Time for another trip outside of Piedmont. Next up: Lucca, a medieval city in Tuscany. Join me on a Tour di Lucca!
Why Lucca? A Colorado friend is there for the summer. The travel day took me no less than four trains, five train stations, and six hours. Clearly the Alba train station isn’t the most hoppin’ hub. We started with dinner at a favorite osteria of Colorado Ragazzo (= “Colorado Boy“). Couple bottles of chianti, some plates of pasta and we were fueled up and ready for Tour di Lucca.
Tour di Lucca, Day 1: Wine & Walking
I started the morning with a 3 mile run around the city walls. It’s about 2.7 miles around – for my D-town peeps, think a lap ’round Wash Park. It’s a perfect running track and a great way to see the city. Highly recommend. From there, we pretty much wined away the day at Enoteca Vanni (I know, me wine tasting? Shocking). We tried whites, we tried reds, we tried olive oil. We met Americans, we met Brits, we met Italians.
Enoteca Vanni is located in the historical center of Lucca (pretty sure all areas of Lucca historical. I mean really). We did the self-guided wine cellar tour, then bellied up to the outdoor picnic tables, and let the vino flow. Our host for the day selected local wines and explained them at length.
Try it! Enoteca Vanni, Piazza S. Salvatore 7 – 55100, Lucca – Tel. 0583.491902 – E.mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Cellar Admission: Free; Wine Tastings: Walk-in and by appointment for larger groups.
After our wine tasting (and a short nap) we walked the city with a stop in the main piazza (bella!).
Lucca, founded in 180 BC, is an ancient Roman colony that’s about 30 minutes from Pisa.
The city was cracking with life. Lucca is known for the Lucca Summer Festival (the name says it all). That night The Killers were taking the stage. Colorado Ragazzo has seen Diana Krall, Bryan Adams (yes, he really paid euros for B-dawg); Mark Knopfler and Neil Young are coming up. Lucca Summer Festival takes place in Piazza Napoleone and annually packs an incredible line up.
Try it! Lucca Summer Festival – every July. Piazza Napolenone.
Tour di Lucca, Day 2: A Bike Ride!
We rented bikes – the best way to explore Lucca.
Since Colorado Raggazo calls Lucca home for the summer, he let me play tour guide for our two-wheeled Tour di Lucca. We did a lap around the walls, then I randomly picked streets for some proper ziggin’ and zaggin’.
Church of San Frediano. Word on the street is that Lucca has 100 churches.
Try it! Lucca offers an ample supply of bike rental shops. We paid 3 euros an hour, riding about 3 hours. Lucca Bicycle Rentals:
- Find numerous bike rental locations near Porta Santa Maria.
- Tuscany Ride a Bike, Corte Petri, 1 Lucca, +39 0583 47177
- Punto Bici Lucca, Via Crocifisso, 8 Lucca, +39 347 922 6729
On our ride we made a stop at Guinigi Tower to take the giant climb. We got to the open narrow staircase (a little more than halfway to the top) and I aborted mission (I am terrified of heights). I hunkered down while Colorado Ragazzo forged on.
Try it! Guinigi Torre (Tower) remains Lucca’s most important tower and one of the few remaining inside the city walls. The main characteristic include a hanging garden on it’s roof. Via S. Andrea, 55100 Lucca, Italy. Admission: 4 euros.
Tour di Lucca, Day 2: Dinner Time!
We finished the day with dinner at Osteria San Giorgio. Great wine, great food, great ambiance, and a fantastic staff. All the food was delish. I had chicken, Colorado Ragazzo did salmon, and we split a couple sides of veggies and potatoes (oh, those potatoes!).
Try it! Osteria San Giorgio, Via San Giorgio 26-55100; Open Daily Lunch: from 12:00 hours onwards. Dinner: from 19:00 hours onwards. Don’t forget to make a reservation!
Tour di Lucca: More Photos!
Bike-friendly City: It’s easy to take a spin inside the city walls with all the rental options. Big-time cyclists also bring bikes and venture outside for incredible scenery and climbs. Colorado Ragazzo is a cyclist and he’s been ripping it up. Click for a list of some Bike Lucca trails.
Visiting Lucca: We were surprised at the many foreigners we met in Lucca who own property and spend the summers there.
Check it out! For more tips and tricks for your Lucca adventure, check out recommendations from a fellow expat at Tiani’s Tuscany, Bike Lucca, what to see, eat, and drink.
Song Pick (us finishing our ride – oh, yeah)! Chariots of Fire
Lucca is a great trip in Tuscany. Don’t miss it!
Ciao Ciao – Vdawg – OUT!
What are your favorite destinations in Italy? Lemme know!