Lucca holds a special place in my heart, my great-great grandfather was born in Lucca and immigrated to America at the age of 15.
We felt like we couldn’t go to Tuscany and not see the Leaning Tower, so a quick stop in Pisa was in order. I was less then impressed with the city, a huge tourist trap, traffic, overpriced parking, street vendors trying to pedal bags, sunglasses, etc. and buses trucking in tourists. The Pisa tower is one of four buildings that make up the cathedral complex in Pisa, Piazza dei Miracoli (which translates to, Field of Miracles). The architecture was absolutely stunning, the leaning tower is one of the most remarkable architectural structures from medieval Europe. We were there for about an hour, before heading to Lucca.
The drive from Pisa to Lucca was 35 minutes. Lucca is a beautiful walled city with a walking path on top and a river flowing through the city. My great great grandfather was born here. So exploring the city was magical and so important to me. We arrived mid afternoon 2:30 pm, and most restaurants were closed (unless you wanted a touristy restaurant in the main square). We had lunch at Trattoira da Ubaldo, it was a very odd place but was recommend by a local, and the food was to die for! I had Tordelli Lucchese with smoked gouda and zucchini in a light cream sauce. It was so good I ordered 2! No Italian city is complete without gelato and a café espresso.
The Torre Guinigi, is 45 meters high, 232 steps to reach the top. It dated back to the 1300’s, and is one of the few remaining towers within the walls. It is known for the tall trees (holm oaks) growing on top of the tower. The views from the top were breathtaking! Truly worth every step.