Turislucca

Video cover- april

Lucca through time: April

Posted on by

Remember the panels of the months located in the portico of Lucca’s Cathedral of San Martino? Well, to describe the passage of time, there isn’t only a farmer, as we saw in January, February, and March. April is represented by a well-dressed nobleman and so is May. We’ll talk about May next month; now we’re going to concentrate on April. April is depicted by a young man, who is looking in a mirror, and makes us think about beauty, youth and vanitas. In this video, we take a look at fashion and beauty in the sacred and the profane, the past and the present, the Cathedral Museum and the Museum of Palazzo Mansi. We meet up with the eternally-damned, quintessential beauty of Lucca, Lucida Mansi. She is the expression of vanitas to the nth degree, a Dorian Gray or...

Video cover

Lucca through time – February

Posted on by

January has come and gone and it’s now February, the second month of the year. Do you remember the sculpted medieval panels in the loggia of the Cathedral of Lucca, San Martino? I’m sure you do. February is depicted by a fisherman, intent upon catching a nice-sized fish with his fishing pole. Why was fishing chosen as a means to procure food in winter? In the Middle Ages, more so than today, the territory surrounding Lucca was extremely water-rich. Streams, brooks, the many tributaries of the Serchio River, nearby lakes and marshes supplied many varieties of fish. Even in winter, nature offered opportunities to find nourishment. And today, our territory is being revitalized by the return of many species of animals which had been absent from it for a very long time. In particular, the green area immediately outside...

Video cover

Lucca through time – January

Posted on by

Here we are in the month of January. The first month of the year, and in the panels of the Duomo of Lucca it is represented by a farmer warming himself in front of a fire. Winter can be cold and bleak and shows its true colors and multiple faces in the city and in the countryside in this stretch of Tuscany which lies between the mountains and the sea. The city appears monumental and immobile due to a diminished presence of people. The countryside appears even colder and more hostile. Yet, both have a unique and irresistible appeal, recalling emotions of long-ago, human and collected, with an invitation to remain safely at home, cozy and snug. Even animals, be it city or country, adapt to winter mode as did medieval man, as does contemporary man today. Some ancient...

Video cover

Lucca through time

Posted on by

This year, more so than in past decades, we were forced to change the pace of our lifestyles. We had to modify our way of working and even, what became, our long breaks of free time. It sometimes seemed as if we were frozen in time. At this point, life has placed us in these particular circumstances, offering us a chance to savor the passing of time in a different way, almost as in days of long-ago. Perhaps it is for this reason, that we, who tell the stories of our territory and of its past inhabitants on a daily basis, began studying the medieval panels of the months in the loggia of the Duomo of Lucca more carefully. It is almost as if that time of yore has come back, in order that we reflect more carefully on...

Underground Lucca

Underground Lucca

Posted on by

Underground Lucca is a journey between two parallel worlds that may, at first, appear different and distant from one another. However, the everyday world of light intertwines with the dark world of a more reserved and inner life. In the concealed dimension of the city’s underground, history and archeology and the sacred and the profane often overlap. With this video, we look to discover hidden but fascinating realities: ancient areas of worship, such as the intriguing baptistery of San Giovanni and original crypt of San Michele, and the underground world of the city walls that attests to the evolution of the defensive system in the days of the independent and proud Republic of Lucca. …and this is just one of the videos we are preparing in order to share the marvels of Lucca with you… Please continue to follow...

World

The Profession of Tourist…Guide

Posted on by

Several years ago, I recall how perplexed a clerk of the local Chamber of Commerce was when trying to classify my profession of tourist guide for bureaucratic reasons. “Are you a merchant? A teacher? A travel agent? Well then, tell me, what are you exactly? There’s no such thing as your profession in the commercial sector!” Finally, after months of queries (yes, that’s right, not days or weeks, but months!), I learned that tourist guides fell under the category of craftsmen/artisans. At first, this classification puzzled me and then it filled me with pride. According to the Italian encyclopedia, Treccani, the craftsman/artisan is he or she who creates, produces, and offers a quality product, often original, as opposed to those products that are industrially and mass-produced. The prefix of artisan derives from the word ‘art’. Our art, that of...

Gabriele Calabrese

Covid-19 Emergency. Proximity tourism as seen by an Italian tourist guide who works in Lucca, Tuscany.

Posted on by

Forty-eight hours before the lockdown, I had what could be considered a vision.  I wonder how many of my colleagues also had the feeling that a deep-seated crisis would ultimately hit the entire tourism sector of Italy and the rest of the world in general.  If I had the same foresight in regard to gambling, I would be a millionaire. Unfortunately the latter is not the case and I can only ascertain with bitterness that my premonition was correct: we are jobless or almost so. I say almost because that perception along with the ample time at my disposal to ponder what we could possibly do under these conditions, pushed not only me but my entire team at Turislucca to find solutions to the problem. It was clear from the start that organized tour groups from outside Europe (the...

Deserted cities

Posted on by

Please note: The original piece in Italian was written during lockdown.    Tap the screen, then tap the logo with the white ‘f’ in the blue square, look at the images. Stop and look at some of the posts that show Italian art cities, including Lucca, on Easter Monday. Video of Florence: Duomo, Baptistery, Piazza della Repubblica, Santa Maria Novella, Piazza della Signoria, the Arno River embankments. Video of Lucca: Via Fillungo, Amphitheatre, Piazza San Michele, the intersection at Via Fillungo and Via Roma. Deserted streets and squares everywhere. Only empty buses going round along their designated routes much like scale model electric toy trains moving along a track. Footage after footage, shot after shot, videos and photographs clearly show how everything seems suspended in time and underline that something important is missing: life. I look at the comments and am...

Puccini’s comment in regard to the plaque that once commemorated the place where the composer Boccherini resided in Via della Dogana

Posted on by

Eleven Unusual Things to See in Lucca On the wall of the hotel, Albergo San Martino in Via della Dogana, 9, a plaque has been placed, once again, to remember where Luigi Boccherini, renowned composer of Lucca known for his famous Minuet in A, had lived for a few years of his life.  During the Fascist period, the plaque had been removed because it was considered unseemly given that the building had since become a famous house of ill repute. In fact, Giacomo Puccini, who considered Boccherini to be the most famous composer of Lucca, wrote to his sister Ramelde on 6 March 1901, commenting in proverbial Tuscan irony: “…and to think that Boccherini only has a plaque on the wall of a brothel!” Today, this comment can be read on a small commemorative plaque found just outside the entrance...

The stone known as the “Devil’s Stone” of Palazzo Bernardini

Posted on by

Eleven Unusual Things to See in Lucca If you search the web for things you should see or do when visiting an area, you’ll probably find a list of the top ten things and usually they’re pretty typical. Well, I’m suggesting eleven because I’ve decided to go one better. Actually, if I were to think of all the particular places or things to see or do in Lucca, the list would be endless. But let’s begin. Palazzo Bernardini is on Via Santa Croce, one of the city’s main streets. To be precise, it stands along the route that all the pilgrims, who were passing through Lucca, would take to go to Rome. A very visible palazzo to passers-by. Rebuilt over the remains of an old medieval dwelling in the first half of the 16th century and in a decidedly...