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Published: October 15th 2013
Lucca in Tuscany Italy 10 October 2013
Before leaving very wet Pisa, we stopped at the Pam Supermarket (yes there is a network of them through Italy). It was still raining but not excessively cold. We headed north-east to visit a really interesting town, Lucca.
As we were now in the Tuscany Region, the countryside was beautiful. It was hilly rather than mountainous. We drove through little villages, vineyards, olive groves and many, many plant nurseries. We only had about 35km to drive.
The reason why we wanted to go to Lucca is that our book wrote up the city of 85,000 people as “this beautiful old city elicits love at first sight with its rich history, handsome churches and excellent restaurants. Hidden behind imposing Renaissance walls, it is an essential stopover on any Tuscan tour….so this is what we did.
And we were pleased we did. We found that and more. After finding a park easily, we walked through the gates of the old city wall and discovered a mass of little narrow roads between roads that could take one car. Lucca became a Roman colony in 180 BC and it escaped any bombing in the
Second WW, so the history through the buildings was very rich.
We had a lovely time, getting lost and finding such interesting sites. We saw the Romanesque Cathedral di San Martino. The central Piazzo Anfiteato is apparently one of Tuscany’s most attractive Piazza. It is oval café-studded, and so called after the amphitheatre that was located here in Roman times. There were a lot of people sitting having drinks and meals. When we looked closely at the exterior walls of the buildings surrounding the Piazza, we saw remnants of the original amphitheater’s brick arches and masonry. It was very different.
We had coffee and a gelatti (of course) and once we had walked to all the main sites we had to find our way out of the walled city!!! No problems – we got back to our camper and headed for Florence.
We had been very luck with the weather because the whole time we were walking around Lucca it remained dry except when we were visiting the Cathedral – great timing.
We only had about 80 kms to drive to our camp site (camping Michelangelo) which was a 5 minute walk from the Pizzale Michelangelo
lookout where all the tourists go to gaze over Florence. Sheryl (my sister), Tom & I did this in 2002 when we were in Florence last time. That night it rained again but we were inside the motor home so it didn’t bother us. Tomorrow we will go into Florence.
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