A little Lucca goes a loooong way!

Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
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Trip End Oct 01, 2012


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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hi all,
We were all off to Lucca in the pouring rain, and have to realize that one day of rain in a month is pretty damn good, Dianne got to wear her new expensive Magellan rain coat.  We caught the train at 10:38am - it was the milk run. We arrived in Lucca at 1:30pm. Lucca is 50km from Florence.  Our hotel picked us up ar the train station, thankfully, as it was pouring.  We settled in and started exploring (rain and all).  We entered the walled city via San Pietro's gate and wondered around and window shopped before we stopped to eat.  The streets are narrow and ancient.  The structures are intact since Lucca was never bombed in the war.  

The next day we walked around the wall - on top of it actually, It's a wide shady paved path around the whole town, five kilometers. It is a lovely renaissance wall It took a  hundred years to build and took one third of the town's income.The people thought it was worth it as it kept out the Florentine's and the Pisans. The composer Puccini was born in Lucca and Karen and Becky toured his house. His most famous opera is Madame Butterfly. Lucca however, does not have the glory that is Florence. We strolled the streets, bought some sandwiches for supper, and ate on the hotel rooftop terrace, where we played another rip-roaring game of "Phase ten", a game that Dianne brought with her.

The next day, we were off to visit Pisa. Everyone needs to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is truly amazing! We were awestruck by the phenomenon. The tower is 200 feet tall and leans 15 feet off the vertical axis. It took 2 centuries to build, starting in 1173.  In the large Campo, which is what the square is called, is the cathedral and baptistry. A beautiful blue sky was the backdrop for the marble buildings. We wandered the grounds and took lots of pictures. Because we were heavily burdened with our backpacks, we did not climb the tower. We had a nice lunch on a restaurant terrace, and then Antonio, our handsome, hunky, Italian taxi driver picked us up and returned us to the train station ( a round troip ticket to Pisa, 6 euros). We then took the milk run, by second class, back to Florence. We are definitely first class ladies.

Today is a rest day which includes laundry and grocery shopping. 
 
Karen continues to savour her experiences but is tired and misses Don, friends, and all the comforts of home.

Love to all,
Le quatro sorelle.
Dianne, Karen, Becky and Laurie
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Comments

Giovanni on

Great pictures. The Cathedral in Pisa looks gorgous. Wonder what is inside.
Rebecca (et al) , those moments of loneliness or "pity", consider taking a visit to the nearest perpetual adoration chapel if that is not available the nearest church or chapel that is open - peace and solice may just be found there. The weather her now is coooollll. Low of 8 last night, Algonquin has already have a few night for risk of frost. Happy Fall Equinox! Equal day equal night. Check the sun at it is highest, that is due south. With only 9 days left and maybe stretched to the limits (not talking about $), you might be able to afford to just live like the natives, and relax and take in the ambiance of Italy at a slower pace? Peutetre je ne sais pas quoi qui je dit!. Take care. We miss you and we'll have the condo in the best condition we can put it in for your arrival.May you four muskettetteers leave behind a red and white mapel leaf trail of Beninger chilvalry! Per el coppie sposate solo: nel frattempo Rebecca, preparero il nostro letto nuziale con lenzuola fresche, rosa pedali, Castelvetro e un bel marito per la vostra approvazione e l'utilizzo. :) Amore, Giovanni.

Robin on

Ahh...Pisa. I was looking for those cheesy photos where you pose and it looks like you are tipping the tower of pisa over. Regardless, the pictures are beautiful and the blue skies certainly add to the glory.
I went to the church garage sale and helped out the friday before and the morning of. All the ladies of CWL ooh-ed and awww-ed when they learned you were in Italy. Don't worry...I represented you well. Picked up a few things myself, of course. Namely kids books and some household items. Yes, as dad says, it is much cooler now, and I am enjoying the change in seasons. Saw Judy today and her "new" hair salon looks nice and cozy. She says hi! I'm choreographing the school show Godspell so from now until end of Nov. I'll be insanely busy...Jay and I are already planning a vacation in NOTL again at Davy House. Until next time...xo

Bill on

What a terrific summary of your travel experience! We always new that you are FIRST CLASS LADIES! One week to go! ENJOY!

Cassanova on

I was inspired by Giovanni's post- mucho Italian! Luca sounds so lovely with the walls surrounding it- and Robin I laughed at your 'cheesy photo' of the leaning tower comment! You all look like you're having extraordinary time. I can't believe how quickly the time has passed- I think about your days every time I write the date on the Grade 2 board in the morning and I wonder if you're feeling like it's passing too quickly? I will look forward to a nice skype chat about all the little 'details' soon enough, mom. Enjoy the week ahead!! oxox Sandra

Sheila Finnie on

Becky -
I know what you mean about Lucca - we took took the train from Florence, but actually missed the one that we wanted (ie the shorter ride!) so had to wait until the next train which truly was the "milk run". It stopped at every single town along the way - taking 3 hours which I suppose in a car might only be an hour! We did luck out a bit when we got to Lucca though in that we got to hear the tail end on an opera concert - I guess every June they host a series of Operas in commemoration of Puccini - so this was very nice. We did a lot of walking - the wall is quite amazing - but it was so hot when we were there we were just glad to sit somewhere. We had gelato near the entrance to the walled city - lots of AC there too. We caught the 8:30 pm train back to Florence - only 2 hours but lots of kids, noise etc. Doug called while we were on the train going back to Florence - wondered what all the noise was! So you are right a little Lucca goes a looong way! I didn't mention all this too you at our lunch as one person's point of view could be entirely different than another's. Sometimes one has to see for oneself!
I am loving your photos - I tried really hard to to carry too much around when were touring - but even that started to become to heavy! No wonder you didn't climb the tower in Pisa.
Don't know if you can check your emails - but I have sent one out about our retirees lunch for October. Yours came back with a message to check you blog. I know you will be back here shortly - but hope you can make it to the October lunch - no date is yet set - just looking for days that would be good.

If you are anything like us - we were getting a tad tired by this point - so relaxing & taking in the ambience may be a good thing!

I always look forward to your new blog entries.
Hope everyone is well.
Cheers & have a glass of wine for me! Sheila

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