Traveling the 90 miles (144 km) from Siena to Lucca is not a straightforward experience, thanks to the geography of Italy's Tuscany region. Tuscany is more mountainous than most people realize, and its roads and railroad tracks wind through river valleys and around high peaks and ridges. Driving from Siena to Lucca takes 1.5 to 2.5 hours without traffic, while traveling by bus or train takes from 2.5 to 4 hours.
Whether you travel by car, private transfer, taxi, bus, or train, consider stopping at some of Tuscany's alluring towns and cities along the way. Depending on the route you choose, you can stop in art-filled Firenze (Florence), medieval San Gimignano, the alabaster capital of Volterra, or iconic Pisa.
Duration: 1.5-2.5 hours or more, depending on traffic
If you drive from Siena to Lucca, be aware that nearly all the cities and towns you will visit have a Zona a Traffico Limitato (ZTL). Only approved vehicles may enter a ZTL during certain hours; other drivers who enter the ZTL will be ticketed and fined. Pisa's ZTL is especially difficult to avoid, and parking there is limited; consider visiting Pisa by private transfer or public transportation instead.
There are several ways to drive from Siena to Lucca. The quickest route (1.5-2 hours or more) takes you past Florence, offering the possibility of a stop in the city of Michelangelo. Head to Lucca via the Superstrada Firenze-Siena, the Raccordo Autostradale 3 (RA3), the A1/E35 (toll), and the A11/E76 (toll).
Florence is an easy detour from the A11/E76. Although the underground parking garage at Santa Maria Novella train station is somewhat expensive, it is not hard to find (follow signs to Santa Maria Novella station/Stazione S. M. N.), it usually has open spaces, and it is not in the ZTL.
If, instead, you exit the RA3 at Poggibonsi Nord, you have an opportunity to visit San Gimignano, famous for its medieval towers. A third option takes you past Volterra, famous for its sculptures and lamps, on winding mountain roads. If you go, be sure to visit an alabaster artist's studio. On clear days, you can see the island of Corsica from Volterra.
Watch your speed; all routes proposed here have fixed speed cameras installed.
By Private Transfer or Taxi
Duration: At least 2 hours, depending on traffic and sightseeing stops
If you would rather see the sights of Tuscany than look at road signs, consider traveling from Siena to Lucca by private transfer or taxi. Be sure to tell your driver where you would like to stop along the way.
Duration: 2.5 - 4 hours
The quickest way to get from Siena to Lucca by train involves two transfers, one at Empoli and one at Pisa Centrale. If time permits, walk (25 minutes) or travel by taxi or LAM Rossa bus to the Campo dei Miracoli to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. (Tip: If you want to climb the tower, buy tickets online in advance and allow plenty of time.)
If you would rather stop in Florence, take the train from Siena to Florence's Santa Maria Novella station, then take a train from there to Lucca. Santa Maria Novella is in the heart of historic Florence; many of the city's famous museums and churches are just a short walk away.
Duration: 3 - 3.5 hours
Traveling from Siena to Lucca by bus takes three to four hours. The quickest way is to take a Busitalia or Tiemme bus from Siena's Via Tozzi to Florence's Leopolda stop, then walk or take a taxi to Via Delle Porte Nuove and take a VaiBus from there to Lucca. You can also take a Busitalia bus from Siena to Florence's Autostazione Sita Firenze, walk to Piazza Stazione (Santa Maria Novella Station), and take a VaiBus bus from there to Lucca. Although the second trip takes longer, the walk to Piazza Stazione is shorter than the walk to Via Delle Porte Nuove.