Today, we went to Lucca…and WHAT a gem it is. The weather was uncooperative.
We had to wear our ponchos, but, no matter the weather, the charm of Lucca could not be denied.
Lucca’s most famous citizen is Giacomo Puccini. Puccini was born in Lucca into an enormous family; he was one of nine children. The Puccini birthplace is the house with the banner on it.
Both of his parents had musical backgrounds, and Puccini, himself, had his first taste of music playing the organ at a local church.
Yup, that’s the organ you see photographed below. I took a photo for you.
Even though Puccini’s love life caused considerable gossip in this little town, he is greatly loved, and a statue of him has been placed in the square in front of his birthplace.
Puccini is important, but Lucca is so much more. The town has well preserved Renaissance walls that go all around the city. See Ashleigh up there with her arms in the air?
There are ramparts that anyone can walk on as well as endless cobblestone streets.
And the churches are noteworthy.
My favorite church in Lucca is St. Martin’s. Located here is a famous wooden Crucifix that has been venerated since the Middle Ages. The Crucifix hangs inside a little chapel which protects it from the hands of people. Once a year, a festival is held in which the Crucifix plays a starring role. The festival draws the faithful from far and wide, and the town of Lucca is filled to the brim.
Oh, did I mention that this Crucifix has black skin???? It is hard to see in these photos, but all I could say was, “WOW.”
The rest of the church is wonderful as well.
This church, like so many in Italy, has undergone restoration. The restoration you see here took twenty years. The last of the scaffolding is just coming down. See it below on the left.
Art, always important in Italy, is present in this church as well. This is a sarcophagus carved by Jacopo della Quercia in 1407. This lady’s feet are resting on her pet dog. The dog doesn’t seem to want to leave the side of his dead mistress.
As always, Ashleigh and I had a great time. This evening was extra special because we raised a glass to Sarah Henry who was celebrating a birthday back in Virginia. Happy Birthday, Sarah…and many more.
Lucca is not far from Florence, making a little day trip totally possible….but staying a while would be even better. Good Night, from the Unseasoned Traveler.