Our Italian friends tell us that Lucca is a fun place to live and to visit because the people from here do such a good job of getting the most out of life.
The area is known for its thriving artistic community and for a lively culture. The food and wine are superb and the monthly antiques market is a fascinating venue filled with historic treasures brought in from family attics and basements – things you would never see anywhere else.
We were not surprised to learn that the town sponsors one of the most important festivals in the world dedicated to comic books. Held every October, this colorful and zany event takes over the town and transforms it into a world of fantasy and adventure.
On our most recent outing to Lucca, we stayed at Villa Buonvisi, and enjoyed the hospitality of its owner, Gianna.
She gave us a tour of her classic 16th century Lucca style villa with its lovely gardens and an interior that features beautiful furnishings and Renaissance paintings on its walls.
We often recommend a stay near Lucca because it is so easy to reach the seaside for a day trip and today that is exactly what we will do.
Gianna suggests an outing to Pietrasanta, a beautiful town which is an important center for sculptors. Michelangelo spent a lot of time in Pietrasanta during the years that he was selecting marble from nearby Carrara and meeting with his benefactors, subjects and fellow artists.
We took a leisurely stroll through the town streets and were struck by the size and the beauty of the pieces that have been placed in the main square. Although they are massive in scope, the town still manages to do a periodic change, in order to keep all the important works visible.
We are fortunate to be joined by Serena, who is a wonderful tour guide specialized in this
area. Her English is perfect and her insights and explanations add so much to the experience.
She takes us down a nearby street and into one of Pietrasanta’s few studio complexes, where we can watch artists at work, creating new pieces from marble and bronze.
Here we also found artists doing the intricate work of creating mosaics.
Finally, we ended our day with a walk on the beach at Marina di Pietrasanta.
And when it was over, we were back in Lucca in less than an hour, just in time to enjoy a glass of local wine and antipasti at Ciclo di Vino, Lucca’s only combination bicycle shop and wine bar!!