March 12, 2014

Gelato, Bicyles, and Tights

La-la-la-Lucca! The little Tuscan town of Lucca swept me away on Saturday into rays of sunshine, smiles, and happy humming. 

To enter Lucca you must first get past the mighty medieval wall. There are plenty of entrances, but we chose those most cryptic. I felt a little like Indiana Jones creeping through a lost tunnel. 

Popping out from the tunnel, you find yourself atop the city wall. The walls of Lucca once protected the tiny town, and now continue to do it favor by providing a place of activity for the residence. Arriving early, we discovered that most Italians, true to form, do not start to hustle and bustle to the later hours of the day. The wall was littered only by locals out and about for their preferred daily morning routine. There were plenty of walkers, joggers, bikers, dog walkers, and old lady gossipers.

From the perspective of the mura you can see the periphery of the town as you circle it, gauging when you want to cut in and explore some more.

Of the Italians not up during the early (11 am) hour of the morning, children seem to be grouped. So, when Miss Bre and I saw some empty swings we were all over them like cheese on macaroni (is anyone else suddenly dreaming of macaroni or is that just me?) 

I felt every bit a smiley little kid with my feet in the air and head in the clouds. 

Seeing the most beautiful pink flowered tree, we decided it looked like a good place to dip in. 

The building are everything you anticpate in a teeny Tuscan town, all colored soft coral and various servings of coffee.

To my delight, as well, nearly every inhabitant of Lucca is toting a cute pooch on a leash. I was in a frenzy all day of puppy-love. 

The most famous spot in Lucca is the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, originally constructed as a center of entertainment during the Roman era. Gladiators and spectacles once dawned this rounded piazza, before it was fortified during the medieval era. Today it is a hole for lunch in the sun or a good place to jump in a carriage pulled by one of the many cute horse-ys of Lucca. 

Wandering out of the Anfiteatro, Bre and I strolled up more scenic streets until being released into Piazza Napoleone

The piazza led us to our exact (unintended) destination. Gelatarium is essentially soft serve gelato, I was instantly sold by the mention of 'toppings'. 

Pistachio & Latte (milk) gelato with meringue bits and nuts (in a cone of course). 

More gorgeous pink flowers led us in the direction of what turned out to be maybe my favorite ceiling yet (maybe I'll start a collection like Mr. Hearst). 

Just look at the ceiling on Il Duomo di San Martino!

Yet another delicately flowered tree brought us to hands down the best part of our day.

"I want to ride my bi-cy-cle! I want to ride my bike!" 

3 Euros an hour for a bicycle is the best bargain I've met in Italy yet. It even had a basket and bell, what more could a girl want? 

We started (and ended) with a lap around the whole town, which on a bike is pretty leisurely and you get the best view of the town. And with the sun warming your face, the wind in your hair, and the sound of Queen cycling (that was a bike pun, gett-it?) in your brain, nothing could be more delightful. 

This is obviously my bike riding outfit. 

We eventually decided to take our chances on the mean streets of Lucca, mostly hoping we wouldn't hit anyone with our (my) general lack of coordination. Very empty streets were chosen for our necessary photography sess'.  

We spent a solid two hours biking around Lucca, and not for one moment did my grin waiver. The camera was even abandoned after the first half hour and simple enjoyment persisted throughout the rest of our cycling. 

By the time we finished and wandered back towards Piazza Napoleone, there was some strange Renaissance marching band situation going on that made us feel as if we'd just been transported back in time. Whatever the cause, it was the necessary component to turn my smile into giggles (just look at those tights).   

By the time Lucca was getting really poppin' (with teeny-boppers rolling into town) it was time for Bre and I to depart. We said our sad goodbyes to Lucca, pledging to find bikes in our next Tuscan town as well, before heading over the wall and to the stazione del treno

Yours, Kenna


  1. I"m going to Italy this summer and I can't wait; your photos have made me long for it even more. I do hope they serve that gelato in Sicily!

    1. Emma you're going to love Italy! I'm sure you'll find plenty of gelato in Sicily! The trick to finding "authentic" gelato is to stay clear of mounds of it in a window and look for places with it in silver tins. :)

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