Today’s plan was to take the train to Lucca in the heart of the Tuscan countryside. It’s easy to get there from Florence and Lucca’s railway station is conveniently located just outside the city walls. Strolling through the stone arch of San Colombano, the Romanesque San Martino cathedral was in front of us, so we took a look inside.
Exploring further, we came to Lucca’s main street Via Fillungi, constructed in Roman times, it’s very narrow with traditional shops interspersed with medieval towers. Leading from here is Piazza Napoleone, a vast square which was created in the style of large squares in France during the period of French occupation. There wasn’t much activity in Lucca today so we continued on to the Piazza dell’Amfiteatro which is the central square and focal point of the town. The piazza was constructed on the site of a former amphitheatre. Some original features remain and the ancient remains are still visible today. The colourful piazza was sympathetically restored in 1830 and is surrounded by cafes and small shops. It was lovely here so we decided to eat lunch out on the terrace of one of the small cafes.
Finally, to walk off our hearty lunch we took a walk along the city walls which have been well maintained over the years and provide good views of the Tuscan countryside from their ramparts.
The walls stretch for 4Km and the top has been transformed into a sort of park promenade, covered in grass and lined with trees to provide shade. It appears popular with walkers, joggers and cyclists as it is sufficiently wide to accommodate all activities.
After our pleasant walk we returned to Florence for the evening.