Saturday, October 1, 2011


The resort arranged a brief afternoon trip to Lucca. I’m sure there is more to this town than we had time to discover.

The town is still enclosed by its ancient wall and has expanded upward, not outward. From the streets, all you can see is tall, old buildings rising above you. In some places, even the wall isn’t visible.

Throughout history, Lucca has had three walls. The first was a rectangular structure built by the Romans. A larger stone wall was built in medieval times. When cannons were invented, the medieval wall was reinforced. The Lucchesi built a 100-foot wide mound of dirt faced with bricks and devoted a third of their income for a hundred years to its construction. As it turned out, none of the other city states ever attacked Lucca. Now the wall has been converted to a park with a bike path, lawns and trees. The rounded area you see in the picture was where they used to have cannons.

Lucca was known for its silk trade and wealthy merchants flaunted their affluence by building towers. At one time the Lucca had 160 towers. This is in a space enclosed by a wall with a circumference of only 2.5 miles. The most famous is Torre Guinigi. We had a hard time finding it because you can’t see it behind other the tall buildings. I had to take a picture into the sun, but it was the only glimpse I was likely to get. This tower has a rooftop garden, but we didn’t have time to take the tour.

A lovely old church.

The view from the train station while we waited to travel to Cinque Terre.

1 comment:

TimInMich said...

What a lovely place! The church with the fresco (?), the tower with the trees on top, the fortlets. Great pix -- makes me more determined to see cool places like this.