August 14 - Lucca
The train to Lucca took less than two hours. Most of the way we talked with two medical students from Canada who were spending three weeks in Europe. They were very articulate, well read, and enjoyed talking about travels, politics, and the Canadian health care system.
Arriving in the walled in city of Lucca, even the cab driver needed directions to our accommodation B&B La Romea which is tucked into an alley. We are very pleased with our spacious room in this 14th century house which includes air conditioning.
Walking around town we commented on how old it felt. The narrow cobblestone streets wind through the town with a church in almost every piazza. Down the street from our B&B is the Torre Guinigi, a 130 foot tower with an ancient tree on top. The Pizza Anfiteatro was once a 10,000 seat Roman Ampitheater, but today it is 9 feet above the original theater and houses cafes, private residences, and shops. We noticed a tour group from Holland America cruises following their guide who was strutting in front like a peacock holding a flag. Wearing their blud and yellow headphones in a tiny area, they looked disconnected as if they weren't close enough to the people to experience it all up close and personl. Snapping obligatory photos, they obediently followed their guide as if they feared they might get lost. It was like a scene from the book Make Way for Ducklings.
Dinner tonight was at Trattoria de Leo which is highly recommended. We enjoyed a steak and Tordelli, a local speciality which is similar to ravioli. After dinner we walked around town to enjoy the ambiance. Heading back to our accommodation, we took on e last glance at the tower with the oak tree on top. Tomorrow we will climb it.