A Trip to Tuscany and Beyond part 3

My Story of Lucca and Pisa, Italy

We left Siena on a Sunday and unfortunately, there were no direct trains from there to Lucca or Pisa and the connection was somewhere near Florence. Moreover, luck was not on our side as we got off the train to see the connecting train leaving the station. Which meant we had two hours to kill until the next train and absolutely nothing to do. Why? Because it was Sunday, we were in a very small train station, the only shop closed and no people around. Finally, the train arrived and took us to Lucca. And, if you remember from my previous post about Siena, our tickets were still valid when we boarded the second train.

View of Piazza San Martino, Lucca

A bit about this nice town:

Lucca is a walled city about 30 minutes away from Pisa, that hosts Saint Martin’s Cathedral, several towers, and palaces. As it was already early afternoon and some fairly threatening clouds were gathering in the distance, we didn’t explore the whole walled town, but did visit the Cathedral and its museum and walked a bit the paved streets. 

Saint Martin’s Cathedral

Side note: Why did we go to Lucca though? Well, because the reader in me takes note of any beautifully described places she finds in novels and adds them to a travel list. Lucca had been on this list for many years, ever since I read “The Book of Love” by Kathleen McGowan. Besides some of the action taking place in Lucca, the Cathedral was also built at that time and it featured a small labyrinth on the wall by the entrance, which carried a great symbolism in the book. However, in real life, it is said to represent Daedalus’ labyrinth. But then again, why would such a labyrinth be on a Catholic building? For those of you who are intrigued by conspiracy theories, check it out. 

On the Wall of Lucca (the wide alley on the left is part of the wall). The storm is coming

Should you visit Lucca?

Overall, Lucca is worth visiting. I very much enjoyed it, despite only spending a short time there. If you are in the area and have a couple of hours to spare, you should definitely go. There’s enough to see, without being overcrowded with tourists, which means you can also enjoy some quiet, relaxing time. 

It’s Pisa time!

We left Lucca just in time to be spared of the storm and headed to Pisa, where we had booked our accommodation. I remember taking the bus from the train station, as the villa we were staying at was on the other side of the city, and so the bus trip was fairly long and convoluted. After getting off the bus, we still had some way to walk and by then the rain had reached Pisa too. The villa was located in a very beautiful, rather fancy neighbourhood, full of grand villas that boasted gorgeous gardens. This part of the city was very quiet and it was a pleasure to walk on those streets as we headed to the Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The famous Leaning Tower:

As we approached the Tower, we could see the crowds gathering, and boy, what crowds. As always, we steered as clear as we could from the crowds and the queues, took plenty of pictures of the Tower, walked around Piazza del Duomo, which is a very beautiful place, then left in search of food. We walked most of Pisa’s centre until we decided on a restaurant, where we, of course, had some pasta. 

Piazza del Duomo, Pisa

Side note: I was satisfied with the little time I had in Pisa and didn’t really wish for more. However, if you want to visit the Tower, make sure you have plenty of time and patience. Perhaps, book your visit in advance.

With all the travelling we’d done for the day, we slowly walked back to the villa and retired for the night, getting ready to leave Pisa the next day for our following destination, and story: La Spezia and Cinque Terre. To be continued…

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