Villas & Beach time:Torre Del Lago,ViaReggio&Lucca

Trip Start Aug 21, 2012
Trip End Dec 15, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hotel Eurostars Toscana
What I did
Villa Verdi
Caffe Bei & Nannini - Gelato!

Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Sunday, September 23, 2012

We woke up and went straight to visit Verdi's Villa near Busseto. It was this huge mansion that he build as a place to escape from all the people in the city. It was by the lake and back into the woods so there were a ton of mosquitoes and we were eaten alive (especially because I am allergic I had welts all over my body). So I had to go sit on the bus after about 20 mins with Ashley because we were getting sick from all the bites. We were there so early in the morning it was pretty damp which is why I think the bugs were so intense.But his house was really pretty from what I saw. It is crazy how everything is still exactly how they left it and there is so much details put into every inch of the house. I got to see his garden which was the best part of the whole place so I wasn't really upset. It was really cool and definitely my favorite part. It was so peaceful and secluded; he even had sand put down on the walking paths throughout the property so that there was minimum noise as people walked around.  
After the rest of the group came back to the bus we drove to Viareggio which is a small beach town right on the coast because we had extra time to kill before our tour of Puccini's villa. It was such a pretty town. I loved everything about this small beach town. If you looked one way it was the ocean and to the other side it was mountains. Such a pretty place. We got lunch and ate it on the beach then went for a walk down the coast. There were a lot of people trying to sell knock off items; Sara and I ended up buying fake Prada bags for only 15 euro (that he was offering for 50) and it was such a good purchase because it really came in handy for the rest of the trip! Once we walked the coat we got gelato before leaving. I was sad to leave for sure.
Next, we went to Torre Del Lago which is a small town near a huge lake (hence torre del lago...tower by the lake) where another composer, Puccini, lived. We toured his home which was SO pretty. When we first got off the bus we were able to hang around the lake and explore but only for a little bit before the tour began. My favorite part was the scenery for this house but we were told that Puccini eventually moved because the land surrounding his villa started to become developed. The weather was so perfect and made the experience that much better! 
Once the tour was over it was back on the bus to head to Lucca! We did not arrive until later that night. We were on our own for dinner this night so we went as a small group to a restaurant in the square. I had clam pasta for dinner which was really good and we shared a few bottles of wine. This city was really cute and there was a lot of people out even late at night. After dinner we walked around some more and stopped at a dive bar to listen to a band play. My teacher said it was his favorite city in Italy which I think is a little extreme because all the cities are impossible to compare in order to pick just one favorite but I definitely see why he loves it so much. It had such a strong cultural atmosphere it was very fun just walking through the different areas throughout the city. Similar to other cities I went to in Italy such a Venice, the roads were all stone that were formed by buildings so the walking areas were very small then it opened up into bigger squares. I wish we had cities like this is America! :)

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