Published: May 29th 2011May 27th 2011
The Cathedral of San Martino, Lucca
A picture of the 13th century facade and the campanille built in 1060. The tower was joined to the cathedral in 1261
Lucca, situated in Northern Tuscany, is one of the few cities in Europe to have its centre completely surrounded by a wall. The massive wall built in the 16th and 17th centuries is predominantly made of brick and provides a traffic barrier giving the city its special character and atsmosphere. It is a peaceful city with narrow cobbled streets shaded by tall old buildings on either side. Most motor traffic is banned and the cycle reigns supreme.
A wonderful view of the city can be obtained by climbing many steps to the top of the medieval tower known as Torre dei Guinigi. The top of the tower is shaded by several holm-oak trees which were planted there many years ago and they appeared to have survived with regular watering.
The local hero is Puccini, who was born in the city, and his music is celebrated by operatic performances in the San Giovanni church every evening. The excellent performance we went to started at 7.00pm, lasted for about an hour, and allowed as plenty of time for a visit to one of the open air restaurants around many of the squares.
Whilst staying in Lucca we had a day
Torre dei Guinigi
This medieval tower with holm-oak trees growing at the top is a familar landmark of Lucca
out of the city visiting the Parco Naturale delle Alpi Apuane which is about an hour drive away . We started off with a descent into the cave known as Grotta del Vento, many metres below the mountainside, followed by a trout lunch at an open air restaurant nearby. To walk off our lunch we did a hike through the mountain forest where all the paths were shaded by the trees. We all noticed a considerable drop in temperature compared to our earlier walks and jumpers and fleeces were the order of the day
After the walk it was back to Lucca for our final group get -together and meal before we all went our separate ways
There are more photos below