2012.5.29Before checking out from the hotel at Lucca, we had a short visit to Viareggio. It is a beach town only 20 miles west of Lucca. The local road, Via Sarzanese, runs through mountains and villages. It’s much more interesting than the highway but it took us almost an hour to get there.
Taking SS12, Pisa is only 10 miles south to Lucca. After passing a small hill and tree-lined country road, we could see the Duomo and the Leaning Tower from miles away. Circle half around the out wall to the west, there is a big parking lot only two blocks to the entrance of the piazza. A couple of people were selling faked leather craft and watches outside of the parking lot.
We left Pisa at 4pm. There are several ways can get us from Pisa to Siena. The fastest is to take A11 to go back to Florence and then go south by Florence-Siena Highway, but it would be boring to drive on the same road; so we decided to take the shortest path. We went south on SS206, turned east on FI-PI-LI (Firenze-Pisa-Livorno) Highway, got off the highway at ss429 and continued driving south, eventually merged into Florence-Siena Highway. My GPS stopped working and only things I had were a printed Google direction and Touring Editore’s Toscana map. We passed countless villages and roundabouts, made many wrong turns. Finally, we arrived at Siena and checked into Hotel Santa Caterina at 8pm.