climb a (city-)wall and enjoy the view

… in Lucca, Tuscany, in Italy is one of the most beautiful possibilities for that: “La Mura”  (the wall) with it’s trees and parkway is really special and Lucca transports us to another time …

Wooow! I am spellbound! Now I stand here and one of the peculiarities of Lucca blocked my way in the truest meaning. When I arrived a few minutes before by train, I did not know much about Lucca, as most information about Tuscany focus on the hotspots Florence, Pisa and Siena. I wanted to visit Lucca anyway and therefore, for good reasons. One of these reasons is in all it’s mass and inflexibility before me… Highlights: Lucca’s city wall “La Mura”, the Palazzo Pfanner and it’s famous garden, the Piazza dell’Anfitheatro, Lucca’s old town streets and their medieval flair and the beautiful church San Michele in Foro with it’s same named square…

What are you waiting for? Come with me to a journey in your mind to the Middle Ages and to one of the best preserved medieval towns in Tuscany, Lucca!  (best with earphones). The story for reading and the photos you find below: ⇓

Links zu den verwendeten Musik- und Tonaufnahmen:
The first sight of Lucca! A wooded wall and towers …
The city wall from outside the old town, an impressive bulwark!

Now I stand here and one of the peculiarities of Lucca blocked my way in the truest meaning. When I arrived a few minutes before by train, I did not know much about Lucca, as most information about Tuscany focus on the hotspots Florence, Pisa and Siena. I wanted to visit Lucca anyway and therefore, for good reasons. One of these reasons is in all its mass and inflexibility before me. Lucca’s city walls were built as a defense for the wealthy citizens and enclosed like a ring the entire old town.They still have an impressive length of 4.2 kilometers, also in our times, and are imposing 12 meters high. Behind the second reason for visiting Lucca is already visible, the numerous towers of the city. But these I will reach later…


One of the large gates of Lucca

First, then, to get away from the noisy and turbulent new town, through one of the large city gates and into the old town. The gate is unusually broad, but how wide the wall really is, I notice only when I go up on the walls by one of the many routes. It is indeed so wide that it was expanded on its entire length to a walking promenade with a paved road and gravel paths. But that is not all! It was planted as a two-row avenue with trees and is used by Lucca`s inhabitants as a recreational area. On one side of the wall the traffic is raging, on the other hand Italian dolce far niente is living in the medieval alleyways. On the wall itself is a cozy atmosphere, walkers, mothers with buggies, joggers and tourists as I inhabit and enjoy the tranquility. In the trees the birds are chirping, the sun shines warm and gentle through the verdant canopy and from this lofty Tour are pretty views and insights offered repeatedly.

the wunderful pathway on the city wall “La Mura” round Lucca
Down from the wall you can look into private gardens and vice versa …

Just as the wall emerges from the streets of Lucca again – with the tree planting as an undeniable eye catching – as well I can look down from the wall into private feral gardens, paved courtyards where children play, on terraces and balconies on which excited conversations are having and repeatedly on lovingly restored and decorated gems. As the garden and the castle-like building of the Palazzo Pfanner, whose origin dates back to the year 1660th. But it received its present form at the beginning of the 18th century and has been an excellent example of a baroque garden in the heart of medieval Lucca.


The Palazzo Pfanner and it’s wonderful garden

The focus is on a big white octagonal fountain, its water babbles happily gurgling between life-size statues from Greek mythology and large and small clay pots planted with geraniums, hydrangeas and peonies. The garden smells of citrus, laurel hedges and roses and passes into colors. Magnolias, camellias, yews and pines, behind the city wall and its trees, a lemon house and as a backdrop the Tower of San Frediano Church. I suck the fragrance of the plants in me, hear the soothing sounds of the fountain and sit and relax in the lush green grass.


The garden blooms in all colours and provides with the surrounding towers a fairytale backtrop
The huge fountain in the center of the garden invites you to relax

After visiting the garden I step through the large, impressive entrance portal of the palazzo out to the paved, narrow and winding streets. Passing the magnificent mosaics on the facade of the Romanesque basilica of San Frediano, I stroll to the Piazza dell`Anfitheatro.

The mosaics on the facade of the church San Frediano are impressive
The piazza dell’Anfitheatro has the shape of the Roman theatre

The piazza has an impressive effect because the houses were built on the foundations of the ancient Roman amphitheater, which offered seats for 10,000 spectators and forms a closed oval. From the numerous outdoor cafes and restaurants, it smells of cappuccino and pizza, past the colorful facades I head to one of the 4 arches , through which you can enter and leave the pretty square. On the Roman road reminds the rectangular grid of the old streets, immediately I fall in love with them.

The old streets of Lucca have a special flair

The different eras are ubiquitous here, where loving details on the houses like lanterns, crooked shutters, front doors with flaking colours and historic facade ornaments radiate so much charm and cozy homeliness , that I was immediately taken to stay longer here. At some houses the plaster is crumbling from the walls, in many small shops or cafes are housed what makes the scenery even more delightful. Many people are around, most by feet, old ladies pulling her shopping trolleys, laughing young students in groups strolling around in the streets, old men sit at small tables in front of their houses and talk about God and the world.

At the Piazza San Michele it is bustling

I love this Italian way of life, the comfort and nonchalance, but simultaneously also the temperament and the gestures of the people in their conversations. At the Piazza San Michele, which still has the shape of a Roman forum, I buy a delicious filled ciabatta, sit down on the steps of the magnificent church of San Michele in Foro and watch the goings on. A smile stretches across my face while I relish bite in my ciabatta and am pleased about the blue sky above me.

The Piazza San Michele is reminiscent of the Roman forum

The warm sunbeams, the good food, the sounds of honking and humming mopeds and rattling bikes and tirades of Italian word-scraps and discussions, and … mmmh, just “La dolce vita”! How wonderful life is!

Probably it also depends on the church San Michele in Foro – the feeling of Italian Dolce Vita!

But my stroll through Lucca is not over yet, it still lacks some famous highlights that are also unique and may be forgotten in any case! Cultural highlights, historically and architecturally important buildings and a viewpoint, as such one is only in Lucca … After a short break and breather next week is the continuation …

Great that you are here! Thank you for listening / reading!

If you like my “journey in your mind”, please share with your friends …

I wish you many beautiful experiences! See you at the next journey in your mind with Travel sounds … Come with me …

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