My husband and I were only spending two days in Florence, but when the temperature soars to 95 degrees, it's time to get out of town and find a way to stay cooler. One of our favorite places from a previous trip to Italy was the city of Lucca, just about an hour train ride west, so we hopped aboard on Sunday morning and set off for another adventure. We didn't know that we would be the "chaperones" for hundreds (maybe thousands) of teens also heading west to the beach for the day!! We were in a sea of Italian teenagers - luckily we had seats but they sat on the floor and everywhere! It wouldn't have been so bad but it was hot and the train kept stopping and sitting - such is Italian train travel!
This was the stairs and door area when we were getting ready to get off in Lucca... good luck getting through there! I told Dave to just say "scusi, scusi" and push through or he would be stuck on there forever!
LOL - we made it and were relieved to be out in the fresh air again! Of course, if you know me, you know that the first thing I do is find the restroom, so at the Lucca train station I found the ladies' room...
Nice, huh?! At least it was free.....
Lucca is a walled city that became a Roman colony in 150 BC - once the walls were no longer needed to protect the city, the top of the wall became a promenade for walking and biking - it's just gorgeous and peaceful and shady!
Here's the outside of the old city and the wall...
We rented bikes for the day and headed straight for the shade!
As you ride around the top of the wall, there are places to go down and ride up and down and all the around the town. I love the freedom that you have on a bike - the only drawback is all the cobblestone streets - they are a killer on the tailbone!
We went to the little cafe on the right in the picture below three times during the day for something to eat or drink... love the shade of the umbrellas!
As we were biking along we passed this little parade... we have no idea what it was about but it was interesting!
Love the plane trees!
If you click on this next picture and enlarge it, you'll see the four young men who just happen to have medieval clothing on. It seemed very fitting!
I love this "Niagara" laundry - a little reminder of home!
How about this window box!!
I want to know how you get your bike out if it's the one in the back!
The cafes surround the ring of buildings that preserve the shape of the Roman amphitheater. It was built during the 1st and 2nd centuries and could accommodate over 10,000 spectators.
Here's a picture I found online...
We saw lots of interesting door knockers...
As we were turning in our bikes, we were greeted by another parade - this time in medieval dress.
I highly recommend biking in Lucca! It's a great way to see the town! Thankfully we were able to get a train before all the kids left the beach and have a nice ride back to Florence!
Of course, we had to end our day with another gelato from Grom...
and take in the beauty of the Duomo...
The Baptistry is being restored so it's completely shrouded in a fascade - it would be a bummer if you were visiting and never got to see it before!
The next day we boarded another train for Venice - one of my very favorite places!
Thanks for reading!! Have a good weekend!