On an overcast morning, Michael & I drove to Lucca, about 40 minutes from the apartment in Ponte a Serraglio, to explore the ancient walled town.
We were entranced by Cattedrale di San Martino which dates back to the 12th century.
We walked the cobbled streets lined with enticing shops
and mysterious laneways.
We lunched in Piazza San Michele, next to San Michele in Foro which also dates from the 12th century.
The façade is decorated with coloured marble columns bearing carvings of animals and mythical creatures.
A thunderstorm and ensuing downpour put an end to our day in Lucca.
A week later, I returned with the girls on a glorious sunny day.
We walked the tree-lined pathways along the top of the wall, admiring the exquisite architecture
before indulging in a heart starter of chocolate croissant and caffè.
Some serious shopping ensued
and led to the beautiful Piazza della Anfiteatro. Once an ancient Roman Amphitheatre where gladiators and beasts engaged in mortal combat, the shops with their wondrous merchandise now inspire a more gentle encounter.
We passed many intriguing doorways on our way to lunch.
Paris Boheme in Piazza Cittadella was a fabulous lunch venue. The food was delicious and the passersby interesting,
though Luis was a bit shy.
Puccini’s house was nearby and his bronze eyes watched us a little disdainfully.
Atop San Michele in Foro, the 4 metre tall statue of St Michael the Archangel killing the dragon contrasted with the blue sky
as did this Madonna and child.
Torre delle Ore, a 13th century clocktower, is the highest of the city’s medieval towers.
Climbing the 207 steps to the top worked off some of our lunch and we were rewarded with breathtaking views.
I’m glad I hadn’t noticed the cracks before the climb.
A lot of bottoms have sat on these benches.
We eventually said goodbye to Lucca armed with wonderful memories.