Exploring Lucca

Trip Start Sep 17, 2009
Trip End Nov 02, 2009

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Where I stayed
Vittorio Apartment

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Thursday, October 22, 2009

After a slow morning because it was raining we jumped at the chance to go out when it started to clear. Lucca is surrounded by a complete wall from the Renaissance period and we had to walk under the wall through a passageway. First of all we came across the San Martino Cathedral which looks spectacular from the outside but was largely covered with scaffolding on the inside. You could still see the main attraction which was the marble tomb of Illaria del Caretto, second wife of Paolo Guinigi who died in childbirth at 24. It is a beautiful tomb. There was also the Volto Santo an image of Christ on a wooden crucifix dated to the 11th century, carved by Nicodemus who witnessed the crucifixion. We then walked to the Torre Guinigi which has 230 steps and has a fantastic view over Lucca. This tower has holm oak trees on top which self-seeded (via pigeon droppings I'd say) and actually looks fantastic from the ground.  We then walked to Piazza Anfiteatro which is an eclipse of houses built on the foundations of what was a Roman Amphitheatre and has lots of cafes and restaurants where we had lunch. I had a bruschetta which was a huge piece of bread. The girls had a hot chocolate which was a speciality of the house.

We had a look at a few shops but could see these dark clouds coming over and soon there was a downpour so we sheltered under an arch of the wall (with umbrellas). We were amused by a guy getting around selling umbrellas to all of those caught without one- very entrepreneurial.

After the rain was over, we went to check out the bike hire for another day and then went for a walk on the wall which is as wide as a road and has trees planted along the edges (it was a woman who organised the planting a long time ago but I can’t remember who). The leaves were starting to change colour and it was beautiful. Many people walk and ride bikes along here or just sit on the seats "smelling the roses" or even at the tables playing games. We did see a couple of cars driving along it but I’m pretty sure that is illegal. We decided that we need to build something similar around Kiama.

We walked along to the next “exit” and then walked along a street which had lots of shops plus we had gelato again- I had Sicilian Cassata which was very nice. The shops had clothes at a fairly reasonable price so Katelyn bought a jacket.  We headed home for the night to have another home cooked Italian meal.
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