Tuscan Charm

Trip Start May 13, 2008
Trip End Jun 12, 2008

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Thursday, May 29, 2008

After a lovely meal, nice music and a couple of glasses of wine:
For the first time I have fallen in love  with a location.  Never before that I recall have I wondered around feeling comfortable, happy and impressed all at the same time.  Maybe it is today's contrasting experiences: from country to commercial to classy.  As usual my ideas are in front of my fingers and wordswork, I am talking about the town of Lucca.  Coming here after leaving Torgiano this morning to go to Pisa is akin to finding an oasis.  In the past the town of Lucca has literally been an oasis when the river Serchio flooded the surrounding countryside but due to the famous city walls of Lucca the town was dry.
Finding this oasis was again an experience with destiny.  I left my familiar rest spot in Torgiano to see some sights; the leaning tower of Pisa has always been an object of fascination just like for every school boy, so to Pisa it was.  Drive went well, found a park easily and walked around.  All collected together, like an old lady with her finest jewellery, Pisa has all in one square an amazing collection of architecture, not just the tower but a fine Cathedral and Baptistery.   With this unfortunately comes stall after stall of tourism supported trinkets.  The Architecture was great but the feeling from the surroundings was not - too much "Sell, Sell, Sell"
I nearly stayed the night but my loose hotel reservation fell through and I must admit I was not upset by this at all.  I had read that Lucca was pretty, so I thought I will just drive to Lucca (40min) and see what I can find.  I will add that I had already tried to book somewhere earlier but they were full till Saturday, a good sign I thought just bad luck for me.  Anyway I drove towards Lucca feeling I would find something, at least this time unlike two weeks earlier I was not jetlagged and desperate to find an abode.  I stopped on the outskirts and rang another hotel, www.allacortedegliangeli.com  and they had a room and carparking, not cheap but Lonely Planet called it 4 star and boutique, it sounded good.
"Good" falls well short, it is fantastic!  Friendly service, beautiful room complete with a ceiling fresco with Roses as my room is called Rose.  Full SKY TV (English speaking television), free internet and a Spa bath.  Totally wasted on 'just' me, this is a hotel for whispered promises, expressions of desire and actions from the heart, oh well I will still just have to make the most of it AND NEXT TIME TANJA IT WILL NOT BE JUST ME : )
After relaxing in the room for an hour, I put on my evening best as I am in Italy and walked around the streets of Lucca.  My words fail me again but this place has class, and it's not trying it just HAS.  Cars are basically forbidden within the city walls, so walking around the curved paved streets is relatively safe - just beware of the stately looking gent on the 'PILO' branded  bicycle who maybe after drink or two is a little more or less determined to make his destination.
OK, I interrupt my own chronological recount of this experience because it just got better.  I am currently sitting at an outdoor restaurant, under a large umbrella listening to jazz and it has started to rain.  The sound of the rain on the umbrellas, the smell of fresh moisture after a hot day here (32 degrees plus) is magical.  Staying just one night I think not!
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