Italian consulate’s office in San Francisco was very small and the officers sometimes were quite arrogant, luckily we got our visa without any issue.
We arrived in Florence at 4pm local time. At the airport car rental counter, we got a free car upgrade. It turned out not as ideal as it sounds, the bigger car caused us some headache while driving and parking in those hill towns at Tuscany. Our first destination is a small town 50 miles west of Florence, Lucca, After a little more than an hour, we checked into our hotel, Hotel Ilaria & Residenza dell’Alba.
We had dinner at Ristorante Giglio at Piazza del Giglio. Grilled fish and Octopus are some of the local favorites.
The next day morning, as usual, I had a morning walk by myself before the breakfast. Lucca is famous for its narrow lanes winding among the medieval buildings and suddenly opening to small piazzas at one side of the streets. Morning sunshine provided some intriguing lighting condition for photography.
The hotel serves the breakfast at an open patio that overlooks the garden of a villa at back of the hotel. After the breakfast, our city tour officially started.
Lucca’s inner city is quite small, but our legs got really heavy after walking back and forth in those narrow alleys. As usual, after lunch we went back to hotel to take a nap and resumed our tour again at 4pm.
Much more compact, quiet and slow-paced than Florence and Pisa, featuring beautiful medieval architecture and maze-like lanes, Lucca is a jewel of a Tuscan town, a surprising treat of our Tuscany trip.