near or in Strasbourg (a nice city) and the following day enter Germany and then into Switzerland at Basle. You can stay in France and enter Basle via the A35 if you prefer. To use the Swiss motorways you will need a carnet (40sf) valid for a calendar year. You can buy these at the Swiss border (they take euros and credit cards).

Pass through Switzerland, take the Gottard tunnel (or the pass if it's open) through the Alps and enter Italy near Como. Proceed south, pass Milan using the Tangentiale Ovest, then take the A1 toward Bologna, the A16 towards La Spezia, the A12 towards Livorno and then the A11 to Lucca.

The more direct route through France and the Mont Blanc tunnel can cut several hours off the time needed but greatly increases the cost with road and tunnel tolls.

Motorway toll queues can become very long in holiday periods. In both France and Italy you can use any credit card in the blue credit card lane and this can save a lot of time.

By Train

Probably for the enthusiast only. Eurostar from St Pancras to Paris, sleeper or couchette overnight from Paris Lyon to Pisa. 15 hours +

By Coach

There are coach services from London Victoria coach station to Florence. Probably suitable only if you don't like flying or travel by train as this takes about 27hrs with a change in Paris. Low-cost airlines are frequently less expensive than this.

Walking, Cycling, Horseback etc

Google Via Francigena for details!


European Railway timetables- Train timetables, fare plans and route maps for trains anywhere in Europe, including Italy, the UK and all points between. We use this all the time and can't recommend this site highly enough (Multiple languages)

Vai Bus - The local bus company. For timetables and other information.