Lucca, Forte dei Marmi or Pisa??
In my trip this summer I will be going from the Cinque Terre to Florence and was planning to stop and spend a day/night in one of the above cities. Because it is my first time in the region, I don't know much about the towns but have heard good things about them. Any recommendations as to which one I should pick? Which has the best atmosphere/food? Any hotel/dining recommendations? There have been a lot of positive reviews on the board about Buca di San Antonio in Lucca. Is that the must-try dining experience in the area? Thank you for any input you all may have.
Pisa is ugly, modern and congested. I'd skip it completely. I have not been to Forte Dei Marmi, but Lucca is one of the most interesting towns in Italy, a beautifully preserved medeival city. I have recommended Buca di San Antonio many times on this board.
I SECOND BUCA SAN ANTONIO. Baffo in Montecarlo is a must. Dining under vines of a vineyard with farro soup. Awesome!!! Forte dei Marmi- Lorenzo. Close by Viareggio-Romano.
Any of the small towns from Viareggio north to the Cinque Terre are beautiful. La Spezia is a very quiet small town that is not terribly well known. There is a great pizzeria on the main piazza, the piazza is an easy walk from the train station. Forte dei Marmi is a beautiful town think Beverly Hills with an ocean view only much better. Even the sidewalks are Carrara marble, as my wife says a gratuitous use of marble. If you have the time take a trip into the countryside. There are so many small villages with so much fantastic regional food that should not be missed. Head out in any direction and you'll be a happy traveler.