We stumbled upon Lucca quite by accident seventeen years ago. Driving from Sienna to Milan at the end of our vacation we saw a sign saying “Lucca Centro Storico” and decided to stop there for lunch. Little did I know that this would be the start of a love affair with this lovely Tuscan town.
It took seven years for me to get back to Lucca. I was attending language school in Arezzo for a month and decided I needed a weekend getaway. While researching towns on the train line from Arezzo I remembered our lunch in Lucca and the walk on the wall. So off to Lucca I went.
Over the next few years we visited various towns across Italy, but my thoughts kept returning to Lucca. I wanted to share my love for the town and Panini Girl Tours in Lucca was born. Since 2011 I’ve been returning and exploring the town with old and new friends introducing them to my favorite foods and finds.
I love to start the day with a walk on the wall that surrounds the town. If you’re an early riser you can pretty much have the town to yourself. It’s the perfect time to wander through the streets taking time to snap a photo or two. Of course I have a special pasticceria that I frequent and before heading back to the apartment I stop in for a cappuccino and my favorite pastry-a budino di riso- a creamy rice filling encased in a buttery crust. What’s your favorite? I’ll bring one home for you!
At one point there were a hundred churches in town. Many are still standing, although most aren’t open on a regular basis. If you happen to walk by and see the door open, by all means go inside. You’ll be treated to incredible art no matter which church you visit. I’m happy to enter, take a seat and cherish the serenity while thinking about all the people who worshipped there over the years.
This year was no exception. Mornings began with pastries, cappuccinos and strolling on the wall. Lucca is filled with amazing small shops and we all certainly took advantage of what they had to offer, especially the locally crafted leather goods. A day trip to Florence is always on the agenda, but at the end of the day we were all happy to return to Lucca! Our evenings were filled with food and wine and lots of laughs around the table.
Until the next time we all have a week full of incredible memories of our time in Lucca. I’m already planning next May’s trip and looking forward to discovering more of the town and the countryside.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. I’ll be posting information about the tour soon. Panini Girl Food Tours