Monday, 9 May 2011

Florence the eleventh - Lucca

I'd heard of Lucca but didn't really know what its deal was, then last night I was zooming around Tuscany on Google Maps wondering if another day trip was in order when it caught my eye, so this morning away I trained. As it turns out, kudos on my spur-of-the-moment decision.

It turns out that Lucca is one of the few places whose city walls are intact, meaning the entire historic centre is walled in. You have no idea whether you're going to find a city or a sewage treatment plant on the other side.

As you get closer it gets even more ominous.

Then even ominouser as the path leads you right through the wall.

Then you're out and on the wall and its magic. The whole way around the top of the wall is a lovely wide avenue. And seconds later, I totally clotheslined that kid.

I took a stroll right around the top of the wall before plunging to the city. Apparently its about four or five kilometres around, but it all felt like a watercolour haze to me. Seriously, I don't know how everyone in Lucca hasn't dropped dead from serenity.

View over the top of the wall. At least Lucca's enemies have a nice park down there to be frustrated in.

Duomo di San Martino. This is the architectural equivalent of when your handwriting becomes smaller and smaller trying to fit everything in before the end of the line.

From the facade of the Duomo, this is Saint Martin cutting his cloak in half to share with a beggar. Just give him the whole thing, you stinge! And I'm just reading that Lucca does have a reputation for being stingy - the reason none of those columns match is that they held a competition to choose a design, then didn't bother to declare a winner and just used all of the entries in the actual construction. Heh.

Artist's impression of Lucca. Tee hee.

Piazza Napoleone. Back in the days when Nap was the jumped up little emperor of all he surveyed, he gave Lucca to his sister to rule. Sweet gig.

San Michele in Foro. While I was taking this a woman came up to me and asked if I would take a picture of her and her husband in front of the church, then started giving me really specific instructions about how I should frame it. So I just zoomed in on some guy's man-boobs and pretended to be taking the photo she wanted.

Close-up of the front of San Frediano. I was thinking at the time how cartoonish the mosaic looks, and now that I'm reading about Lucca I see that the city hosts Italy's largest comic book convention. Weird!

There are trees! Growing on the top of that tower! How do they even?

Oh, bonus round! This is actually back in Florence, in Piazza della Republica. Last week it was flag tossing, today it's sword fighting! And also some extremely close-up ears. Sorry about that.

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