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The city from atop one of Lucca's historic towers.

Internationally known as the olive oil capital of the world, Lucca stands out as one of the most beautiful Italian cities that I visited.  Not knowing what to expect, we took the train from Florence and arrived at the main train station.  We headed across the open green field and entered into the historic, fortified city walls.

Just inside the city, The Duomo San Martino is home to a wooden crucifix that was allegedly carved by Nicodemus and placed on a barge to float off to sea.  Mainly though, we just walked around the city appreciating the historic charm of this well-preserved and almost idyllic city.

As we meandered through the streets we came up to the Palazzo Guinigi, which stuck out due to the trees and what looked like a park at the top of the main tower.  We paid a small admission fee and climbed to the top on steep, rickety stairs.  Once we reached top, the entire valley sparkled with natural beauty.

After the big climb, we headed to lunch at a casual trattoria favored by locals.  The house lunch special was grilled rabbit, a classic Lucchese dish, which was superb.  By avoiding the touristy spots we also dined on the cheap here.

From atop the city walls, the modern city of Lucca lies just outside the historic center.

The tree-topped tower of Palazzo Guinigi.


The memories of Lucca give a warm feeling and the pictures can only attest to a small fraction of the beauty.  I would love to revisit during the Spring, when temperatures are warmer and the surrounding hills are filled with famous Lucchese grapes and olives.



Atop the tower of Palazzo Guinigi.


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