Do your homework before ;you go Decide which places you would like to visit and use "treni italia" web site to plan journeys and check feasibility of day trips. When working out which trains to use and looking at the timetable write down not only the train times but also the train NUMBER as in the smaller station the 'departure ' screen may only display the final destination of the train and NOT details of where it stops So for example going to Lucca , the departure screen may say Viarregio and not mention the fact that it stops at Lucca so the train NUMBER affirms you are on the correct train Just as important for your return journey too. You can buy tickets at the train station and also at SOME Tabacci shops. They are not dated and often do not have the destination but only the DISTANCE you can travel using that ticket. Remember to validate your ticket in the little machine at the station before you board the train The machine just stamps the time and date on the ticket but without this the ticket is invalid and an inspector on the train may fine you.