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    • Day 34

      Day 30: Lucca - rest day

      May 22 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      I've done the math, and my guidebook tells me that I have walked 589 km from my starting point (Echevennoz), and I now have 405 km to go until Rome. Therefore, I'm officially over 1/2 way! The Puccini concert last night was great. I sat in the front row and made friends with a man from Israel. He's recently been cycling in Portugal. The world is full of the most interesting people. Today, I was a lot more laid back, I barely walked at all. I climbed the Guinigi tower, which has seven oak trees planted at the top, and provides some lovely views of Lucca and the surrounding mountains. I'm sharing a photo of the Labyrinth that is carved into one of the pillars at the Cathedral here. It is a welcome to pilgrims and a symbol of the spiritual path that leads the believer to salvation. I also visited the Via Francigena museum. There was not much there, some good videos, but not much else.Read more

    • Day 33

      Day 29: Lucca - rest day

      May 21 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Lucca has really captured my heart. There is something very special about this place. The fact that the "old city" is still entirely encased by walls totally blows my mind. You see many fortified cities in Europe, but I have never seen fortifications so complete (and so maintained). The existing wall dates from the 1500s (the original bulit in the 1200s) and are so thick - everyone who lived here must have felt so protected and safe. Honestly, the word impregnable comes to mind. I did the tourist thing today and walked the 4km of walls. I was told it would take an hour, but it took me most of the day as I would dip back into the town to see some sight of interest - mostly churches. I climbed three church towers and found that my fear of heights has not completely gone! My pilgrim credential got me free entry into the Basilica (San Frediano) and the Duomo (house of God - I love that description): Saint Martin's Cathedral. I'm off to a Puccini concert tonight (Puccini's women); Lucca is his birth place. I feel reinvigorated today and so glad I chose this place for some rest days.Read more

    • Day 32

      Day 28: Camaiore to Lucca

      May 20 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

      The Way (29 km) provided a nice change today. For the first 16 km, I walked through woodland and forest on wonderfully non sealed roads and pathways. A light rain started around 10:15 (it only lasted for about an hour), which was welcomed by me as I'd just reached the top of my third mountain for the morning and enjoyed the cool that the rain brought with it. It's surprisingly humid here. The road walking wasn't bad either, and the rain came back, heavier, at around 2 pm and really settled in by 5 pm - which was fine as I was safely in my accommodation by then. So, all in all, it was a very good day.Read more

    • Day 39

      Lucca, Tuscany has it all!

      June 16, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Luscany's most beloved artistic cities, an unskippable part of any tour of the region. Nicknamed the town of a hundred churches on account of its incredible number of places of worship, it is unique among city-states for having maintained its independence up until 1847.

      Historical circumstances demanded that Lucca fortify itself, and so its immense artistic and architectural heritage is ringed by a massive circuit of defensive walls.

      Lucca sits in the centre of the Lucca plain, a breathtaking landscape that was sculpted by the river Serchio and is dotted with medieval towns.

      So far it is my (Emily) favorite city. It has a small town charm throughout a medium sized city. It was incredibly beautiful and picturesque, benefiting from the Renaissance as well as an extremely clean city. It was packed with restaurants and shops as well as church's, bell towers and nature. We had a wonderful day exploring the history and beauty as well as walking on top of its famous fortified walls and taking in the nature, and mountains that surrounded it. The best part is this town want heavily touristed compared to many other cities we visited. It was a true hidden jem
      Read more

    • Day 14

      Irgendwas fehlt hier

      May 8 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 22 °C

      Da das Handy meldete, dass unser Auto vollgeladen ist, ging ich schnell zum Auto um es abzustecken.

      Auf dem Parkplatz angekommen, sah ich nur wie ein Auto ganz dich an unserem steht und dann wegfährt. Am Auto angekommen, stellte ich fest, dass vorne das Kennzeichen fehlt und einiges zerkratzt ist.

      Somit bin ich dem Auto hinter her, was zum Glück paar Lücken weiter geparkt hat. Die Frau stieg aus und war sich keiner Schuld irgendwie bewusst.

      Leider konnte Sie nur italienisch und die Übersetzerapp war auch keine Hilfe.

      Mein größtes Problem war, dass ich unser Kennzeichen nirgends fand. Irgendwann holte die Frau unser Kennzeichen aus Ihrem Auto.

      Da mittlerweile eine Strafgebühr wegen der Ladeüberziehung lief, zog ich erstmal das Auto vom Strom. Die Zeit nutze die Frau auch und schwang sich aufs Rad und war weg.

      Somit stand ich nun da. Kurze Zeit später kam der Rest der Gruppe und Andi und ich sind erstmal zur Polizei gegangen. Und wer saß da schon da. Die Frau von vorhins.

      Bei der Polizei konnte aber so richtig auch keiner Englisch. Naja mit Übersetzer haben wir das Protokoll ausgefüllt.

