It’s pouring cats and dogs on Lucca
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Umbrellas and rain gear were part of today’s landscape… This weather was an invitation to some “inside” exploration, and we responded to the call.
Lucca is definitely a Renaissance city through and through, and it is odd not to be surrounded by the Baroque extravaganza of Bernini, so present in Rome. It takes some getting used to…
Chiesa di San Michele in Foro (free entrance) — Dedicated to the archangel St. Michael, defender of the Faith, this church dates back to the 8th century but was restored during the second half of the 11th century, under Pope Alexander II (a major figure of the Georgian Reformation, whose objective was to return the church to its pure moral values). I particularly like the exterior arches, topped with St. Michael’s killing the dragon. Quite statuesque!
This moment of awe was quickly diluted in the pouring rain and we took refuge across the piazza for a warm coffee. Twice, I had to decline the offer to buy an umbrella for 5 euros. We took the one from our apartment and managed just fine…
Museo Casa Natale di Giacomo Puccini (entrance fee: 7 euros) — Lucca is a musical city, with concerts and recitals performed daily at the San Giovanni church. The house has 11 rooms and pays a wonderful homage to Puccini’s life and times. It also showcases several costumes, including a magnificent one from Turandot.
Feel like a pizza for lunch? Stop at Alice, on Via San Paulino, where the pizza is tasty and crispy…. (I sound like a commercial… but it’s true!). They have a great assortment of delicious combinations.
Complesso Museale e archeologico della cattedrale di Lucca (combined entrance fee: 9 euros gives you a ticket valid for 7 consecutive days) — This is the artistic and archeological complex of the cathedral, namely St. Martin’s Cathedral and its bell tower, the Cathedral Museum and the church of Saints Giovanni and Reparata (where daily Puccini concerts are being held). Each site is quite amazing, but the huge paintings and frescos really steal the show.
Note to travelers: I might have said it before, but I am confirming that April in Tuscany requires the following: Bring a windbreaker, a warm sweater and several scarves (this is Italy… you want to be fashionable… 🧣👒👠). Dress in layers. Wear comfortable running shoes. And bring a sturdy umbrella!
Today, I saw a lady with a parka, a woolen scarf and winter gloves. A bit drastic, but you get the picture… Maybe she was from Canada, hey?
The walk back to our apartment was rather brisk and involved steadily maneuvering our umbrella against the wind.
Light meal tonight, and chamomile tea to sooth old bones after the cold…
P.S. This is for you, Catriona!