After the disappointment of Pisa ((The disappointment also includes the failure of my regular camera. These images were taken on a Canon PowerShot A95.)) I was looking forward to the highly regarded city of Lucca, which is only twenty five kilometres north-east up the SS12.


Like Pisa the parking situation was dire and it took several attempts to find somewhere to put the car. The comparisons to Pisa end here, however, as I immediately liked what I saw.

Immediately inside the walls are those very typical narrow, cobbled streets. There were no shortage of shops with extensive displays of meats and cheeses, bread and cakes. These all needed investigating. While I’m sure that most of these places see a good number of tourists passing through, they’re certainly not at the level of tea towels or cheap models of local sites.


Of course, Lucca has no shortage of churches and squares. There are, however, things worth seeing that are not shops, religious monuments or rhombus shaped. The first is the clock tower (Torre delle Ore), which, apparently, is the oldest tower in the city. The clock still works, though I’m not sure from exactly when it dates. A few people have noted that the time is often not correct — this is Italy after all!


The second is also a tower, this time called Guinigi. It is unusual because it has seven oaks growing from its roof. I have subsequently read that having a garden such as this did not used to be particularly unusual. However I’ve never seen such large trees sprouting from the top of a tower and so will include it as a point of interest.


When I headed to Pisa in the morning I wasn’t completely sure that I would be able to squeeze in a look around Lucca also. I’m glad I made the time.