My friends and I actually went to Lucca by train right after we left Pisa on the same day. In my opinion there wasn’t much to see in Pisa, the square has those four buildings I talked about in the previous post, some souvenirs for the tourists, and… that’s pretty much it. Pisa is good for a day trip, but not more than that, in my opinion. Although in all honesty we didn’t explore further than the square, so there may be some other interesting things we might have overlooked. If someone discovered other things in Pisa, maybe you can tell me~
I was told about Lucca by a colleague; he said it’s a nice scenic city. The interesting thing about this place was that the city is located inside very thick walls, which I later found to be from the Renaissance era. Interesting facts about the walls:
- They were used to race cars in the 20th century
- Each of the four sides of the wall is lined with a different tree species
Cool, right? We were taking a leisurely stroll, looking at people walking their dogs and cycling… on a wall! And we didn’t have to try to keep our balance on the wall, thank goodness, ’cause I can’t balance to save my life!
We planned to walk all the way around the wall, but halfway through we gave up and went down into the city. So much for a healthy walk (sheepish smile). It’s a nice, seemingly calm and peaceful place. I remember seeing a few cute shops, and there was an adorable one with dolls and other knick-knacks girls would absolutely love.
While browsing in the shop we heard some commotion outside. Being the enthusiastic tourists that we were, of course we ran outside to see what the noise was about. Apparently a group of people wearing cool costumes were walking in a procession around the city. Looking up Lucca I found that the Santa Croce procession goes on 13th of September. I thought we were there on 25th of September, but… whatever. It was such a fun, unexpected occasion to witness!
We also visited the Piazza Anfiteatro, where the buildings were built to form an oval shape. It was built for entertainment purposes, like spectacles and gladiator games. It’s difficult to capture its elliptical shape in a photo, but we tried our best:
The Guinigi Tower, one of the few remaining inside the walls, was supposed to have a hanging garden on its roof. Unfortunately, we did not know of this at the time, and just passed by the tower. Such a waste!
In the end for me Lucca is a very nice, pretty interesting town. It’s nice for a relaxing walk or cycle on its walls and a short visit to the city, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it for people on a short visit to Italy. Some places more deserving of a visit in Italy will be covered in future posts. Stay tuned!