The fabulous wall of Lucca is enjoyed by locals and tourists
Standing 40 feet high and 60 feet wide, and 3 miles around the city, it was originally built to protect but today has become a lovely park. You can walk, jog, run, bike, and even rollerskate. There are bicycle rental shops located in many places within the walled city. I rode my bicycle several times around the wall on a warm sunny September afternoon. It took about 20 minutes each time around. You can see views of gardens on patios, the church towers, and the city streets from on high. There are many paths, not stairs, that lead you to the top of the wall. Actually, once you’re on top, you don’t feel like you’re even on a wall, because it is so wide.
For my 4th Annual Italy Retreat for Women to live La Dolce Vita, we will visit the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera for 6 nights and then Lucca in Northern Tuscany, for three nights.
Lucca was founded in 180 B.C. as a Roman colony but the buildings are a mix of Renaissance and Medieval. What I notice is that there is a feeling of lightness in Lucca and some say it may be due to the fact that Lucca was ruled by women at different times. In the twelfth century, the Longobard Matilda, then two ladies who focused on public works and cultivation of the arts. Maria Anna Elisa Bacciocchi, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, was one of the female rulers. It is surrounded by mountains in the distance and a 30 minute drive to Via Reggio, on the Ligurian/Mediterranean shore.
I think many visitors to Italy agree, that one of the special tourist attractions, is people watching. For me it exemplifies la dolce fa niente, the sweetness of doing nothing. It’s easy here in Lucca to sit at the many piazze (town squares) to eat a meal or enjoy a gelato, and watch women pushing elaborate baby carriages, senior citizens on bikes, playing cards and teens playing tag, all in an almost synchronised dance.
The essence of authentic Italian shopping, eating, church viewing (40) and medieval towers, are all wrapped in a small beautiful package called Lucca. I think you’ll love it.
Have you been to Lucca? What do you like about it?
Photo Credit of aerial view: initaly.co.uk
Other photos from Lenora’s trip to Lucca
Source of wall photo: