During conversations with friends in Italy (over a cup of cappuccino, of course :)), a popular topic of discussion is the charming cities of this country. And one town that many folks have fallen in love with, is Lucca. Reason enough to plan a getaway to the Tuscan town.
In the regional train from Florence to Lucca, we rarely took our eyes off the windows during our journey though the picturesque Tuscan countryside. The first signs of spring were already visible – bright yellow flowers peeking out from verdant gentle slopes, hidden birds whistling melodies from the branches of a tall tree, a brook of clear water gurgling on its way through a field… and passengers having loud animated discussions about how they would spend the day in Lucca.
Thus began our weekend in Lucca. A weekend of walking on the walls surrounding the old city, climbing a medieval tower with oak trees at the top, living at the site of an ancient Roman amphitheater.
Walking On the Walls:
The old town is entirely surrounded by walled fortifications (perimeter of approximately 4 km) that are very well-maintained. The wide walls are a popular location for jogging, cycling and walking. We enjoyed long walks on the wall, played in the park (on the wall, yes!), peered at ruins, halted at every bastion and gate, ooh-ed and aah-ed at the picturesque vistas, soaked in the sunshine and got soaked in a light drizzle :).
Climbing and Counting: At the Torre Guinigi
Several medieval towers dot the skyline of Lucca. Among them, the Torre Guinigi is easily identifiable owing to the oak trees that adorn its top. Junior learnt counting beyond the number 100 as he happily counted the steps on our way up the tower. Climbing and counting – two of his favorite activities – kept him engaged during the ascent. Gusty winds made it chilly at the top of the tower, but that did not deter us from admiring the views over the rooftops of the medieval city. Paintings inside the tower narrate the story of Lucca over the centuries.
We had a “wall” of a time exploring Lucca. Our apartment, Bed&Breakfast Anfiteatro, was at the site of an ancient Roman amphitheather. This cosy accomodation, overlooking the picturesque Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, was icing on the cake.
P.S. Speaking of food, we tried the typical “zuppa di farro” a couple of times, and loved it!