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12.10.2014

A Weekend in Tuscany {Lucca}

A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

I have written here before about how Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. But this year, my first with Noah away at college, the thought of planning and celebrating and feasting made my heart hurt a little. Mark had the great idea to just get out of town for the weekend. We chose to spend a weekend in Lucca. Thankfully.

We have been trying to go to Lucca for years. The first time we tried as we were parking the car the heavens opened with sheets of water that it was just ridiculous to think we could walk around and see anything. The second trip we planned, whole sections of the main road leading to Lucca had washed out. The third time, I can't even remember what happened. But we did not make it to Lucca.

The fourth time was a charm.

I found a funky bed and breakfast right in the center of town, made a few lunch reservations and off we went.

Luca really is a lovely as everyone said it would be. We did everything everyone told us we were supposed to do in Lucca. We walked the 15th century walls that ring the city, visited the tiniest percentage of the cities' 100 churches, sat in the surprising late November sunshine in a pretty piazza, saw a photography exhibit and it being Thanksgiving weekend and all, we ate really well. 

Here are my tips for where to stay and eat when you visit Lucca.


A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

Where to Stay in Lucca

The Antica Bifiori is run by a friendly Italo-Irish couple who gave us great advice on where to get a good bourbon cocktail and the best place to park. There are four rooms on the Piano Nobile of a medieval palazzo. Our room had an incredible view of the deconsecrated 12th century San Cristoforo. Our breakfast included strong coffee and homemade muffins and lively conversation about the sad sate of this years olive oil harvest in Italy and Greece, the state of the EU and the merits of 

Antica Bifiore
Via Fillungo, 5


Where to eat in Lucca

Where to eat in Lucca

Where to eat in Lucca

Where to eat in Lucca

Where to eat in Lucca

Where to Eat and Drink in Lucca


Caffè Ristretto
via San Giorgio, 8 

It was cocktail hour when we arrived in Lucca so our innkeepers sent us straight to Caffe Ristretto to start our holiday weekend with style. We giggled at the all of the Black Friday sale signs that were plastered on every shop window along the way, wondering how on earth there is a Black Friday without the Thanksgiving Thursday but never mind. Caffe Ristretto is a normal Italian bar that just happens to have a very knowledge barman. I explained to him what I liked and he created a delicious cocktail just for me. 

via San Giorgio, 26

For dinner we wanted simple Luccan fare so we were directed to the Osteria San Giorgio. We tried Tuscan crostini, I particularly liked the gentle bite of roasted garlic one; Tortelli Luchese, which are meat filled ravioli with a tomatoey meat sauce, just my kind of thing; A hearty kale, bean and farrow soup, just Mark's kind of thing; and finished with sweet vin santo and just barely sweet cantucci. We got there on the earlyish side by Italian standards (8:00pm) but soon the cozy dining room filled up with families and dogs and not a single tourist.

La Buca di San Antonio
Via della Cervia, 3

After our four plus kilometer stroll along Lucca's famous walls, a visit to the spectacular San Michele church, a quick coffee in the piazza we were really ready for lunch. I had made online (!) reservations at Bucca di San Antonio after hearing so many recommendations from friends. The waiters are in coats and ties, the table clothes are starched, and the food simple and traditional. I had done some research and knew the restaurant was famous for it slow roasted goat dish so of course we ordered that. Our pastas, Parparadelle alla Lepre and Tortelli Luchese were also excellent. We obviously did a good job ordering as when the table next to us got up to leave they complimented us on our selections. 

Via San Paolino, 69

Even after more walking and more church visiting we were too full from lunch for much of a dinner so we had a light meal Bastian Contrario. I wish we had been hungrier because the plates of pastas, soups and grilled meats looked amazing. 


Canaparoli
Via S. Paolino, 96

I didn't do any shopping on this trip, but I did go into one very pretty chocolate shop. I wish we had had a dinner party to go to, there was this meringue covered chocolate cake that was really a work of art. I bought a small bag of their hot chocolate mix to bring back to Rome.  


We had one more meal before we headed back to Rome, but it was so special that it deserves it's own post. Stayed tuned.


A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

2 comments :

  1. I have always wanted to go to Lucca (I actually did a theatre festival in Bagni di Lucca up in the hills many years ago but never got to Lucca itself!) and this fabulous post makes me want to even more...Everything sounds absolutely wonderful. And I am happy that you made the wise move to just get out of town...sometimes it is the best thing to do.

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  2. I have always wanted to visit Lucca in the past year. Saw some lovely pictures and now more thanks to you :) I would do anything to have those postcards from Lucca ;) well, someday!

    Glad you had a great time!

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