Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Lundburys In Lucca!

We were down at the station early in the early, in fact, that I needed a 2nd cup of espresso to wake up!
By 8:00 a.m. we're on our way to Lucca, a walled city dating from medieval times.  I had read quite a bit about this small city and thought it would be an interesting day trip.  It's about an hour and a half from Florence by train.

This trip was through some very pretty countryside, with mountains in the distance, vineyards and some  pretty villas:
We pulled into Lucca about 9:30 and walked towards the wall.  The train station is outside the walled city, but it's a short walk.   The wall was build in the 1600's. Here's our first view of the wall:

There are several entrances around the wall, and this one had a few twists and turns:
The path took us into a tunnel, and up some winding stairs:

When we got to the top of the stairs, we were actually on top of the wall! This wall is quite wide--there is a walking path/bike path on top of the wall, as well as chestnut and plane trees on each side.  Occasionally, there is even a car driving along the top!
 There are also several old guard buildings or lookouts:
At each main entrance, there are guard lions!:
The view from the wall down into the old city is great, and we knew we were in for an interesting visit:

We walked along the path for a ways, and saw a group of women sitting on wall, and they asked David to take a group photo.  They were sure funny, and looked like they were having fun!  They returned the favor by taking our picture:
We found some stairs going into the old city, and down we went!  First stop was at a small cafe for breakfast and an another espresso, then we were off to explore.  We didn't have any destination or specific sights in mind, we just wanted to relax and enjoy this pretty little city.  The streets are very narrow and one way, heavily trafficked by cars, motor cycles, lots of bikes and pedestrians.  It's a little scary!
I don't think I've ever been in a town with so many bike riders, from the very youngest, up to seniors.  It's just how they get around town!  But I did learn that I've been dressing all wrong for our bike rides in Spudville!  I think I'll trade in my bike shoes and bike shorts for a pair of heels and pencil skirt:
We wandered around these pretty streets for a couple of hours, popping into a few interesting stores.  We only looked in two churches today--must be a record for us!

Here's an especially interesting store, I love the name. (and the bald man in front of it!)

It was time for lunch, so we chose a small cafe and shared a really good pizza:
While we were eating our lunch there was a man just a couple of doors down playing some great music on the clarinet.  He was really good!  It was a lovely spot for lunch, and the music made it perfct:

We thought we needed a little bit of desert, and we happened upon this chocolate shop, so we went in a bought a couole of biscotti and some really good chocolate.  The nice lady even gave us free samples!

Now that we were fueled and rested, we decided it was time to rent bikes and ride the wall around the city.  We found a rental spot right near the wall, picked out a couple of decent looking bikes ( I had to remind Mr Picky that we weren't buying the bikes, just renting them for an hour!) and we were off,  up the hill to the top of the wall.  Hmmmm...these bikes shift differently than mine back home!
But after a few starts and stops, we were cruising along the top of the wall.  It was a beautiful day for a bike ride, and the scenery just could not have been any better.  The bikes, however, were in pretty sorry shape, and I am thankful I have a close personal relationship with a very good bike mechanic!
Here we are with our bikes, which are appropriately named "Bizarri Bikes":

We rode all the way around the city in less than an hour, stopping to take some pictures and fill our water bottle:

 This is a tall tower we spotted off in the distance--it had trees planted on the top:
Our hour was just about up, so we rode back to the bike shop, turned in our bikes. and decided to head for the train station.  Of course, the station was  on the opposite side of the city, so we strolled the wall-top path to the station exit.  What a pretty walk!  We had really enjoyed our day in Lucca.

 We both felt pretty tired after our very strenuous day yesterday and our early morning start this morning, so  we decide to call it a day and head back to Florence on the 4:32 train.

  We can feel ourselves winding down.  We've been "on the road" for 3 weeks, and have another week to go--it's hard work being on vacation!

Tomorrow is our last day in Florence, we don't have exact plans yet, but I'm sure it will be wonderful!


  1. Neat idea to rent bikes and tour around town! Yum, the pizza looked so good! I've really, really enjoyed your blogging and pictures so far- but wonder --- Where in the world are the Lundbury's going next week?

  2. Debber--we are off to Rome! We catch a 9:30 train tomorrow morning (that's Friday) We have a short visit in Rome, we leave for home on Wednesday.

  3. Another wonderful day. The countryside is lovely and pictures from Lucca really great.

    What a wonderful place to enjoy a bike ride. I think you would really be stylin in a pair of heels and a pencil skirt for your bike rides in Spudville.

    Your lunch looked delicious and I am glad that you also enjoyed some dessert---can never go wrong with chocolate.

    As always, your blog is great and Dan really liked the pics from Lucca.

    We love you guys

  4. What a beautiful picture of you and Dave - you should have it framed. Both of you look so happy and I can tell that you are having a wonderful time. Look forward to hearing about all your adventures when you get home. enjoy, enjoy!