To Patrick it seemed that every other word out of Katrina's mouth was 'charming' during our 24 hour stay in Lucca. But it is--so charming, with its ancient city wall encircling a labryinth of winding little streets. Even the garbage and pizza delivery trucks are miniature to fit and the postman uses a mail bike. It's a town where travellers come to see nothing in particular, rather to simply experience Lucca.
Our home for the night, La Magnolia B&B, was no exception to the culture of charm. Buzzing in from the street, we expected to open the front door to find a lobby of some sort. But instead we encountered an airy, open courtyard with flints of light sneaking in through the trees from the sun above. Our room on the second floor peered out over the courtyard and a restaurant next door, and the room's decor seemed to not only share but accentuate the atmosphere of the town and surroundings below. Our hosts at the B&B, Laura and her brother, Andrea, were very helpful in getting us oriented to Lucca and on our way to some delectable dining.
Per Laura's recommendation, we had our first meal at Gigi in the Piazza del Carmine. The pasta was so good that it made even Patrick stop to savor every bite, and the 4 Euro half liter carafe of house wine (straight from the barrel we suspect) was the best we've had so far. Afterwards, we allowed our stomaches a brief respite while wandering the streets and pedestrian path atop the city wall. Before long we stopped for gelato that was so good Patrick voted to break our three to five "M" scale to give it a "Mmmmmm".
We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling the city wall, taking a nap, and working up an appetite for dinner at Andrea's recommendation, Vasco. Though not quite as delicious as Gigi, we happily stuffed ourselves and were about to call it a night when we heard ampliphied voices descending from atop the city wall. Looking up we could make out a large group of people sitting at tables and our path of deduction was as follows: guests sitting for dinner, toasts on a microphone...must be a wedding! Our curiosity piqued, we went up to check it out and found a scene far from a nuptual reception. Over 200 Luccans were intently participating in a tournament of Burraco, which appeared to be some sort of variation of Canasta. Patrick's competitive streak reared its ugly head, but before he could drag Katrina to a table she dragged him back to La Magnolia. We fell asleep to the sound of joyful dining from the restaurant next door and a soothing Tuscan breeze blowing in our window.
More photos from Lucca here.