Italy (Part 04): Tuscany—Exploring & Biking in Lucca
Eager to start our next journey, we woke up early and bid a bittersweet farewell to our temporary home of Siena. After a filling breakfast we jumped in the car to make the hour-and-a-half journey to the town of Lucca which served as a stopping point on the way to the Liguria Peninsula. While Lucca is a relatively large city, its old town is well preserved within some of the best unspoiled Renaissance-era walls in Italy. We parked our car in one of the many lots surrounding the ramparts and adventured our way in!
Without a map or GPS to go by, we were free to wander the streets and take in the sights. Our primary mission was to find the town’s main piazza, but we stumbled upon many picturesque scenes on the way. One of the surprises we happened upon was Church San Michele in Foro, with its intricate façade and winged angels perched atop the structure’s peak. After walking around inside for a bit, we continued on along the crooked streets until we finally made it to the Piazza Anfiteatro.
The piazza is visually stunning, extending out from its center in an oval with a range of soft yellow and cream houses towering above along its perimeter. Between the colorful window boxes, relaxed outdoor restaurant seating, and decorative greenery, the square quickly made its way to the top of our lists of favorites. We took a seat at Per Bacco, sharing bruschetta, prosciutto, and fresh mozzarella, while admiring the light and airy surroundings.
After eating, we wandered around the piazza a bit more and found ourselves at a shop called Le Sorelle, which showcased a variety of home goods and trinkets. We took our time browsing and even bought two scarves—one for Brittany and one for her mom. The next portion of the day’s journey took us back toward the town walls as we were preparing to find bike rentals for a leisurely ride along the ramparts’ pedestrian promenade!
It didn’t take us long to find a rental shop as the town is littered with them—we settled on Biciclette Poli and walked our bikes up to the top of the wall. The circuit takes about 25 minutes to complete at a relaxed pace and we certainly weren’t in a rush! We ended up doing two full laps, all while Brittany’s sensitive bell jingled at every bump and turn, warning everyone in our path that we were coming up quick. The ride ended up being one of our favorite experiences on the trip and we would highly recommend it to anyone stopping by Lucca.
On our way out we stopped for a quick bite of gelato and then made our way back to the car. We would have another hour to go before dropping our car off in La Spezia and taking the train into the Cinque Terre!
Trip gelato count: 11