Lucca & Pisa
Lucca a medieval city built within an ancient wall and surrounded by the rolling Tuscan hills and it’s a place which stole my heart. It reminded me of a smaller Rome, only with much more charm. Walking the winding streets you’ll stumble across quiet squares, Romanesque churches and beautiful arched doorways. It’s the ideal base for exploring Tuscany and taking day trips to the sunflower fields, vineyards and neighbouring cities of Pisa and Florence.
I enjoyed a couple of blissful days meandering the cobbled streets at leisure, admiring the antiquated signs which sit above the shop fronts and drinking a few too many glasses of white wine. One evening we walked around the fortified city walls at dusk and caught the most remarkable sunset where the sky was painted with intense hues of pink and purple and a rainbow appeared over the hills just opposite. We stumbled across a bar where the extensive selection of gin on the shelf caught our attention, later learning that gin is the only spirit served there and the owner had built his collection from travelling all over the world. This suited us perfectly as we are huge gin lovers and found great pleasure in his passion for serving the perfect gin and tonic, each one carefully matched with a different herb or spice. The speciality on the menu was the antipasti and charcuterie boards made with locally cured hams and freshly sliced bread. I don’t feel as though my photos do Lucca justice as I put my camera down quite a bit to enjoy the city for myself and make the most of my final days in Italy. On the aeroplane back home I immediately started planning a return trip to this beautiful country which remains one of my favourite European destinations.