Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Lucca at last!

Today, in Livorno, I had my chance to put right a mistake I made about a year ago. This time, I got it right, changed trains at Pisa from Livorno, and my friend Carla and I made it to Lucca!
It was worth the wait. This Medieval walled city is delightful (and I NEVER use the word delightful, but it is.)
Here’s the wall of the city, and here is the raised walkway that encircles the town, perfect for a good old passegiata. It even SAYS 'passegiata mura urbane' on the map I just realised! I’m a big “Light in the Piazza” fan and am in love with the very idea of passegiatas. You can cycle all around it, and inside you feel as if you’re in some kind of enchanted land. All the people are beautiful, as are the churches, pizzerias, streets, delis that sell Lucca’s very-own unique olive oil, and shops.
This is the Chiesa di, or church of, San Michele, and this is where Puccini was born. There’s his statue, his house is just behind it (those two ladies, cute though they are, are obscuring the house so here it is properly! The plaque reads 'Museo Casa Puccini' although the museum itself was not open)
This is the Church of San Frediano and below it, the little trattoria where Carla and I had lunch.
We walked along the main pedestrian shopping street, Via Fillungo, got lost for a while, and finally found the Roman Amphitheatre. It’s a circular “square” now, with outdoor chairs and tables from the bistros falling out onto the street. It’s so pretty I wanted to go and sit at one of the tables, grab a bottle of vino, any colour so long as it’s the best one they have, and forget I had a ship to go back to!

I have this pipe dream to one day own my own business and stationary shop. I'd design my own lines as well as create personalised stationary for the stars using my calligraphic skills (I've been practising since school). I'd call it Beric Stationers, and it'd look almost exactly like this. Look, I thought of it before OK, it's just that someone's already done it, and it's in Lucca.... I thought for one crazy, heartbreaking moment that the store was ACTUALLY CALLED Beric's, and I'd have to have a tantrum and cry. Not the case, but I'm keeping these pictures for future reference.

I love all the arches in Lucca. Here are a couple of them. And these doors. I love them too, they're great doors.

But we didn’t forget to go back to the ship after all, and two train-rides, a bus-ride and then a shuttle-to-the-ship later, we arrived back in the semi-real world of working on a cruise ship in the Med. Tomorrow, Monte Carlo!

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