Lucca: Inside the Ramparts
Entrance into the old town, nearest the train station
I arrived in Lucca, only after taking 3 trains to get here from Manarola (even though they are close). It takes me about 5 minutes to get my bearings because the main street I needed was not labelled at all (literally the one in front of the station). Regardless, someone from a rental shop sent me on my way.
Not even 100m into the city (outside the wall) and I’m greeted with some graffiti by Piazzale Risorgimento. Clearly, more drug inspired than anything. I took a few others, but will share them later in some cool Graffiti art posts! Here’s the one that got me. Anyone like The Brave Little Toaster?
RIGHT!? WHAT HAPPENED, BRO?
The drug inspired graffiti did not deter me from enjoying this city. In fact, I’m glad I’ve shifted my plans and spent 4 nights here before moving to Bologna, tomorrow.
I spent all of my 4 days/nights inside the walls. At first, I walked the whole perimeter and scoped out my favourite tower. The next three days (including today) were spent walking the streets. I honestly think I have been down every path in this city!
The best parts are off the main streets. 50 meters in and you will find yourself at total peace. If you stop walking for a second (in certain areas) you will hear almost nothing. Without delving into the corn flakes, it was totally peaceful:
Aaaaand then you take a few steps and hear 4 older gentleman arguing over what sounded like a poker game (or were they just talking?). I enjoyed standing outside their door for a listen :p
There’s lots to share later, but here were my favourite moments in Lucca:
1. Eating at Trattoria da Leo!
Trattoria da Leo was the thanksgiving dinner I never had, and it will get an entire post dedicated to it. The service was good, atmosphere was great, and their food was soooooooo homey!
I was super excited about the place because I thought it was more “out of the way”. Turns out, many people come here because it’s listed in Rick Steve’s! Well, shit. Haha. Regardless, it has become my favourite restaurant in Italy. One of those meals that made me want to cry it was so good.
2. Torre e Palazzo Guinigi
This tower stuck out during my initial 1hr walk around the ramparts. This is because tourists have viewing opportunities on the very top, and they have trees growing there as well! It costs €4 to go up (exact change only). I think it’s worth it because it gives some pretty solid views of the city:
Lucca has a bunch of little churches, towers, and museums to see. However, I believe your time would be better served walking the streets, off of the main path. You will quickly see that it’s a fully functional city within the ramparts, and it is very safe and peaceful at any time (unless you’re by a wine bar.
I will expand on the future, but Lucca is a must visit. Whether it’s 1-4 days you are here, I believe anyone would enjoy the pace of this place. For me, it knocks all of the big Italian cities out of the park.
Next: Bologna (Oct 19-22)
Categories: Current: Europe 2015