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One Day to get to know LUCCA

Lancaster...
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One Day to get to know LUCCA

I have heard that Lucca is delightful. Therefore, this May when I am spending a week in Florence, I'd like to drive to Lucca for the entire day.

Can anyone who knows Lucca suggest to me what THEY would do for the entire day IF they were me? Are there any great restaurants that I shouldn't miss? Is it best to just wander around the town and shop?

Any tips would be most appreciated.

Harrisburg, PA
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1. Re: One Day to get to know LUCCA

Hello fellow Pennsylvanian,

In May, the weather will be perfect for renting a bike and riding around the tops of the city walls. It's not a long ride, but you see some beautiful sights from up there.

Do you like opera? Lucca is Giacomo Puccini's hometown. He is my favorite opera composer. When we were there, his residence was closed for renovation, but I would think it's open again by now or at least by the time you'll be there.

We only had a half day in Lucca, so besides the biking, we had lunch on one of the town's piazzas and walked around, just enjoying the town. Quite a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Boston...
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2. Re: One Day to get to know LUCCA

Just a thought but you might consider taking the train from Florence to Lucca. The train station is an easy 2-minute walk to the walled portion of the city and, IMHO, the drive isn't particularly exciting or scenic. The train is inexpensive and you won't need your car once you're in Lucca anyway.

Savannah, GA
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3. Re: One Day to get to know LUCCA

Strongly reinforce HappyGoin's suggestion that you take public transport from Florence to Lucca (I prefer bus, but train works well too.) You can get there earlier and stay later and not worry with the awful Florence traffic and with the tricky parking situation in Lucca. DO get there early and get your bike trip upon the walls - you'll be amazed. Go to the Visitor's Center just inside the walls in Piazzale Verdi (big, free-standing building, you'll probably see tour buses gathered in front) and get a map. You can walk all over town in a day. Try Stella Pollare - on Piazza Napoleone, the largest Piazza - for lunch...order something from the chalkboard or ask for Frederica and ask for her recommendation - for food and wine. Plan to stay long enough in the evening to attend a Puccini concert (one hour) in the Basilica di San Giovanni (a deconsecrated church - amazing venue) beginning at 7:15 - though announced for 7:00 p.m.! - and lasting about an hour including a ten-min. interval. (Go to www.puccinielasualucca.com to get the concert schedule so you can plan to go on a day when there will be a concert - they occur 3 or more times a week.) Don't miss Santa Croce and Ilaria, both in the Cathedral (San Martino). Don't miss Piazza Antifeatro. Don't miss Piazza San Michele and the church there. Don't miss strolling Via Fillungo. Don't miss seeing little Santa Zita (fully preserved and displayed and venerated) in her little chapel in the San Frediano Church. Wine and heavy appetizers in La corte dei vini (open 11:00-15.30 and 18:00 - 23:30) in the corte campana lucca (off Via Vittorio Veneto between Piazza San Michele and Piazza Napoleone) would be lovely before the concert. Get a return ticket on bus or train - you'll have no difficulty getting back to Florence at 8:30 or 9:00 p.m., but be sure to get a schedule of departures Lucca>Firenze).

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: One Day to get to know LUCCA

I LOVE Lucca. I happened onto it about 10 years ago and have been back several times. It's not a real "obvious" town -- kind of grows on you -- but it is definitely delightful. The wall around the town center is great to walk along for a bit. I'd see the Amphitheatre (great jewelry store there called Marakesh!), see some of the churches, the Duomo and San Michele in particular. A great trattoria is Da Leo. It gets packed with Lucchese early on, though, so go about noon or a little after to get a table. The Via Fillungo is sort of the city's main shopping drag -- it curves around right next to the Amphitheatre, so not hard to find. Driving from Florence would be kind of a hassle. The train station is just outside the walls on the south side of town -- really easy. Have a caffe at Da Simo -- beautiful sort of Art Deco place. Puccini's house is there. Other than that, wander the city and fall in love with it as so many have done!!

somewhere out there
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5. Re: One Day to get to know LUCCA

I spent the day in Lucca from Florence in May. It was wonderful!

I took the train, very easy and cheap to do, check Trenitalia for info:

http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

I just walked around looking at all the buildings and churches; the town has such a lovely medieval feel to it and the main piazza is lovely to just sit and watch the world go by.

I loved the gardens at the Palazzo Pfanner: a really peaceful courtyard garden. Google it as there's lots about it.

You can climb up one of the many towers for a great view; look for the ones with trees on top!

I love Lucca!!

6. Re: One Day to get to know LUCCA

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