InterRail #6: What a Lucca!!
On our second day in Pisa we decided to be adventurous and leave the city for a day trip to nearby Lucca, a trip of some 30 minutes. Once we had arrived, our first stop was the tourist information centre near the station where we obtained a colourful map highlighting the main sights. From there we entered the town passing through the impressive Renaissance-era city walls, still intact today. We proceeded to walk via the Baluardo S. Colombano and made our way around St Martin’s cathedral to the Piazza Giovanni.
We passed the Chiesa di San Giovanni and along the Via Fillungo to the Ampitheatre (Piazza dell’Anfiteatro) which dare I say it, was somewhat underwhelming; reasonably small and a little neglected, though the hoard of white vans did not help this. There were however in the area a few nice shops which gave us the chance to do a spot of window gazing.
Skirting the Amphitheatre we passed the church of San Pietro Somaldi and found ourselves on the Via del Fosso which ran alongside a small canal.
A walk of several hundred metres brought us to the Via Santa Croce which turned back into the town centre. It was getting close to lunch-time so once again the hunt for a suitable eatery was on, as we took in all of the sights and sounds of this old town. Past the Piazza Bernardini, across the Via Fillungo and along the Via Roma to the grand Piazza San Michele.
Another photo opportunity and a quick trip inside the church was followed by a short walk along the Via San Paolinato to see the statue of Puccini. It was at this point that the serious business of finding somewhere to have lunch raised its head.
As luck would have it we stumbled across a small restaurant (Pizzeria Rusticanella2 SRL on the Via S. Paulino 32) which was just about to open and offered a reasonably priced lunchtime menu. There was enough choice for everyone and at 13 euros for two-courses we settled ourselves in and enjoyed what proved to be a very tasty and satisfying meal.
Once we had finished gorging ourselves on delicious carbohydrates, we finished our tour of Lucca with a trip to the church of San Romano, the Ducal Palace and the Piazza Napoleone before exiting the town through the Porto San Pietro.
From there it was a short walk back to the station, and then once we arrived back in Pisa a little more exploration (InterRail #5: A piece of Pisa)