We had the most unexpectedly lovely afternoon in Lucca yesterday.
The town was once the hub of silk production in Italy and is filled with churches and rich merchants’ towers.
The merchants built the towers with single rooms on each floor: bottom commercial, second living, third bedroom, etc and kitchen at the top with a roof garden.
Coooooooool. There’s still one tall one with trees on top of it in the centre of town.
I love the idea of roof gardens, one of my many dreams is to have a house on top of an apartment block surrounded by garden.
Lucca also has a city wall circled around it and the top has been turned into parklands with a promenade for strolling or cycling. Also very cooooooool.
The city really enchanted me. It’s also filled with gorgeous cobbled streets lined with old-world stores.
We enjoyed a relaxed lunch at the Osteria Via San Giorgio. DD ordered the most delicious steak I’ve tasted in forever and kindly fed me morsels while I sipped on white wine and nibbled on my risotto with eggplant and tomato.
Then we strolled through the streets to the central square: Piazza dell’Anfoteatro. It’s completely circular because it used to be a Roman amphitheatre.
It’s completely boggling, apartment blocks have been cobbled into the ancient structure, with bits of decorative marble sticking out randomly all over the place.
Our guide book describes it as an “architectural ghost” which is pretty evocative.
The amphitheatre once seated 10,000 people before it turned into a mishmashed residential site and town square.
I was dazzled.
After eating coffee gelato so strong that kids aren’t allowed to order it we hired bicycles and took a twirl around the top of the city walls, which was so much fun, even with a little rain pattering down. Then we descended into town and pedalled along cobblestoned streets back to the bike shop.
I loved every minute of Lucca. Definitely a holiday highlight!
Here are some snaps: