March 23, 2016 – Lucca

Happy Birthday to Sarah!

Today we try to tailor our sightseeing and activities to our birthday girl. By the end of the day we had walked about seven miles and seen a lot!

Lucca is a very approachable walled city. It is easy to navigate on foot and we see many churches and a museum. Since I ran out of steam last night and did not get around to writing this post, the narrative today will be on the pictures.

Entering the walled city of Luccathrough the Porta Santa Maria
Entering the walled city of Lucca through the Porta Santa Maria
First stop is at the Basilica of San Frediano, a 12th century church with a mosaic facade
First stop is at the Basilica of San Frediano, a 12th century church with a mosaic facade
Close up of the mosaic
Close up of the mosaic
The stark interior of San Frediano - it once had frescoes covering the walls as can be seen by a few remaining pieces
The stark interior of San Frediano – it once had frescoes covering the walls as can be seen by a few remaining pieces
One of the few fragments of the frescoes that used to cover the walls
One of the few fragments of the frescoes that used to cover the walls
12th century baptismal font
12th century baptismal font
We stop for a cup of espresso in the Antiteatro. The buildings are built on the foundations of a Roman ruin.
We stop for a cup of espresso in the Antiteatro. The buildings are built on the foundations of a Roman ruin. The “square” is in the shape of an oval.
Here's the birthday girl sipping an espresso.
Here’s the birthday girl sipping an espresso.
John and I with a bit of foolishness - a selfie!
John and I with a bit of foolishness – a selfie!
John and I take a pass while Sarah climbs the Guinigi Tower.
John and I take a pass while Sarah climbs the Guinigi Tower.

View of Lucca from the top of the GuinigiTower (courtesy of Sarah)
View of Lucca from the top of the GuinigiTower (courtesy of Sarah)

Next church is the cathedral or duomo, San Martino.
Next church is the cathedral or duomo, San Martino. The church was consecrated in 1070 but has been renovated especially in the 14th and 15th centuries.

This church is dedicated to Saint Martin who gave his cloak to a poor man as illustrated in this 13th century sculpture.
This church is dedicated to Saint Martin who gave his cloak to a poor man as illustrated in this 13th century sculpture.
San Martino is much more highly decorated than San Frediano
San Martino is much more highly decorated than San Frediano
There are many important works of art in here including a Last Supper by Tintoretto
There are many important works of art in here including a Last Supper by Tintoretto
Even the ceiling is beautiful
Even the ceiling is beautiful
Some works are too precious to be put out in the open such as the Volto Santo, awooden crucifix from the 11th or 12th century whaich wawsthe symbol of the town and of the Republic of Lucca. Its image appear3ed on the town coins.
Some works are too precious to be put out in the open such as the Volto Santo, a wooden crucifix from the 11th or 12th century which was the symbol of the town and of the Republic of Lucca. Its image appeared on the town coins.
Lunchtime! We have lunch at the Caffe del Mercato. I have risotto carciofi while Sarah and John have the signature soup of Lucca , Zuppa di Farro.
Lunchtime! We have lunch at the Caffe del Mercato. I have risotto carciofi while Sarah and John have the signature soup of Lucca , Zuppa di Farro.
Sarah celebrates with a lunchtime beer. John and I stick to water.
Sarah celebrates with a lunchtime beer. John and I stick to water.

 

After lunch we head to the Villa Guinigi Museum, home to artifacts from the Etruscan civilization to paintings from the 17th century. We concentrate on the 13th to 15th century artwork and sculpture such as this paleo-Christian capital.
After lunch we head to the Villa Guinigi Museum, home to artifacts from the Etruscan civilization to paintings from the 17th century. We concentrate on the 13th to 15th century artwork and sculpture such as this paleo-Christian capital.
For some reason these feet were saved.
For some reason these feet were saved.
There are many crucifixes from the 1200's. It is amazing to look at something so old.
There are many crucifixes from the 1200’s. It is amazing to look at something so old. The inscription at the bottom says “Berlinghiero did this” in Latin.
Odd painting
Odd painting
For Sarah's birthday dinner we took her to the La Pecora Nera which translates into "the black sheep." Truly we did not think of the name referring to Sarah!
For Sarah’s birthday dinner we took her to the La Pecora Nera which translates into “the black sheep.”  Truly, we did not think of the name referring to Sarah!

 

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