      Nun heißt es nach Deutschland kommen und hoffen dass mit der Versicherung alles klappt.
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    • Day 12

      Another travel day

      September 16, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 26 °C

      Back on the train to Pisa to connect to the train to Lucca. All of this is a little hard on Joe but he’s been a trooper. Up and down the stairs, crowd huddling in the shade, one person says—I just heard the platform was changed. The masses move to the stairs. Another says —no that’s a different train. Finally a real Trenitalia person appears and tells us to stay put. Then the train arrives and there is more confusion. Nothing that anyone who has traveled by train in Italy hasn’t experienced. And I am not knocking Italian trains. They put US trains to shame a million times over. Connection in Pisa was effortless, and even though I could not figure out how to get my ticket stamped, the very nice men in uniforms just told us to sit down and not worry. Note to self: next time, make sure to use the Trenitalia app. Much easier.

      Our hotel is in the middle of the historic center and about a 30 minute walk in Joe time from the train station. We walked because our B&B didn’t open till 2 pm. It was sunny and a bit hot but we went straight through the historic center.

      Joe napped while I walked around. I went to the plaza built where the Roman amphitheater once was and two pretty stunning Romanesque churches. All the columns and capitals were from Roman temples, so no display of Romanesque inside.

      After Joe’s nap and shower we grabbed a couple of slices of pizza from a place where the 35-50 person line had evaporated. Then the aimless walking took us to the entrance of San Giovanni, another Romanesque church that sits on a 9th century crypt, which sits on a 4th century baptistery, which sits on a 1st C BC Roman villa. Unfortunately no entrance was possible because of the Puccini (who’s from Lucca) celebration. But we learned there would be an opera concert in the church this evening. A performance of some “ greatest hits.” So we bought the tickets and had a light snack in a café nearby. In a beautiful square. Where we are waiting till concert time. This is a charming place, no doubt about it. Some tourists but most definitely a real city.
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    • Day 12

      Opera in the evening.

      September 16, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      At our Puccini celebration concert, we heard bits and pieces from Madame Butterfly, Toscana, Turandot, La Boheme. One tenor and one mezzo-soprano who alternated. Then a couple of pieces together. I’m no opera expert but even I recognized something from Madam Butterfly! Very fun in a Romanesque church no less.

      Then we took a stroll around the lit-up cathedral, followed by a light dinner in a cute café restaurant we passed on our way back to the hotel. This was a very nice intro to Lucca.
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    • Day 8

      Lucca war lecker

      August 9, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

      Lucca ist eine super schöne Stadt. Die gesamte Altstadt ist hinter einer großen dicken Mauer. 100te kleine Gassen, 100te kleine Läden, gefühlte 100 Kirchen, eine knapp 1000 Jahre alte Leiche und unglaublich leckere Pizza. Verrückte Mischung, bunte Leute und alles schön schattig und angenehm kühl.Read more

    • Day 10

      4. Ausflug nach Lucca

      June 11, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      Wir sind nun schon das zweite Mal mit dem Bike in Lucca gewesen. Eine tolle Stadt mit toller Architektur und der weltweit einzig erhaltenen Stadtmauer, die komplett um die Stadt führt! Man kann auf der Mauer in einem parkähnlichen Gelände die Stadt einmal komplett von oben umrunden…wirklich einzigartig und wunderschön! Heute Abend waren wir noch Abendessen bei dem ein Aperol und ein Espresso doppio nicht fehlen durfte! 🥰🙈🥳 Und natürlich musste ich auch noch in dem ein oder anderen kleinen Lädchen stöbern und habe sogar auch was gefunden! 😂Read more

    • Day 13

      Tourist day in Lucca

      September 17, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 29 °C

      I got back from my early morning walk at about 9:15, and based on Joe’s response, I was not too optimistic about how our day would unfold. But two cappuccinos and a big breakfast later, he was ready to go.

      The cathedral visit, and seeing the archaeological excavation under San Giovanni, were both top notch. All these layers, and bits and pieces of each layer remain, going back to the Romans from about 2 C BC. It was fun to climb around the sub-church layer, where archaelogists had identified the villa, the early Christian church, the Baptistery, and even a 12 C church destroyed later that century to make way for the current church. I climbed the two bell towers while Joe waited patiently. The Cathedral has an 8 C Volto Santo, which is a wooden crucifixion that comes with the tradition/legend that it was carved by Nicodemus shortly after the Resurrection. Carbon dating disproves that theory, but it has been confirmed as being from the 700s. They are currently doing serious renovation work on the cross and figure of Christ, so it is not hanging in its chapel. But the work space is glass-enclosed, so you can watch the work when it’s in process.

      After the cathedral and church, we found ourselves on the 16-17 C walls that surround the city. They replaced the original Roman walls, and the later medieval walls, expanding the perimeter of the city as they went. This is now an absolutely wonderful 5 km Via Verde - lots of bikes and carts and walkers on a shaded path that has multiple access points within and without the walls. Joe and I walked about 3 km on the path, and I’ve walked the whole circle twice by myself — once in early morning and once when Joe went to take his nap.

      Since we hadn’t eaten any lunch, our last pre-nap stop was at a café outside one of my favorite churches - San Frediano, with a white marble facade (brought over from the Roman amphitheater) and 12C mosaics on top.

      We’re doing a zoom baby shower for my niece and her husband in a few hours, and I will be there!
      Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Lucca, لوكا, Лука, Λούκκα, Luko, لوکا, Lucques, לוקה, ルッカ, Лукка, 루카, Luca, Luka, Lukka, لکا, ลุกกา, 卢卡

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