Friday, July 17, 2015

Lucca

The Walls Of Lucca, Italy

The Walls Of Lucca


Many have heard of Lucca, Italy.

Sadly, not everyone can say they have been there.

On more than one trip to Italy we breezed by the exit signs for Lucca. It wasn't until 2013 when we finally made the journey during our 3-month stay in Italy. How nice it is to say we've visited this awesome village!

Lucca is a wonderfully walled Tuscan town that effortlessly fell into our hearts just like Montepulciano, Cortona and Florence. The winter day was sunny and bright and we had our two best friends with us - our Labs Boomer and Harley. Sounds like the perfect ingredients for a day of fun. And it was.

We packed a picnic lunch and a light agenda that included nothing more advanced than walking the city. Somehow these simple ingredients created a super-special day that forever landed Lucca in our hearts.

Suggested Stay:

A day trip. Preferably longer.

A Map Of Lucca, Italy

Getting To Lucca:

We arrived to Lucca via car from our stay in Castiglion Fiorentino in eastern Tuscany. Our drive lasted just under 2 hours and was well-worth the journey. Situated near the Autostrada A11, Lucca's nearest and bigger city sister is Pisa which is only 17 kilometers away (about 30 minutes via car or train).

Must See & Do:

Lucca's City Walls - Lucca's signature feature is its long medieval city wall that surrounds the village. The wall originally sat just inside a moat that wrapped Lucca like a halo and you can still see evidence of the moat in the recessed grade adjacent to the various walls. A great way to see the perimeter of the original city is to enjoy a leisurely 360 degree "loop-de-loop" walk all around it ... then venture into the inner city streets for close-up adventures. A walk or run along the wall is about 3 miles and we enjoyed every step. You can see more of Lucca's walking routes here at Map My Walk.

Piazza dell'Anfiteatro - I needed a wider lens to capture all the beauty of this elliptical-shaped plaza. The origin of the piazza dates to the Middle Ages and it was built outside Lucca (now it looks to be a part of the city proper). The piazza has served in various forms over the years including an amphitheater for gladiators and "beasts," a city market and a meeting center for the residents of Lucca. Click the pic above for a larger view!

Basilica di San Frediano, Lucca, Italy

Basilica di San Frediano - The architecture of this Romanesque church will set your senses on an adventure of art, color and texture. We enjoyed the mosaic of The Ascension of Christ the Savior as the sun said "ciao" for the day and daylight and nightlight exchanged positions - this is when the mosaic reflections truly come to life.

Walking the walls of Lucca, ItalyTower Guinigi - Walking the city wall we eyed one of the few towers of Lucca - it had some trees that had sprouted on top. I later learned this was not an accidental sprouting - the Guinigi Tower has a rooftop garden tucked beneath large oak trees. A walk to the top will treat you to a birds-eye view of Lucca below.

Erbario Toscano - With two 80 pound Labs by our side we couldn't go in many places without one human doggie sitting streetside. One shop that was our exception was the extremely dog friendly Erbario Toscano where the shop attendant graciously invited our entire pack inside the well-appointed store. We enjoyed a long conversation while admiring the shops beautiful products which are truly suspended between art and beauty. Rose. Spicy Vanilla. Royal Grape. Black Pepper (for the men) and more. You'll surely find their fragrances for the heart, home, hair or body a delight! We left with many samples and a rose-scented candle for our new Italian foster Mom Flavia.

Visit Erbario Toscano online - they recently launched in the US and are offering free shipping for orders of $45 or more. What could be greater? Visiting one of their six Italy locations in person!

Even More Lucca:
We loved Lucca so much that when we adopted a Chesapeake Bay Retriever his new name was none other than Lucca. Now everyday we have a sweet, sweet reminder of this great city.

Cheers to you, Lucca!


This picture is from the July 2015 evening when he received his new name. We celebrated by making a batch of my spicy margaritas - you can get our home grown recipe here.

Want More Lucca?

Of course you do! Have a look at more pictures of Lucca here on FTLOI Flickr.

Our Next Stop?

Monterchi, Italy. Catch a visual preview here on Flickr.

for the love of : italy

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