During warm weekends and hot summer months, the Lucchessi head to the beach, primarily Viareggio, a short 20 minute train ride from Lucca.
Pisa and its renown leaning tower (torre), church (chiesa), bapistery (battistero) and cemetary (cimitero) are a short 30 minutes away and are four must see sites.
About thirty minutes outside of Lucca, in Borgo a Mozzano, is the Devil’s Bridge, one of the most unique and wonderful bridges in the world. Legend has it that, as a means to keep the bridge from falling down, the devil was promised the first soul to cross over. The clever townspeople sent a pig to make the journey and the bridge has now stood for hundreds of years.
For wonderful vistas, head to the hill town of Barga, on the road to the Garfagnana, and climb to the top. Barga, known for its’ ties to the Scots, provides dazzling views of the surrounding mountians.
Just before Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, take the road left to Isola Santa where you will find a somewhat deserted town, yet spectacular town. Isola Santa was once a thriving town of 300 people before the rising waters caused the townspeople to evacuate. Today it holds a wonderful restaurant, il Pescatore, and is being restored one house at a time. It’s definetly worth a trip to this magical spot.
Head to Colannata, just above Carrara and enjoy an unusual site and some scrumptious food. The town is famous for it’s pork fat delicacy, Lardo di Colonnata (Don’t let the word lardo put you off; it is absolutely delicious). And, equally importantly, you will be surrounded by what looks like a snow covered moutain but is actually a mountain of marble. It’s eerie and it’s captivating and you cannot go wrong having lunch at Venanzio, where you can indulge in tartufi, porcini, and of course, the famed lardo.
Head to Lerici, about 60 minutes from the walled city, on the Lugurian coast and enjoy one of the most beautiful cities in this area of Italy. Lerici, holds the beauty and charm of Cinqua Terre, but is less filled with English tourists. It’s a stunning spot in which to spend a lazy afternoon or several days relaxing on the beach and eating fish fresh from the Ligurian sea, as well as pasta with pesto, the yummy basil dish that orginated here in Liguria.
Ninety minutes away is Cinque Terre, five towns that you cannot miss. I love all five spots, but Vernazza, depicted in the following three pics, and Monterosso, shown in the last pic, are my favorites. Make an overnight here and bask in the mornings and evenings when the day trippers have sped away. It’s then that you will experience the unforgettable magic of the 5 torre.
I hope you have enjoyed these Lucca “Getaways.”
Until next week when we head south, stai bene,