May 30, 2013


One Perfect Day In Lucca

I am dedicating this post to my goddaughter K. who in just a few weeks will be taking off for Italy. I’m thrilled that Lucca will be a stop on her three week adventure and since I can’t be there to guide her through my favorite town, I’m going to give her a peek here.

wall walk

Get up early. Yes, I said early and make your way to the wall. If you are up there shortly after sunrise you will be pretty much on your own with the exception of a couple of runners and a few older gents taking their daily morning stroll. Check out the city from the wall and watch it slowly come to life as the Lucchese head off to their favorite caffe for an espresso or cappuccino.


Speaking of cappuccino, I’m sure you’ll find your own favorite for a cup and maybe a few pasticcini or a cornetto. Caffe di Simo on Via Fillungo is always popular, but I have a soft spot for the diminutive Pasticceria Buralli located in Piazza Carmine. You’ll probably be the only non-Italian in there and I love that year after year the same women are working behind the counter.

Chances are that you will have spied the gorgeous gardens of the Palazzo Pfanner during your walk on the wall. Go ahead and tour the house and spend time strolling around the property . It just may transport you back in time.


Are you hungry yet? Stop in Pizza da Felice for a slice or two. Or maybe you want a panino or a slice of focaccia? Your best bet is Forno Amadeo Giusti on Via Santa Lucia.


Spend your afternoon exploring the town. Maybe you’ll want to do a little shopping. Don’t forget to walk over to the Anfiteatro.


My favorite shop is located there. You could probably find something nice for your mom-hint, hint…

le sorelle

Need a little pick me up? How about chocolate? That always works for me!


There are two chocolate shops in town. They are both wonderful but I prefer Cioccolateria Caniparoli on Via S. Paolino.


You have to join the locals on Via Fillungo for the evening passeggiata.


And before you head out for a late dinner why not spend sometime relaxing in your apartment with a glass of wine and antipasti?



You can pick up whatever you need at one of the many take out shops. You’ll be amazed by the selection of cheese, salumi and prepared dishes.


You’re on your own for dinner but if I were there with you I’d say let’s go to Trattoria Gigi in Piazza Carmine. You can sit inside or since it will be a warm summer evening try for a table on the patio. Either place you won’t be disappointed with your meal and the friendly service. On one visit the owner went over to the nearby grocery store to pick up tonic water for one of the woman in our group who wanted a gin and tonic.


Get a good night’s sleep since you have a few more days to enjoy this beautiful town. Wish I was going to be there with you!

Have I tempted the rest of you?

Autumn In Tuscany-Cook WIth Panini Girl In Lucca

25 thoughts on “One Perfect Day In Lucca

  1. I love this!! I’m going to replicate this precisely! Thank you so much for all the helpful suggestions, and for dedicating your post to me. I’m so lucky to have a godmother like you! Love you!!

  2. Yesterday I was discussing with my husband his Italian roots. He was adopted at age 2 by his step-dad Bill McMeans, but his birth dad, who is still alive and living in Prosser, WA, is Bob Simi, who’s father was born in Lucca, Italy! That rang a bell for me. I asked Ken if he knew any more about his grandfather. All he knew was he had been involved in unsavory shipping practices and had a pardon from the President of the United States for moonshining! I hope some day Ken and I get to with you and J. to Italy together. It’s on my bucket list to have a guided tour by you in Lucca.

    In the meantime we’re enjoying our new home of Morro Bay.

    You both are welcome anytime! Love and hugs, Eliza

    • Elizabeth-what an interesting story! I am glad you all are happy in Morro Bay-what a beautiful spot. If we ever have the time to head up to Paso we will see you then!

  3. A beautiful gift Janie! A gorgeous idea for a post. Love love love.

  4. Yes…what a beautiful tour and gift for your niece.

  5. Di Simon is closed! If your goddaughter comes before 27th June I will give her a guided tour of Lucca.

    • Debra-you are so sweet! I think she’s coming right after that but I will find out. I really appreciate your kindness and remember my “tour” of Lucca with you-grazie!

  6. Of course I meant Di Simo. The iPad changed it.

  7. Hi Janie – To counterbalance the closure of Di Simo (closed last autumn), Il Mecenate, a restaurant (not a cafe) that used to be in the countryside, has moved into Lucca where it now occupies an old dyer’s and dry cleaner’s premises along the Fosso. The sign above the door is nearly as elegant as Di Simo’s. Stefano sources all his ingredients directly from the producers, many of whom cultivate or make traditional foods of Lucca and the Lunigiana. The address is Via del Fosso 94 (near the Madonna on the column). The service is always welcoming and friendly, but if your god-daughter says Erica (me in Italian) sent her, she’ll get extra special service. You can even get dinner as early as 7 pm to give you time for a leisurely meal before attending the exciting new (as of last summer) concert series Concerti degli Angeli Custodi in a gorgeous frescoed oratory around the corner and just down the street from where you stay when you bring a tour to Lucca.

    • Heather-thank you for the great info. I was hoping to hear from you! I can’t wait to try out this restaurant when I’m in Lucca this fall. I will pass the info on to my goddaughter.

  8. This all looks very tempting!

  9. Gin and Tonic! I almost forgot about that!

  10. Oh what great timing Panini girl. Will be there in 3 weeks for a full day with the family. After much consideration settled on Osteria Baralla as the dinner choice, along we many of the snacks you recommend during the day. Thanks for this

  11. You have highlighted so many of our favorite spots – plus added a few to explore when we are again there in November. Ah…now I am really “homesick” for Lucca – especially since I’m in Doha working for the next 3 weeks…take care! Thanks for the walk about. I’m a bit relaxed after strolling through Lucca in my mind. LOL!

  12. Pingback: Arrivederci! | Seasons of Wine

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: