Italy
Piazza Napoleone

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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 9

      Last Day in Lucca

      May 19, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 64 °F

      Coffee is important here in Italy and we’ve embraced the moka each morning https://youtu.be/oVwtNYd3eQU
      We woke again to rain (ugh) and then I tripped the breaker by running the oven and dishwasher at the same time (at 6:30 am). Don’t ask! Unfortunately, I had planned on painting this morning but not in the dark (though I plan to explore abstract watercolors more fully at some point in the future.)
      So I couldn’t paint (more later on why this mattered).

      Class started at the amphitheater under a large umbrella and out of the rain (our group of sixteen whittled down to eleven hearty souls for the damp and soggy start at 10am). Two different restaurants opened at 11am and each turned on their own brand of music. Then construction work started on a nearby hotel and Tom gave up the competition… it was just too loud and chaotic.

      Plan B was a large covered plaza at the opposite end of town. I won’t bore you with the details but Google maps in Lucca is not my friend and I had to be rescued from the spinning blue arrow on my phone. Tom attempted another demo but five sets of boisterous school children descended to eat lunch there (escaping the rain) and after 20 minutes we decamped again because of the noise (ah, the joys of plein air painting).

      ‘Third time lucky’ as they say… we found a covered area in the Palazzo Ducale Di Lucca where they let us set up for the rest of the day. Despite the rain and two relocations, today’s instruction was probably the best out of the entire week. It involved specifics on brush strokes, color and composition—exactly what I needed. Tom also did a great demo of the covered archway. At 3:30 there was a gallery walk featuring finished student work (see video). I had planned to finish my arch from Pfanner and my tree lined walkway but as you know, we had a morning hiccup.

      Regardless, it was fun to see all the other finished results and hear Tom’s feedback. I did have the opportunity to ask him for advice on a watercolor I’d brought from home. I can’t wait to apply what I’ve learned this week. We joined five others for dinner at a seafood restaurant (the fried anchovy photo is for you Curt!)
      We head to Florence tomorrow.
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    • Day 9

      Lucca 1.0

      August 5, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

      Heute ist noch ein Tag der nicht so Heiß ist. Somit haben wir beschlossen, noch ein bisschen Kult zu machen. Was passt da besser als das um 180 v.Chr. gegründete Lucca. Zudem ist auch gerade Geschichte zum anfassen da.Read more

    • Day 191

      It was not meant to be.

      August 2, 2020 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

      We left Pisa, and my brother tipped me to go and visit Lucca.
      So. What would I tell him if I did not go?
      So we had to. It was just a small diversion from our route to Florence, and nothing to do anyway.
      And indeed. It was a charming city.
      We had a short but lovely morning in this cosy city.
      But our main aim was Florence.
      As we were spoiled by the "human"camping in Rome, we decided to spoil us again..
      Especially after the hot baking sun and blood thirsty mosquitoes in Pisa.
      Airconditined, a fridge,toilet an bathroom.
      And of course a good bed.
      As I just closed my eye's it was 19.30.
      Time flies when you fall asleep..
      ..
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    • Day 6

      @ Lucca :)

      September 4, 2021 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Eine weitere neue Stadt auf meiner kleinen Rundreise. Die Geburtsstadt von Giacomo Puccini ist komplett umgeben von einer sehr gut erhaltenen Stadtmauer, auf der man zu Fuß oder mit dem Fahrrad die ganze Altstadt umrunden kann.Read more

    • Day 4

      Zum Abend dann in Lucca 😊🍷🍕

      May 4, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Durch alle kleinen Gassen, vorbei an den Tischen der Restaurants, vorbei an den Postkartenständern … mitten durch sind wir GEFAHREN 😅 auch eine Einbahnstraße mussten wir in die falsche Richtung befahren - wir wären sonst niiiieee wieder raus gekommen 😂🚙🚙🚙 Wir sind heil und ohne einen Kratzer wieder angekommen 👍👍👍Read more

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