Thursday morning we took a beautiful walk, stopping at medieval towns like Filetto along the way. In Villafranca, we caught a train to Aulla and then another to Lucca. We were very sorry to say goodbye to Daniel and the rest of the staff at Giardino della Luna but excited to leave the quiet country for a bustling city. Before we knew it we were looking at the ancient walls of Lucca. Upon arrival we scaled the walls, suitcases and all, admiring the layers of brick, strolled down streets lined with magnolia trees, and made note of all the local gelaterie. After dropping off our bags at the hotel we headed out to a fortified medieval house, the Case dei Guinigi to climb the huge tower and get a stunning view of the cityscape. This trek provided the perfect photo opp!
Lucca from the top of the Torre dei Guinigi!
From this vantage point we got to see some of the buildings that we would study the next day, including the baptismal church of St. John the Baptist and the cathedral of St. Martin. Our eager assault on the Guinigi tower earned us a stop at one of the many gelaterie where we savored the most delicious of Italian treats. After our snack we had some free time to shop, a very welcome break from study and travel. We met back up at the hotel to walk to a nearby restaurant for a very filling five course meal.