Well, I thought I had some pretty perfect days on my trip. Little did I know that I had one more in store for me once my flight was cancelled. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I believe I was supposed to get those extra days. It all just lined up. I had a place to stay with no problem, I had no reason to rush home, and I was fortunate to do something I hadn't had a chance to do. Kelly and her dad were heading to Tuscany on Friday. She told me about this beautiful city Lucca. It is a medieval city that still has the Renaissance-era city walls surrounding it. So, we met up at 8am to take a train to Lucca. We were concerned about missing our connecting train since we were a few minutes delayed on the first one and had only 3 minutes to get from one to the next. But, as all things just worked out perfectly those few days, so did our transfer. We arrived in Lucca and it did not disappoint. The large wall surrounding the city is quite a thing to see. You can see beautiful rows of trees atop the wall and towers peaking up from churches around the city. We entered and found a place right inside to rent some bikes. Our plan was to bike around the top of the wall around the city first and then walk around. It was amazing and beautiful.
I think I've talked about the energy in Cinque Terre. There is a laid back, happy energy in the villages. However, sometimes the energy is a little more "busy" energy when there are a lot of tourists around, such as weekends when you're squeezing into the train and people are pushing or when large tour groups are spreading themselves across the small streets as you try to make your way through. However, it is still a much calmer energy than here. Lucca, however, was this amazingly calm and peaceful energy (much how I assume Riomaggiore is once the peak season is dying down). There were many people riding or walking along the wall and in the city, but it didn't feel like it.
Lucca is a beautiful mix of old and new. You can see many aspects of the city that are original yet they have created these modern bars/cafes and stores throughout. These posh looking businesses have succeeded in being beautiful yet there is no feeling of pretension. You can tell they take pride in their city and the friendly and attentive service in each place you enter is a tribute to that. Here are some pics from our time there. I look forward to visiting again and exploring the city more in depth.