Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Lucca, Italy



When we arrived in Lucca we took a taxi from the train station through narrow streets to the Al Tuscany Bed and Breakfast...



We went through this massive door into the stone foyer of this ancient building which dates back to 1200.....this was the entrance to our bed and breakfast...



Up four floors of stone steps we found our rooms....this was the view overlooking the burnt sienna, terra cotta, ochre and coral pink buildings and rooftops of Lucca...







Lucca is utterly charming....a jewel in the midst of the beautiful Tuscany region...



The very best part of our stay in Lucca was meeting our blogging friend Valentina and Paola, her partner in the online shop of Les Cotrions. These two lovely ladies were so gracious and welcomed us into their homes...



Vale fixed a fabulous, traditional and delicious dinner for us and we spent a wonderful evening getting to know one another in her mother's beautiful home. Both Vale and Paola are bright and charming with a quick sense of humor and sophisticated tastes. The evening flew by as we joked and laughed...it seemed like we were old friends and had known them forever....







The walls that surround the city of Lucca date back to the Renaissance...



They are wide and tree lined and provide a beautiful view of the city and the mountains beyond...





We spent a few hours walking and biking on the walls of Lucca along with many friendly local residents...a lovely place to take a walk, bike, jog, or just to sit and read or visit with neighbors ...









Everyone rides bicycles in Lucca, athletes as well as elegant women in dresses... old and young people alike...
You can see folks riding their bikes while holding umbrellas or with dogs on a leash running beside them...





Vale and Paola took Lynn and I to some of their favorite shops ...
... more about the shopping in Lucca to come in the next post...







Behind this door lies Valentina's lovely garden....



Vale enjoys spending time working in her walled garden and the result is a charming and peaceful space under the protection of the old church next door...















We were so fortunate to be in Lucca this weekend as it was their special annual celebration which included a candlelight procession of the Holy Cross through the streets of the city. There were people dressed in Medieval costume and fireworks and music through the night. Tomorrow I will post some pictures of this enchanting religious and cultural event.



Stay tuned for photographs of some of the shops we visited and also of Paola's new loft area which houses her rooftop garden as well as the wonderful decorative items and antiques that the ladies sell in their online shop...Les Cotrions...



I hope you enjoyed this first glimpse of Lucca....it is truly a special place! We feel so lucky to have had a personal tour by Vale and Paola and can't thank them enough for their generous hospitality!

22 comments:

Lisa said...

What a lovely trip! Italy really is beautiful!
Hugs, Lisa

Anonymous said...

oh how good of you to take the time and share with us. i am enjoying this immensely. i day dream as i read and enjoy your photos. thank you. bestest, Denise

Chemin des Muguets said...

Dear Laura (from Lucca),

I am really enjoying your delightful travelogue. Fun that you you got to see some of the city via bicycle. Vale's walled garden is charming, and can't wait to see the images of the procession through the city.

Marjorie

LiLi M. said...

I really love this! Strolling around in historic dwellings with a good guide! I have been in Tuscany, but never in Lucca and it has to wait. As a family we can only visit Italy during the summer holidays and it's wayyyyy too hot for me then. Until that time I watch your photos! Grazie! Ciao!

Magdalena said...

Lucca seems like one lovely place to be in.
Very , very charming...
Hugs
Magdalena/Color Sepia

Jacqueline said...

Laura, what fanyastic photographs of Lucca. Although I have travelled to Italy, I have never been to Lucca. You have given me a wonderful tour of the city. I love the photograph of the bike with the window and iron grille and the one through the iron gate.. I took soooo many through iron gates !!! It looks so pretty. Looking forward to the next stage of our journey. XXXX

Jeannette said...

It has been a few years back since I was in Lucca. Ahh...your pictures bring back sweet memories.
And how nice you met Vale. She has a lovely blog.
Looking forward to more pictures of your Italian adventure.
♥ Jeanette

Willow Decor said...

I wish I could have hidden in your suitcase. Fabulous!
xx-Gina

Les Cotrions said...

Hello Laura! I'm so touched by your nice and kind words! You make me blush! Thank you!
How are you after holidays??? Here it's still Summer despite the calendar!
Big hugs to you and Rob!
Vale

Bonjour Madame said...

I think this looks like the perfect place to live. It's lovely.

The Catnap Cottage said...

How fabulous - what a beautiful place!!

The Green Pea said...

Thank you for the beautiful tour. Your photos are so lovely. sandi

ps I just love those little red childrens shoes on the right side of the page.

Claire said...

Thanks for taking us a long on your adventure! I'm having so much fun =)

Lisa said...

I'm speechless! The Italians really know how to live!

Rostrose said...

It was so nice to see the walls of Lucca again! Me and my family also walked this ways years ago! But we have not been to Vales garden-paradise - what a pitty! Thanks for sharing this pretty pictures! Hugs, Traude

Carole~Maynard Greenhouse said...

What a trip of a life time. To have finally met Vale in person must have been so special. Wish I could have been there with you.
Lucca does look so charming...can't wait to see more!
Carole

Chrissy said...

Oh Laura....these photos are so beautiful,I see them and think why do we live here when places like this exsist??Keep them coming,all the best,Chrissy

BellaRosa said...

Laura, thank you for sharing your tour of this beautiful city...My dream is to one day see all of Europe :) Rose

Trouvais said...

Isn't that wall marvelous?! Hard to believe you are on a wide promonade atop a cenuries old fortress wall...with shade trees no less. So glad you're checking in with us to keep us entertained! Trish

Isabel said...

Beautiful photos. They remind me so much of Portugal's countryside...especially that photo of the train station. When I was a teenager, I used to spend some of my summer vacations visiting my grandparents, aunts and uncles in the north of Portugal. I still remember arriving by train to stations like this one...

Ciao said...

I loved your post...I went to Lucca last year to take an art course. You can see my photos on www.ciaotraveler.blogspot.com. I recognized most of your photos. Thank you for sharing.
Ciao!

Brambleberry Cottage said...

I long to visit the Tuscany region of Italy! Sh! Don't tell all the Francophiles, but to ME, Italy speaks more of romance than France. ;)

How wonderful that you got to see this lovely area of the world, Laura!

Blessings,
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/