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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Inspiring Italy: The Towers of Lucca

While the weather has been absolutely gorgeous the past few days, I've been spending quite a bit of time inside reminiscing over my photos of Italy. We had a particularly nasty surprise in December, in the form of a computer crash, & finally uncovering the trio of photo CDs I'd stashed (many moons ago) was like reconnecting with an old friend. I laughed, I cried, and I really wanted to head-out of a mega-sized gelato.

And one of my "best friends" in this lot would surely have to be Lucca. If you've had the chance to visit this golden, walled-city, you'll know it's nothing short of magical.  What more could you want out of a Tuscan town, than tucked-away trattorias, cafe-lined piazzas, chic Italian boutiques, & beautiful, sky-topping towers? Well, not mucho if you ask me.

At the start of the 14th century, there were more than 100 towers in Lucca, but today only a few remain. The Torre Guinigi (pictured above) is the most famous of the intact towers, and is topped (incredibly) with holm oak trees. The trees are meant to symbolize rebirth & were planted by the Guinigi family to add a "refined" look to the tower & the house to which it was connected to.

It's quite a hike to the top of Torre Guinigi, but well-worth the climb. And you may have to nuzzle your way past other tourists on the very petit walkway among the oak trees, but the 360-panorama of Lucca's copper & yellow town-scape is wondrous (top photo).

And when you've got your feet planted squarely back on terra firma, take a peek around the corner and you'll spy another of Lucca's famous towers, the Torre delle Ore - thus named for the clock that rests at the top; a gift from the General Council of Lucca in the late 1300s.

This tower is also available for a visit, but I must confess that we passed on another climb heaven-wards in favor of some cafe time & Campari's on the square.  Even though for the moment I'm only traveling via my photos, I'd welcome a trip back to Lucca anytime. Ahhh, Italia.

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  1. Lucca is definitely one of the places I want to go visit in Italy and hope that we can get there from Sablet for a weekend this year. Thanks for sharing your picture memories!

  2. I'm so SO glad you found these photos, Tuula! It would devastate me to lose my photos. :-( I hope to get an external hard drive soon. :-) Love the top picture especially. Wow. Such beauty. :-)

  3. *Sigh* So beautiful what photos do to us. Thank you for sharing these!

  4. I love pictures, especially yours. They bring back so many memories. Things that we usually do not recall unless we see something alike or smell something familiar. Can't wait to see you in this beautiful country some time soon! 123 days left as of today :)

  5. Michel, I hope you get a chance to go, think you would really love it. A bit like Provence with the stonework, but also so wonderfully Italian.

    Thanks Krista, I know about the photos - what a near disaster! I imagine you must have tons to back-up as well :)

    Merci Valerie!

    Ahh Kenya, I can't wait to see you too...counting down the days myself bella!

  6. Ahhhh Italia is right! I want to go! x

  7. I haven't been to Lucca but it looks beautiful based on your photos. But I love everything about Italy so I'm easily impressed.

  8. There's something about climbing towers in Italy, you just feel propelled to do it... at least I do.

    I love the perspective of your pics - dizzying and it took me there :)

  9. I've never been to Lucca...and your photos are making me want to book a trip there NOW!