08.01.2013 - 08.01.2013 7 °C
My dad and I visited the old, walled city of Lucca today. Abby wasn't feeling too well, so she stayed behind. The place we're staying at provides bikes to use free of charge, so we rode around on top of the wall a couple times. It was an interesting perspective, and not one that you got the chance to see very often. As we traveled, we saw the morning routines of Lucca's residents. A couple of friends out for a jog. A group of elderly men playing a raucous game of dominoes. Numerous owners being walked by their dogs. After our ride, we wandered the streets for a bit. They meandered and criss-crossed all over the place, and we had to retrace our steps carefully so as not to get lost. We found a large square, which was actually a circle due to the fact that an amphitheatre had once stood there. Houses and shops were built around it, and remained after it was gone. You can imagine how busy and full of tourists it would've been in the summer. As we walked, we discovered a number of bakeries and delis, and couldn't help popping into one to buy some goodies (darn our sweet tooths).
We came home for lunch, and to check on how Abby was doing (I think she read for the entire day). We had the cookies we'd bought, which tasted like shortbread/sugar cookie crosses and were either dipped in chocolate or decorated with sprinkles. Tasty, but not quite the same as French pastries, we agreed. I suppose we've become a bit snobbish. After lunch, Dad and I abandoned Abby once more in order to explore Lucca further. We decided to go up one of Lucca's many towers (it seemed that, back in the day, a family proved their importance by building a tower). The one we chose was Lucca's most famous, named Torre Guinigi. The only reason it was distinct was because it had trees planted on top of it. We hiked the 125 feet up to the top, and surveyed the misty, sprawling city that was Lucca. It was a pretty good view, too, and we stayed up there for awhile. We did some church spotting (apparently there are 100 churches in Lucca), and tried to figure out which towers were taller than ours. Eventually, we headed back down, careful to avoid the abundance of pigeon droppings. Another hour or two was spent wandering and trying to read the map (mostly successfully), looking at churches and strolling through squares. We're sorry Abby had to miss out on Lucca, but hopefully the pictures and this summary will give her (and of course you, dear readers) an idea of this quaint Italian town