The draw of Lucca is its well preserved city walls. This twelve-meter high fortification, built in the 16th and 17th centuries, held 126 cannons. Now used for more peaceful pursuits, the walls provide a leafy walkway with playgrounds. Within the walls is a pedestrian-friendly city with the lovely euro-mix of shops, restaurants, and cathedrals.

We had a recommendation to lunch at Buca L’Antonio and while the owner was not impressed that we had been sent by “Roberto, the ex-banker from Pisa,” we were impressed with our delicious meal. Mom loved her onion soup and her roast guinea fowl was a star of the meal. Bill loved his rabbit pasta, and Dad’s rabbit salad was very nice. Dad had a big plate of roast wild boar, which he warmed to after the first bite. I had zucchini ravioli for primo and Bill tucked in to roast pork.

After lunch we wandered the rainy streets, shopping a little and taking refuge in the Church of Ss Paolino e Donato, the parish church of one of Lucca’s most famous residents, Giacomo Puccini. Just being in Lucca gave Mom a bit of the operatic spirit.

We left Lucca around 4:30 for a dark, rainy and occasionally harrowing drive to a farm called Barbialla Nuova Fattoria in Montaione.

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