Turislucca

The Walls of Lucca

The Wall of Lucca…

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From My Travel in Tuscany: I have to thanks a friend of mine that suggested me to get this unusual tour created by Turislucca, a group of experienced authorized tour guides with a great knowledge of the town, that told me tons of interesting facts about the history of their birthplace. If a “must to do” in town is a bike ride along the wide and shady path of the fortification that surrounds the historical center, the majority of tourists don’t know that the main bastions hide ancient underground to discover. Stories of castles, fortress, and knights always fascinated me that the idea to explore the underground of the walls of Lucca made me very excited. We booked few days in advance because there are only two or three walking tours of the underground every month and so far,...

Mr Mei's tart

Mei’s Sweet Pastry Tarts. “Experiential” Tourism 2017

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Tuscany, Lucca, March, the sun, and the desire for spring. Another new season begins. And here I am, in the streets of my “old” city. Lucca is older than me, and yet, it is as if it were 54 years old like me. I feel that it is part of my being, having walked and explored every single inch of it. You could say that when a new tourist-guiding season rolls round, I feel as if I were a 54-year-old tree that discovers its new leaves, leaves that look the same but are not the same of years past. If the old trees planted on the ramparts of the walls around the city could speak, they might say I was right. New stimulation and knowledge to impart to my new friends visiting Lucca. And this actually happens to almost...

Palazzo Mansi - Alcova

The Art of Taste and Taste in Art – Part 4

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Now let us talk about a place where sophisticated food and delicacies would be prepared and served to a select minority: the palazzos of the wealthy. There are two aspects to Palazzo Mansi. It is an emblematic example of the many patrician residences in Lucca and also a national museum that houses numerous paintings, an art gallery. Many of the paintings portray products that were cultivated in the territory in the past (and are still cultivated today) and the commercial activities and customs that went hand-in-hand with the products. The palazzo is located at Via Galli Tassi, 43. The exterior of the building with its light-coloured plaster walls and rather insignificant shuttered windows does not, in any way, exhibit the Baroque magnificence of the interior nor the precious handmade articles also found within. This is typical of the reserved...

Piazza Napoleone

The Art of Taste and Taste in Art – Part 3

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Another interesting aspect, from a historical point of view, is to find the places in town where commercial activity in regard to food and foodstuffs took place over the centuries beginning in medieval times through to the 19th century and compare it to today. Starting off at the Cathedral, we can stroll along the network of narrow streets that connected to the main axes of the city road system dating back to Roman times, the Cardo, that ran north – south, and the Decumanus, that ran east – west. Beyond Piazza Antelminelli, we enter Via San Donnino and then turn onto the charming Via del Battistero. Today, Via del Battistero is a succession of antique shops where an astute collector can find pieces of undisputed quality from any time period, be it furniture or figurative art, historically tied to...

Lucca - Duomo interior

The Art of Taste and Taste in Art: Lucca and its Food, History, Art – Part Two

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We turn another page as we enter the cathedral. The church and its furnishings are the outcome of almost five hundred years of expansions, modifications, and restorations. Altars, sculptures, paintings, intarsia, frescoes, furnishings, and organs have been added, removed, modified or stratified in the course of the centuries that have marked the history of the building and its relationship to events in the history of Lucca. Nonetheless, the emergence of figurative art among all the modifications is substantial and was carried out between the 15th and 16th centuries. In the right transept, there is the monumental altar containing the relics of Saint Regulus and also dedicated to Saints John the Baptist and Sebastian. This work is by the Renaissance artist Matteo Civitali of Lucca, who produced the majority of the sculptures and reliefs found within the cathedral in the...

Lucca -San Martino

The Art of Taste and Taste in Art: Lucca and its Food, History, Art – Part One

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According to a recent survey, as reported by the Italian news agency ANSA, one out of every three people like to immortalize what they are about to eat with a photo, shifting from a sensation of sight to a more intimate and personal sensation of taste. In essence, that is why I believe this itinerary is still perfectly in sync with today: a one hundred percent Lucca itinerary melded in the cultural and culinary microcosm of the many Italian cities that constitute the multi-flavoured and multi-coloured palette of multifaceted Italy. We can therefore compare iconographic elements linked to food that, wisely elaborated through time, have served as instruments to both educate the masses and entertain the wealthy of Lucca. The city has always been a commercial centre, often extremely sacred and pious, yet even very profane and at times,...

Acquedotto Nottolini Lucca

Itineraries through history and nature: The Nottolini’s aqueduct in Lucca

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I am not the first to deal with this topic and I can not help do it enthusiastically. First because I'm a tour guide, and then because this side of Tuscany never stops to amaze me. Few places I know can boast such a relaxing therapeutic effects as the narrow path that leads you straight from the walls of Lucca to the Pisan mountains, along the aqueduct arches of Lucca Read all

Lucca: San Frediano Church

Saint Zita: Tradition, History, and Science

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St. Zita has been a tradition in Lucca for centuries.  She is Lucca’s most popular saint.  From April 25th to April 27th, the memory of this local 13th century servant girl is celebrated.  Street vendors call out to sell small bunches of jonquils ( a small, white, delicately perfumed flower) in her honour.  According to legend, one of the most important miracles attributed to Zita is connected, in fact, to the jonquil. Read all

Lucca

The Last Lion of the Roman Amphitheatre in Lucca

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I have lost count of the number of times a disorientated tourist has stopped me to ask where the  Roman amphitheatre can be found especially when I find myself in Via Fillungo (the main shopping street of Lucca) near the church of San Frediano.  I can comprehend their puzzlement when I point to a narrow street where the buildings aligned hide from view the remains of the amphitheatre which dates from the I – II century ad.  Few people realize that to stand before a simple Renaissance or late Gothic palazzo (building) in Lucca is like having Doctor Jekyll or Mr Hyde before you:  you have two or more personalities within the same body.  In this town, it is often more interesting to not stop at external appearances, but investigate further, get to the roots, and discover with pleasant...