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Lucca In The Rain

Lucca Travel Blog

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On my way

On Friday I headed out to a weekend trip to Lucca. I had been there once before but only for a moment really. All I could really remember were the walls and that it was beautiful.

 

The day started out pretty gloomy but by the time I had reached Lucca it was downright hot! After finding my hostel, which turned out to be fairly difficult since the map in my travel book was way skewed, I decided to spend the afternoon checking out some sights and getting a feel for the town.

 

I started off at a Villa that my guide book said had beautiful gardens. And once I got over the annoyance of having paid the extra euro to go inside the villa to see the very sad and uninteresting displays inside, I enjoyed it very much.

The villa - Name??

 

From there I headed to the botanical gardens. After all I am here to study Landscape Architecture and I have some catching up to do. It was very beautiful but I admittedly probably missed most of the important things. There was an incredible collection of succulents and some HUGE ginko trees. Also, some very cool trees whose roots stuck up like stalagmites (or is it –tites?).

 

As I walked around that day I noticed the extreme number of people riding bikes in this city. It was crazy, even a little old nun! I popped into the duomo to see the really old wooden crucifix they have there. And was pooped and went to my room to read a while.

 

After I had cleaned up for dinner, some very friendly Brazilians came in and we decided to have dinner together. They regaled me with tales of all the places they’d been so far and all the places they were going.

 

The next day dawned with heavy rain and all my plans of bike rides and beaches were dashed. So I bummed an umbrella from the guy at the front desk and decided to walk some more.

The gardens

 

Soon the rain had quit and I decided to chance my bike ride along the walls of Lucca. Their medieval walls are completely intact and the tops of them have been turned into a park for running/biking/strolling/sitting. So I had my hour of rent-a-bike and in a quick half-hour I was done so I rode through the market that I had seen from the wall and then the rain came again. So I spent a very nice lunch sipping wine and eating yummy food drying out from the end of the bike ride.

 

Then after some more strolling and a shower it was time for what I was to find out was the main event of the weekend. Now, I don’t know what it is called but the festival I was about to see was amazing. Candles are lit all over the city (along a parade route between the Duomo and Santa Croce) and the really old wooden crucifix that I had seen the day before gets marched from Santa Croce back to the Duomo where it lives. All the parishes from all around the area show up with their special idols and all the parishioners walk with candles along the parade route. It was incredibly beautiful and very cool. I met a group of people from DC there as a part of the Lucchese del Mondo. There are clubs all over the world that are of Luccan heritage that show up every year to march in this festival.

 

I was at the starting point of the parade and once all the parishioners and priests and medieval drummers had passed, everyone started heading up to the walls.  And after a bit of waiting and a bit of rain, the fireworks began. They were a little blocked by trees where I was but very pretty all the same.

 

And thus endeth my trip to Lucca. The next day I got up, checked out and headed home. I was tired.

jjbriggs78 says:
I loved Lucca. It also helped that there was a fun crew. I am pretty sure we stayed at the YHA and the dinner was so good. I still remember it...Squash Blossom cream sauce over pasta. I tried to re-make it last summer, but it didn't work.
Posted on: Oct 03, 2008
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On my way
On my way
View from the train
View from the train
The villa - Name??
The villa - Name??
The gardens
The gardens
From the gardens
From the gardens
The frescoes on the ceiling
The frescoes on the ceiling
Notice the wall beyond the garden
Notice the wall beyond the garden
Church under renovation
Church under renovation
Crazy root tree
Crazy root tree
Succulents
Succulents
Succulents
Succulents
Succulents
Succulents
Succulents
Succulents
Succulents - notice the small pamp…
Succulents - notice the small pam…
Succulents
Succulents
Giant Ginko Trees
Giant Ginko Trees
Crazy thorny Asian citrus tree
Crazy thorny Asian citrus tree
Santa Croce
Santa Croce
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
Lucca hearts bikes
The Duomo
The Duomo
Lucca hearts bikes - even the Nuns!
Lucca hearts bikes - even the Nuns!
The Duomo
The Duomo
Lucca
photo by: Miranda-Maas