Read about our trip on our Someday Travel Blog.
Part of our group entering the Renaissance Walls surrounding Lucca. Lucca is one of only a few towns/cities that still have a wall surrounding the entire city. The wall was built during the Roman period.
We had many opportunities for wine tasting and enjoying the local cuisine, like Lardo in Colonnata where we stopped and ate lunch at Locanda Apuana, a local restaurant set in the Apuan Mountains.
In Carrara we visited a local museum that explained how marble was cut and moved in the past. Here is a marble donkey leading two oxen. It seems that while they would have as many as 20-60 oxen pulling the heavy marble, oxen like to be led so the miners would put a donkey in the lead and the oxen would follow. Carrara is where Michelangelo actually went personally for his marble. Carrara is noted for the pure white marble which is the type of marble that Michelangelo used to sculptor his masterpieces which included The Pieta, David and Moses.
Inside the mountain where they cut and removed the marble. These are all marble walls and we were driven in by vans to observe how the marble was cut and removed.
Florence. The Ponte Vecchio with its goldsmith and jewelry stores. This bridge was the only one not destroyed during the Nazi’s retreat from Florence. One story said that the officer in charge of the rear guard was ordered to blow it up. He happened to be a lover of history and refused, leaving it untouched. Another was rather than blow up the bridge, he ordered all the buildings on each side to be blown up so the Allies and equipment couldn’t cross the bridge. Either way it was quite impressive.
Walking the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea in Viareggio. We spent several hours walking the beach, eating and enjoying the complete beauty of yet another sunny day in Italy.
On the way to Rome we stopped at Tenuta di Torciana to visit their winery and have a light lunch. Ask anyone on our trip about Luigi and you’ll probably get a warm smile of remembrance. He was the highlight of the trip for many. The wine was excellent as was the olive oil and the food was outstanding.
Although not in Tuscany, no visit to Italy would be complete without a visit to Rome. We saw the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and much more. The Pieta was as beautiful as the entire city. Travelers had the final day of our tour to explore Rome on their own.
How can you travel through the Tuscany region and not stop to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa? There is quite a neat description of why the tower was leaning and how they eventually completed it and stabilized it. You can read it on our Tuscany Blog.
The group had a reception with wine and appetizers held in Andrea Bucci’s gallery in Lucca. Such beautiful work. Andrea had his artwork displayed at the Windhover Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac, so the visit to his gallery had a distinct connection between Italy and Fond du Lac.