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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