Forget Pisa. It's too much travel time to see a single leaning tower. I love Lucca, but if I had only one day I would choose Florence. You can purchase tickets to the Ufizzi in advance - check out their website. That way you don't have to wait in line for forever. The city is a work of art in and of itself. Go to Florence! (And next time plan for more time in that beautiful city)
I have to agree with the last suggestion. Florence is more interesting overall than Pisa and Lucca. Especially if you have never been to Florence you should see it on your first trip to Italy. I wouldn't go with a tour guide for the entire time. You can book your tickets to the musuem on line directly to the musuem not a ticket broker. Look at Rick Steves book and he tells you the actual site to go to. Oct is not a busy as summer and you can get a good map and even a pod cast and play it on your ipod and walk around the town. You can do it in one day if you have good feet and take time out to have a nice lunch in the center of town by the Arno river.
Lucca is interesting for about one and half hours and Pisa is interesting for the day. You cannot compare these cities. Have a look at the Rick Steves book on Tuscany and Florence. It is consentrated on that region. It is very useful.
Thank's Sheryl for the advise !
i have lived in both Florence and Lucca and love them both but for one day, I would prefer Lucca and Pisa to Florence, and I will tell you why. Lucca in my opinion has much better restaurants, friendlier locals, and is more easy-going and relaxed. It does not feel touristy, and since there are few cars inside the historic center, you can wander around in the quiet, walk around the walled city, or enjoy shopping in the center. The anfitheatre and churches and piazzas are wonderful...But it is easily enjoyed in one day, with pssibly a quick trek to see the leaning tower of Pisa. By train from Lucca to Pisa central is 30 minutes, and runs every 1-2 hrs. You can easily see Pisa in one hour, just to see the main square and leaning tower, buy the souvenirs and head back to Lucca for the night. I recommend Hotel Puccini, right in center of town, very quaint hotel.
Florence is beautiful as well, you cannot go wrong either decision you make, but it is larger and in my opinion, requires several days. I think a weekend in Florence is better, because between seeing David (which is incredible), Uffizi, trying to squeeze in lunch, the large market, shopping...it would be an exhausting day and possibly you will leave still feeling like there is much more Florence to see.
FLorence is the more 'visited' city because it has the reputation of being the most famous city in Tuscany, but I think Lucca and Pisa are preferred for one day trip unless you absolutely have to check FLorence off the list.
For me personally, I have been literally all over Italy, spent months and months touring, and Lucca is my all time favorite, supplanting Florence and Montalcino and a few others. I love the old walls, it is much more historic and quiet and beautiful. Florence is more of a city, while Lucca is more like a hilltown. If you want to see the big sights, go to Florence. Second to Rome, it has the most big name art, churches, shops...
If you want to experience a town, walk around, take in the ambiance and still see a gorgeous place, I recommend Lucca and Pisa. Everyone I know who has been to Lucca says it is a favorite. Hope this is helpful!
Thanks Globalmomma for your time and advise!