Chapter Wanderlust: Lucca

This is going to be a fairly short post on Lucca, since I find it not to be too interesting! After all, at this point in time, I have already been to more than 10 cities and Lucca just turns out to be a disappointment in the trip. I am sorry to say this as Lucca turns out to be the second worst city that I have been to in this trip, with the first being Naples! I expect slightly more from this city after all the area of Tuscany seems to be the gem in Italy! Thankfully, I got a nice hotel to stay at and found some amazing pizza! I also have to say that my mood was kind of destroyed upon learning of the TrenItalia strike that is coming up. It will clash with my day of travels into Cinque Terre, which I have been looking forward to! More than half of my stay was spend sorting my travel plans out! However I would still like to share a little highlight on this city that is encircled with the renaissance city wall!

Lucca is kind of a small city and pretty quiet as well. Perhaps it is the season that I was there but it was never crowded from what I have see! With a population of only 90,000 people in Lucca and it seems not to be a popular touristy place as well. Most of the rail connection are also routed through Florence or Pisa! As mentioned previously when I shared about my stay in Hotel Ilaria Residenza dell’Alba! The city of Lucca is surrounded by the city wall and the walls are extremely well preserved. In fact you have to get past the walls if you want to enter the city. This makes it kind of unique! The train station is located just outside the walls and take about 15mins  to reach the hotel that I was staying in!

Overall, I find the city kind of quaint and peaceful! It has a very rustic feels to me! Even though I rated it one of my worst for a tourists. It seems like a nice place to stay when I am retiring, a place that is small enough to know all the neighbours and live out in peace! Of course, the main sight in Lucca got to be the San Martino Duomo and the tower next to it!

My favourite place in Lucca definitely got to be the walk that I did around the city walls. In fact of all the medieval cities that I have been to, I have to really say that the walls are very well maintained. It is 4km long and rather broad at the top. The walls are also a popular place for walks and runs. It is definitely pretty romantic to take a stroll here! It seems like sometimes there are event being held here as well! While I was here I saw workers tearing down some stands and stuff! It was lovely during the time that I was here, the weather was pretty good, not too cold or hot and it is nice to see the leaves changing color while the weather gets cold. A little mixture of yellow and green! Lovely!

The main streets around Lucca are like a typical Italian town, surrounded by historical buildings that are lined with shops in the first floor. One very unique place is the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. It is now a public square, or in fact circular in shape. It used to be a Roman Amphitheater back then in the 2nd Century! Currently the buildings are build on the grounds of the previous theatre. There isn’t much here except restaurants.

While I didn’t dine out much in Lucca, i had the opportunity to have some pizza at Piazzeria Da Felice. Which turns out to be one of the best and my personal favourite in Lucca. It is a kind of skinny pizza, much different from the one you find in southern Italy. Piazzeria Da Felice is bustling, I was there during dinner time and there was never a dull moment in it. I stand a good 5 mins there without knowing how to order! In fact many people are here to grab slices of their pizza. The main one that they do are the simple margarita! Which just flies off the pan when it is out of the wooden open oven. It seems that this place have much history upon looking at the memorabilia that they have in the store. For the standard pizza that they are making, you can order by slices, while for the special one you can go by half a pie or a whole pie. Prices are really affordable!

I got 2 huge slices for only 2.64 Euros. Yes they go by weight here and it only cost 1.20 Euros per 100gram. In fact by counting it will cost only around 14 Euros for a whole pizza? It was delicious! By having such high demand, practically every slice was fresh out of the oven. The cheese was crispy and the dough was thin. Together with the sweet bustling tomato base. Yum!

To be very frank, Lucca isn’t very well connected! Most of the train connections have to go pass Florence and Pisa. After all it seems kind of quiet for the timing that I am here. Furthermore, if you are planning to rent a car, you gotta settle for a manual one, it is almost close to impossible to find a automatic transmission car in Lucca. I was trying to figure out an alternative to get to Cinque Terre after knowing about the train strike. But found no luck in doing so. Thankfully I managed to catch the earliest train out at 6am! If not my only alternative would be taking a private transfer that cost a whooping 160 Euros! This was how I spend my little 2 days in Lucca. It was still nice to experience the city!

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