Sunday morning, we parted from sunny Florence and started our day out with a 3 hour stop to the town of Lucca.
Located in between Florence and Pisa, Lucca sits nice and nestled within its own original stone wall.
To be honest, I imagined Lucca to be this little town that was like any other one we’ve touched.
Let me tell you, I was completely wrong. When you enter the city through a beautiful stone arch, you are greeted with cute apartment buildings in the colours light red, yellow, or burnt light orange. Fun fact: you are only allowed to paint your house in that colour within the city walls!
Strolling through the meandering street you find yourself inside the Piazza Anfitearo. Today it looks like an oval town square with surrounding apartments. Though, 2000 years ago, it was used as a gladiator arena! You can still see the ground level arches that were the entrances back then. Today they are entrances to small shops!
Having partook in a short waking tour, I learnt many things that made me realize Lucca was no ordinary town.
1) It has the second church in Italy that portrays a mosaic display on its front. (The other one is in Florence).
2) Every July it hosts a music festival in one of its squares. A guest artist included Arcade Fire!
3) There are/were a total of 42 Churches within the small town. I can’t remember, but it was something like that.
4) The composer, Puccini was born here!
5) Lucca wasn’t bombed during the Second World War.
6) You can do the most amazing bike ride along the wall! Sorry Vancouver, this almost beats the seawall…
7) They are known for this amazing tortellini with meat sauce..omnom!
Knowing about this fantastic “must-try” food, we did as any tourist would do and order it for lunch along with a shared bruschetta and a glass of aperitif!
We each rented a bike for €2.50 each. After some surprising difficult coordination (it’s been a while), we were in our way. Once falling in a ditch attempting to shoot a video, and telling myself to snap out of it– biking eventually became a breeze.
In the end it felt about 3-4 km around the entire circuit. While biking, you see old Lucca to your left and newer Lucca to your right. You would ride under tree canopies and look up to blue skies. When maneuvering around pedestrians, all you gotta do is ring that bell on your handle and they would move aside – except mine was gimped and made a broken sound…oh well, they still moved!
All in all, Lucca has been one of my favourite stops we’ve made so far. Not only did it completely surprise me, but It also made me appreciate Italy’s history a bit more than I did before.
That’s how I saw the world yesterday. I hope you’re day was just as lovely.