Jan 9

Italy 2011:Lucca

Category: Italy,Travel

After setting up in Montecatini, where we had a hotel, we stopped for the day in Lucca, a beautifully preserved city not far from Pisa where we had one of our most memorable meals – which is really saying something, since we were in Tuscany.  Spectacular meals were literally a daily experience.  As we were there in the harvest season,  all kinds of special foods at their ripest and most desirable state: white truffles, cheeses, sausages, vegetables, and of course, wines.  Our lunch was at Osteria Via San Giorgio, a family restaurant- as are most restaurants and businesses in Italy.

The lack of overwhelming corporate presence was something I really enjoyed throughout our stay.  According to recent statistics, 70% of Italy’s GDP comes from small businesses, which is supposed to be part of their current financial difficulty; small businesses don’t grow fast enough to fuel the kind of economic engine that turns on economists.   This makes me wonder about debate in our country, in which I continually hear about how small businesses are so important to our economy and that we need to encourage them.  Something doesn’t match up here.

Anyway, on to the pictures of Lucca!  The old city is completely surrounded by unbelievably massive 17th-century fortress walls covered with large old hardwood trees and a path as broad as a large highway, really a promenade.  The fortifications are complex and fascinating.  Walking around up there, I tried to imagine how it would have felt to be completely surrounded by an enemy while everyone in your family – perhaps everyone you knew – and everything you owned, was inside and under threat.  Anyone trying to attack this place would be in serious trouble, not only from the impressive defenses but also from determined local soldiers who had the ultimate incentive.

The city itself is  charming, well-preserved antiquity teeming with people going about their lives in cobbled streets worn with the patterns of hundreds of years of traffic.

Doors like this are very common.

 

2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Christina January 27th, 2012 10:14 PM

    Gorgeous photos, Dan.

  2. Bert March 19th, 2012 7:11 PM

    Dan, your photos reveal a great sense of form and a discerning eye. I love Toscany (and Italy throughout) and you have captured the essence of so many beautiful places. You might consider publishing a yearly calendar with your favorite images!

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