Lovely Little Lucca

Today we continued our grand tour of Tuscany with a trip to Lucca. It’s a small, walled city in between Florence and Pisa. It’s on many lists of great Tuscan cities to visit, and was well worth the trip!

The weather today was absolutely perfect. So what was our first instinct once inside the city? Find a restaurant with sunny, outside seating of course! That was a little harder than expected considering the giant WALL that surrounded us. We settled for the Osteria da Nonna Clara, a cute little restaurant with a wide array of traditional Italian and Tuscan dishes. I got a pasta with several different types of seafood mixed in, including a whole jumbo shrimp!

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Lots of delicious meals we all shared! Plus several baskets of free bread (which is rare in Italy!)

After lunch we toured the city. Lucca doesn’t have a lot of famous landmarks like Florence or Pisa, but lots of beautiful churches and buildings sprinkled across the small town. There’s also a huge square that used to be an amphitheater. There we sat down at a cafe and enjoyed drinks and soaked up the remaining sun as it went down.

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Built on the ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheatre in the 2nd century, it is now home to several shops and has concerts in the summer.

Since we arrived late and had a long lunch, by the time we were ready to see the sites a lot of them were closing. There were several towers we could’ve gone up in, but they closed a half hour before we arrived. We got to go into a couple of the churches, which, like most ancient churches, we absolutely beautiful and filled with paintings and carvings and, in one, a corpse in a glass box.

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Guinigi Tower. Closed right before we got there 😦
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San Michele Church. It’s square was the hub of the city because it was an area of the Roman Forum.
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San Frediano. It’s got a Byzantine mosaic, but it’s more notable for the dead body (Kind Richard of Wessex, who died in Lucca in 722).
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Church di San Martino. It said we weren’t allowed to go in if there was a service going on, but we went in anyways. Then we jumped in front of it.

Of course we couldn’t miss the wall itself! It stretches 4.2 kilometers all the way around the city, and is popular for joggers and walkers and bikers. If we had arrived earlier we would’ve rented bikes, but instead we just strolled along and took pictures of the beautiful setting sun.

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And took pictures on a probably pretty old lion.

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We finished our tour of Lucca with, what else?, gelato! This time it was a “new” kind of gelato shop, where it had self-serve gelato and toppings we could pick ourselves, and pay by the ounce. So every froyo place in America. But the gelato was delicious and handmade in the back of the store every morning! I got chocolate and dulce de leche with raspberry drizzle and cinnamon chips. Very, very delicious way to end the accidental food tour of a wonderful little city!

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