Lucca... The imposing Renaissance wooded walls that surround it completely, the medieval streets lined with towers and elegant shops, the charming Romanesque churches, alternate with bright squares. Free of traffic, the historic center of Lucca offers the opportunity to the visitor to immerse himself in a rare ancient atmosphere that allows you to regain a feeling of time and space not granted by the modern cities of our day.
The visit to Lucca can begin with Piazza S.Michele in Foro, with the homonymous Romanesque church, continue to Piazza Napoleone, from which you can admire the Palazzo Ducale and the Teatro del Giglio and the Duomo di S.Martino, A fundamental destination for medieval pilgrims who came from here to venerate the image of the "Holy Face" of Christ, still today the symbol of the city. Inside the sacristy, you can admire (entrance fee) the famous sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto, work of Jacopo della Quercia.
Through the characteristic medieval streets, including the main Via Fillungo you get to Piazza Anfiteatro, founded on the remains of the ancient Roman arena, remains one of the most picturesque places of the city. Do not miss Torre Guinigi, unique in its kind, preserves on its top a charming tree-lined roof garden, the Basilica of St.Frediano, one of the oldest churches in the city characterized by the beautiful mosaic facade. The visit ends with a tour of the sixteenth-century walls, once defended against the enemy, now become a public park to be explored on foot, by bicycle or by carriage.
In the village famous for its wine you can admire a beautiful city wall and a beautiful Montecarlo Fortress is a charming village in the hills of Lucca known for the production of an excellent wine.
Already appreciated in the fifteenth century, it is a wine that goes well with seafood dishes. Located south of the province of Lucca, on the border with the district of Pistoia, the DOC Montecarlo encloses within it the area of greatest wine tradition of the entire area. The name takes it from the ancient village of Montecarlo, about halfway with Montecatini, perched on the hill that separates the Val di Nievole from the plain of Lucca and surrounded by fertile in force. Already well known and highly appreciated in the past (Pope Gregory XII praised it at the beginning of the fifteenth century), the wine of Monte Carlo still enjoys an excellent reputation in the regional wine scene and beyond, so much to be considered one of the treasures of Tuscan enology.The area of vine has many varieties, many of which are of transalpine origin (Pinot gris, Pinot noir, Semillion, Roussanne, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon), arrived in this area at the end of the nineteenth century thanks to the passion of Giulio Magnani, owner of the then Fattoria Marchi Magnani (now Mazzini), which in France went to study vines and winemaking techniques. These, together with local grapes, are expertly dosed to obtain the five types provided by the Disciplinary. The wines of Montecarlo are very balanced and fragrant, with a strong personality, and are well matched to the sea cuisine (the White) and to dishes of the most typical local cuisine. Source: www.turismo.intoscana.it
Itineraries in the ancient maritime republic
To the Etruscans would go back the name Pisa, whose meaning would be that of "mouth", that is, outlet of the river to the sea. Pisa, known all over the world for its tower, boasts a thousand-year history that sees its greatest splendor at the time of the Maritime Republics. It is a treasure chest of artistic treasures whose Romanesque and Gothic churches, squares and palaces enhance the neighborhoods traced by the Lungarni and the ancient streets. Those who visit Pisa will discover not only art, culture and history, but natural environments where the park of Migliarino-San Rossore, the Litorale and Monte Pisano, build a stage of particular suggestion.
The ancient maritime tradition of the Republic of Pisa has been revived since 1956, every 4 years in the Historical Regatta that sees the boats of the four ancient republics (Pisa, Venice, Genoa and Amalfi) compete on the Arno. But the city offers other beauties: the Baptistery that stands in front of the facade of the Cathedral and, on the same square, called "dei Miracoli", there is the Monumental Cemetery and the Cathedral, absolute masterpiece of Romanesque-Pisan architecture, built from 1063, entirely covered in marble. And here is the famous Leaning Tower, about 56 meters high.
Useful information and advice
It is possible to book guided tours on foot, by bicycle, by bus, by carriage or on horseback in the Natural Park of Migliarino, San Rossore, Massaciuccoli that extends on the coast that goes from Viareggio to Livorno, for an area of 23,000 hectares and touches the territories of the municipalities of Pisa, Vecchiano, San Giuliano Terme, Massarosa and Viareggio.
Golden beaches, a hinterland of small villages and natural parks to discover, a mild climate and a nightlife full of shows and entertainment: all this is the Versilia, ideal destination for holidays in summer and winter.
A linear stretch of coast that extends for about twenty kilometers, enclosing the hills cultivated with olive trees and vines, the lake area of Massaciuccoli, the peaks of the Apuan Alps, and the presence of archaeological sites, Romanesque churches, medieval villages, fortresses and castles, bear witness to the long history of this area inhabited since the Neolithic. In the summer writers, artists, entertainers and a large number of fans of cultural heritage meet. In winter, literary and cinematographic cultural events attract specialists and onlookers.
Route through the beauty of the chestnut woods to San Pellegrino in Alpe
Four stages to immerse yourself in a unique reality. Many elements of interest: nature still intact, typical products of tradition, little beaten trails. Here’s what to do and where to go.
Following the Serchio from the surroundings of Lucca towards the Garfagnana, you climb to a height that meets the first chestnut woods, a cultivation documented in this area since the early Middle Ages. To understand the territory and discover unique realities of their kind, a visit to the Chestnut Museum of Colognora di Pescaglia is recommended. Here are preserved evidence of the processing and exploitation of the chestnut and offers the opportunity for a tour to a metato (chestnut dryer).
The Garfagnana never had a profitable agriculture, and for the poverty of the soil and for the fragmentary subdivision of the land that did not allow the numerous families to subside, the only solution was emigration. The Museo della Figurina di Gesso e dell'Emigrazione di Coreglia Antelminelli testifies to this significant socio-economic phenomenon, documented since the 17th century. It contains a large collection of plaster figurines that allowed emigrants Tuscan figurines to establish themselves abroad and, not only to survive, but to achieve success.
On the mountains of the Apennines, so hard and so rich in flora and fauna, you can make interesting excursions and visits to environmental education centers today constituted in the conviction that the territory itself is a precious resource to be preserved and valued. In Colle Fobia, near Barga, and in San Romano Garfagnana, home of the Visitor Center of the Orecchiella Park, there are two educational facilities to illustrate the natural environment of the Garfagnana. It is possible to walk for whole days in its 60.000 hectares of woods, in which chestnut trees, hornbeams, Turkey oaks and birch trees alternate, to reach the beech forest and then the moors and the prairies.The trails marked by the mountain community, which has also prepared an itinerary in ten stages called Garfagnana Trekking, allow you to admire on foot an area that the wolf and the golden eagle are reconquering.
In San Pellegrino in Alpe you can visit the Ethnographic Museum Don Luigi Pellegrini, which collects the testimonies of the rural civilization of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines: agricultural tools, pastoral and handicraft, furniture, furnishings. From San Pellegrino it is also possible to admire, on clear days, a complete panorama of the Lucca mountains from the Garfagnana to the Apuan Alps and, turning to the north, you can identify all the peaks of the Apennines of the provinces of Emilia. The area reaches an altitude of 1,500 to 1,700 meters above sea level and is characterized by the passage of vegetation from the forest to the grassy expanse exploited as pasture.
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