Saturday, December 03, 2011

Umbrellas of Lucca

Neither rain or drizzle could dampen our enthusiasm for Lucca

Despite a cloudy and overcast morning we pressed on to Lucca. The drive was around Pisa and up into the hills. The city is completely walled and has been made into a park with a walking/bicycle path all around. Outside are wide green spaces separating the old city from the new. It was lovely to leisurely walk around the city. We had plenty of company even on this gloomy day.
Then we headed into the narrow atmospheric streets. Our first visit was to the Palazzo Pfanner as we had admired the beautiful gardens from the walk on the walls. The collection of antique medical instruments was very interesting and the palace very lovely.
Our stomachs were rumbling so we started looking around for a good place to eat. Honoree spied a young man running along with boxes of spaghetti and followed him. She figured there had to be some food happening soon. We entered a close by restaurant right behind him and found a really charming place we would have overlooked if not for her quick thinking. Unfortunately we can't recommend it as I forgot to write down the name - sad, as it was great. All I can say is when you leave the Palazzo Pfanner, turn left, walk about a block and it's on the corner. Still I don't believe you can miss if you eat in Italy.
Despite the drizzle we walked all over the city, really enjoying the ambiance of the place. I'd love to return here and stay for a few days in nicer weather. This and our next day in Florence were the only damp days of our trip and in neither case did it actually rain. Lucky us!
A school group leaves the Basilica of San Frediano,
Romanesque started in the 6th C with a beautiful
13th C mosiac 
Chartreuse is a great umbrella color

The path along the wall is big enough for lots of people and
goes around the entire city

You can see the walls themselves here and one of the paths
that lead from the old city to the new through the wall. 

Red brick and soft yellow paints make mellow combinations

The beautiful garden of the Palazzo Pfanner. 

The external staircase is very lovely and offers view of the
garden and the exterior.

The Roman amphitheater was here. They paved over that to
leave a piazza but left the circular group of buildings around it.

This fashionable leather store is
headquartered in Lucca, famous for
it's leather goods. 

Each of these columns is unique and beautiful.

It's interesting to see the back of the facade. St. Michael is
well propped up.

Duomo de San Martino, built over a
Roman forum in 795 and rebuilt in 1070

Close up of the top portion 

I loved this lion peeking out

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