Lucky In Lucca

by Anna
Piazza dell’Anfiteatro

We were lucky to be in the beautiful town of Lucca for four days, but even luckier to be spending them with Jay and Linda!! We were overwhelmed with happiness to see Johnny’s parents when we met up with them outside of our beautiful little apartment in Lucca last week. The apartment was situated between a music school and an amazing garden full of cats, so we were constantly entertained by sounds of violins, pianos, flutes and harps streaming through our windows, and watching the 15 or so cats and kittens frolic in the garden below. We also had an unbelievable view of the Torre Guinigi which is easy to spot because of its tree-topped tower.

We had a private concert from the music school across the street every day
The garden out our apartment window We had a perfect view of Torre Guinigi
Ciao! Our neighbors were cats…around 15 of them!

I had a friend in college who was from Lucca, and he told me that it was the most beautiful town in Italy. I always thought he was exaggerating and had some serious local pride, but after spending time in his hometown, I actually think he might have been right. Lucca is a seriously picturesque spot that has a way of just making you feel good while you are inside its lofty walls.

Facade of Duomo di San Martino Duomo di San Martino
Basilica of San Frediano

We spent our days wandering the pretty streets of Lucca, ducking in and out of stores, enotecas and gelaterias, and discovering new piazzas and churches around every corner, each more beautiful than the last. We also took advantage of the 4km wall surrounding the city. In perfect condition, the wall is like a floating park with tree-lined bike and walking paths, parks, cafes, picnic areas and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. The entire wall is also flanked by expanses of green rolling grass areas, complete with moats and bridges…basically a dog’s paradise.

Lucca’s tree-lined city walls
Our daily stroll along the walls Looking down at the open market from the walls
More good times on the walls
Lunchtime at Ristorante Antico Sigillo The lovely streets of Lucca
A view from the top of Torre Guinigi
Delicious dinner at Osteria Baralla
Salute! Cin Cin!

After indulging in some delicious local cuisine and cruising the walls and colorful streets for a couple of days, we decided to kick it up a notch and take a bike tour through Tuscany Ride a Bike outside of town for a wine tasting and lunch at an organic farm. We met our fellow bikers from Kauai, Toronto, Houston, Louisiana and Michigan, and our Italian guide, Andrea, at around 9:30am and headed out towards the countryside. We were immediately in awe of the beautiful scenery around us as we pedaled on bike paths along a river, over bridges, past farms, wineries and small villages, finally reaching our winery, Terre del Sillabo, after a couple of hours. We were greeted by the friendly owner and plates of her fresh-baked, still warm focaccia bread and were led to the back patio surrounded by vineyards for our wine tasting.

Riding along the river The intrepid bikers
We make it to the promise land
Terre del Sillabo Winery
Enjoying the vines And the winery
Yum Who needs Gatorade when you have wine?
Life is good

After three very large glasses of wine and a couple bottles to go, we hopped back on our bikes and headed for our farm, Agriturismo al Podele di Rosa. We were again warmly welcomed by the owner who showed us into his 300-year old farmhouse which was set with a family style table covered in plates of home-made local dishes made from home-grown ingredients. We spent another hour or so here, savoring every bite and every sip of wine and getting to know our fellow bikers. Needless to say, everyone was pedaling a bit slower on the way back from lunch, but luckily Andrea saved the shortest part of the ride for the way home, so we were back on Lucca’s green manicured walls before we knew it. A gelato cone on the walk back to our apartment created the perfect ending to an amazing day.

Our lunch spread at Agriturismo al Podele di Rosa
Food is a serious subject Bike parking only at the farm
The Tour de Lucca ends on the city walls

We were sad to say goodbye to lovely Lucca, but excited to head to our next destination, Cinque Terre!

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4 Responses to “Lucky In Lucca”

  1. SOOOO beautiful and fun – I want to be there now!!! Keep having adventures!
    L, Critter

  2. I love seeing you all together and having so much fun! Picture perfect weather, I might add 🙂 Crazy beautiful! xo-joni

  3. Nice photos! and Lucca is certainly a very nice choice to go!
    I was there a year back during autumn and i must admit that it is a very clean and nice town where its folks seem to lead a healthy lifestyle….
    🙂

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