Blogs from Lucca, Tuscany, Italy, Europe - page 5


Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca October 27th 2011

La Dolce Vita “The Good Life” Saturday 8th October to Saturday 15th October Feeling a bit sad about leaving, but looking forward to our next destination, we left Malcesine and headed back to Verona by taxi to take the train to Lucca in Tuscany. 3 changes and 4 hours later we arrived feeling rather exhausted and in need of....surprise surprise.... a nice meal. We were staying just outside of Lucca in a renovated barn of an old Tuscan Villa (built in the 1700’s). The villa itself was huge, with acres and acres of land on which there was a swimming pool, vegetable garden (where we picked our own veg) and row after row of olive trees. At first we were a bit worried about how we would get in to Lucca as there didn’t seem to ... read more

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca July 26th 2011

The dreaming stage Its was back at Christmas 2010 and I was stuck in Kuwait due to problems with visas. I was a bit feed up and so to give myself something to look forward to I began to plan a summer road trip to the Alps. My first thoughts were to take in some of the great passes through the Alps. This would take me into Italy, which i love and so my thoughts logically moved south and into north Tuscany and the Garfagnana, which I already knew and had fond memories of family holidays. But where to after Tuscany? Well Corsica is somewhere I always wanted to visit, and it has great roads and some amazing mountains, plus the famous and tough GR20 trail. The route home from Corsica naturally leads onto France, Provence ... read more
Julliet balcony, Verona
The Garfagnana

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca July 16th 2011

Ciao il mio amici! That means, hi my friends! After we left Rome, we drove to Perugia, where our friend, Mimi, lives. We stayed there for one night and went to Assisi, a place where Saint Francesco's tomb is and it is very religeous. At our hotel we had a nice pool that Ethan and I swam in. We also went and had dinner in a big castle that Daddy said was haunted. I think he was joking. The next day we drove with our friend Mimi up to Lucca in Tuscany. We stayed in another hotel that had a pool. Lucca is an amazing place with old walls and old buildings. There was a concert with Elton John going on there. We ate more gelato. Everyday Ethan and I have gelato, I always have lemon ... read more
The Pool in Perugia

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca July 15th 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011 Early Morning Photos This morning I rose early to take photos of the statues by the Uffizi. I hadn’t taken any photos of the statues on the day I went to the gallery, and by the afternoon the piazza was filled with people. The morning was my best way to get up close without fighting the crowds. There was actually a sign that said “no photo” by these statues, but I don’t know how you can police people when the statue is outside. There were in fact two policemen in the square, watching me as I snapped my camera. They didn’t say anything. I think they were there to make sure I did not attack any of the statues. The one piece I really wanted to see was right up front, Perseus ... read more
Completely empty piazza
Photo 3
Photo 4

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca June 15th 2011

Day 7 - Lucca Day 4: We got up in plenty of time for our taxi to the cooking class and were downstairs in front at 9:20. Unfortunately, the taxi driver the hostel called didn't arrive until 9:45, but swore he could get us there in time. After a very harrowing ride, we go there, at about 10am on the dot. Also unforunately, even though the hostel told us it would be 10 Euros, he asked for 20 Euros, and since we hadn't asked him beforehand, we didn't have much choice. Taking bus back! We found the room in the hotel where the class was being held, but they had already sort of started. To make things worse, the chef had apparently forgotten about us and I had to show him my receipt. Oh well, we ... read more
Making Biscotti
Alexis rolling biscotti
Alexis buttering things up

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca June 14th 2011

Day 6 - Lucca Day 3: Well, we ended up not going to Florence, but found out later, when we went to check on the next train trip to Cinque Terre, that the price for the train to Florence wasn't as much as we'd thought, which was one of the factors we used in deciding not to go to Florence. Trenitalia, for some reason, charged us about 15 Euros from Florence to Lucca, but we saw that we could have gone to Florence from Lucca for only 5.20 Euros, a big difference! Oh well, live and learn. Still haven't figured out why the price difference. Anyways, we decided to make a late start and then rent bikes for a trip outside of Lucca to the place where we will have our Tuscan cooking class tomorrow. The ... read more
Leaving Lucca
Hotel/Ristorante Carignano
Bike Break

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca June 13th 2011

Day 5 - Lucca Day 2: After another late start, we arrived at the Lucca train station for our trip to Pisa today. Unfortunately, we got there at 10:42, which was when the train was leaving and even though most of the day they leave every 20 or 30 minutes, the next train was at 12:42. So, we bought our roundtrip tickets, for 2.50 Euros each, each way, then returned to stroll around Lucca and a brief stop in our room, then back to the station. The train was a very small local commuter type train with no ammenities. The trip only took about 20 minutes, including 3 or 4 stops along the way. When we got to the station in Pisa, Pisa Centrale, we realized that instead of being very close to the famous Leaning ... read more
San Frediano Organ
Lucca Street
Under the Wall

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca June 12th 2011

Day 4 - Lucca Day 1: We checked out of the hostel and headed to the Roma Termini to catch our train to Florence then Lucca. The first train from Rome to Florence was very nice, with comfortable seating, restrooms, and laptrays. The only problem that the train on the track we were supposed to leave from said "New Parmington" or some such, not Florence or Venice, which was supposed to be the end point. I guess we look confused, so a lady that I assumed was train staff asked to see our tickets and proceeded to help us get on the right car (carrozza), store our bags and lead us to our seats. I had already figured I should tip her, so I had 2 Euros out and hand. After I took my seat I ... read more
Ostello San Frediano Room
Ostello San Frediano Courtyard
Chiesa San Frediano

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca June 8th 2011

Wednesday 8th June - update. Things are bubbling along here. Countryside is wonderful, wine, beer & spirits are cheap in Italy. Food also. We’ve had a fair bit of rain, but it remains pleasantly warm interspersed with periods of sunshine. Attended Puccini opera in Lucca on Monday night in the original chapel that Puccini was baptised in and later performed. The concerts run every night in Lucca (Puccini’s birthplace) and various professional opera singers perform. Funds go toward maintaining the chapel and the event. The night we attended it was a single Pianist and just two 2 singers alternating and then combining toward the end. Sort of a mini opera, but in that hall it sounded oh so good. Goose bump stuff really. Went for a drive up into the Tuscan hills yesterday (relying very much ... read more
Having a meal after Puccini
Tuscan countryside

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Lucca June 6th 2011

2 June to 6 June Update – Ambulances, missed flights & connections and, paradise. Spent a really nice evening (Wednesday 1 June) in inner London walking around enjoying the summer evening air (weather had warmed considerably to around 24 degrees). We had a very English dinner in a very English pub. A lovely end to our week in Britain. Got the EuroStar very fast train to Paris this morning. The channel section took just 20 minutes and was extremely under-whelming except for the knowledge that we were trundling some 100 metres below sea level at around 150-200km/h. Quite an engineering feat when you think about it. Katie got a little over-whelmed when we arrived at Gare Du Nord train station in Paris. It’s a busy place and we got pounced on (well not literally), by beggars ... read more
Pimped Yammy in Paris
Villa Clara - Lucca
Villa Clara - Lucca

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