Hmmm Hi I’ll get to the permanent mark shortly but it’s been a full day so I’ll break it down.
Left Santa Maria del Giudice with some sadness. All too quick.
15 mins later I was in Lucca. A quick tip if you go. Don’t drive into the walled city but park just outside Much easier and way cheaper. It’s 4 times the price within the walls.
And the walls……people told me that I’d find Lucca to be like a mini Lecce and it really is. I love that you walk through gateways to enter the city. And these walls can be walked on!!
Once inside I stopped for an Espresso and saw I was right next to the Puccini Museum. It’s actually the house he was born in and grew up in and after selling it, rebought it once his operas started to be successful. Now flats, the upper flat has been carefully restored and is a homage to him and his music.
One of my favourite operas is La Boheme. To see the original music and costumes was magical they’ve also turned the storeroom into the Garret from Act 1.
Then there are costumes from other operas including Tosca and Tarandot. I’ve also included a picture of the bedroom. It looks like wallpaper but it’s actually tempered paint. Amazingly clever visually.
And as you wander throughout…his music is playing.🎼🎼
From there I went to Chiesa (church) of San Michele in Foro Looks like a wedding cake . It’s in a beautiful open piazza surrounded by buildings from a time gone by.
And inside as you’d expect many frescos I was taken, however, by the organ with its balcony and the pulpit. Not sure why I’ve been in many churches in Italy. I guess some hit a note.
Now one thing I’ve noticed re the difference between Puglia and Tuscany The rich in Puglia showed off their riches by building churches, the rich in Tuscany built towers….lots of them. In Lucca there are two of note.
The first is Torre del’Ore. The tower of time. You can just see the clock on the side of my picture.
The story goes that the ghost of Lucinda Mansi inhabits it. From Lucca, she sold her soul to the devil for youth and beauty for three decades. When he came for his debt she climbed the clock tower to try and stop time. The devil caught her and took her soul.
The other tower of note is Torre Giungi. It has 7 oak trees planted in a u shape flower bed at the top!
Lunch calling, I meandered the streets to Piazza Anfiteatro. When I say meander I try and watch where the crowds go and walk down the other street….you discover more
As I sat down to eat, a delightful father and son appeared in the centre of the piazza, saxophone in hand and proceeded to serenade the cafe visitors. I didn’t mind it added atmosphere. I settled for an antipasto of Carpaccio of bresaola and rocket and Parmesan… delicious and lovely piazza to people watch.
A stroll post lunch led me to the main Cathedral. Cattedrale di San Martino. As always very impressive outside and in. Beautiful mosaics and frescos
You cant come to Lucca and not go for a walk on the walls. They are very wide and are part of daily life here. An evening stroll apparently is a must.
Time to move on to my new accommodation south of Siena.
A rather dull motorway drive including the biggest parked up traffic jam I’ve ever seen….and I’ve been on the M25 at rush hour in the UK! Fortunately I was turning off at that point and followed the cars zooming past the jam and on my way…..
The road became more appealing as soon as I left the motorway but finding my accommodation was a challenge! I ended up going up a dirt path, getting stuck and here it comes…. turning the car round and scrapping the back along a low wall that I thought I’d accounted for… ouch. That’s why we have insurance though. At least no one was hurt…just my pride.
I finally found the place, a converted farm in the middle of nowhere just outside Monteroni d’arbia. It was worth it. It’s stunning. My view from the door
Basta (enough)…a late night swim, shower and having written this…bed.