Saturday, October 17, 2009


Stream beside our agriturismo

The outside of our agritursimo, Casolare Lucchese

The outside of our lunch place

Another view of our place, which was about 2 miles northeast of Lucca next to the village of San Pietro a Vico

Boiled octopussy-yum!yum! Though the next dish with scallops sounds like something for me. I suppose I shouldn't get too snide as the Italians must wonder why we ask for a cannoli or a biscotti when those are plural words (a biscotto or a cannolo would be correct) And a 'venti ' sized latte in bizarre Starbucksspeak? What's that? twenty or winds although if it's 20 oz, I suppose that would make sense

Inside da Felice. I got a large glass of wine, a cecina, and a chestnut pancake stuffed with ricotta for 5 euros. Piled up by the stove our stuffed foccaci-Teri had one filled with artichokes. Yum.

Just some pretty windows

Nice mosiac on church

San Martino

Carrara as seen from our train on the way to Lucca. They've been mining this mountain for its pure white marble for a thousand years

Teri holding the bikes while I get something from the open market within the walls of Lucca. We tried several bikes to find ones with brakes. The tires were soft and the gears didn't work but they worked out fine for our 8 miles or so of travelling. No shoulders on the road to Lucca so that was scary but it was fine biking the ramparts.

San Michele

The piazza Anfiteatro once was a Roman amphitheater but now turned into shops. We had some wine sitting in one of the many cafes lining it

Now we are in Lucca in Toscanna, a beautiful walled town. We are staying in Fuori Lucca vs Dentro Lucca in a beautiful agritursmo 2 km away but seems more like 2 miles to us. We have been given bikes to get around in which the gears don't work and the brakes are iffy but fortunely it is flat right here. We rode the ramparts (top of the wall) 2.5 miles for the complete circle and rode a little inside. We are now on foot leaving the bikes locked up. It is market day here so we had fun exploring the stalls that went on for a good mile. I got something very cool for Naomi who is racking up tickets back in Ann Arbor. Maybe I will keep it myself. Cassolare Lucchese is a beautiful stone building with cool wooden beams in the ceilings. Lia the owner is very sweet but does not speak English at all. The local bus system, a complete mystery to even those who live here, is known as the CLAP. (Excuse me, where can I get the clap?)
It cost 6 euros for the 100 Km trip from Bonassola to Lucca switching trains at LaSpezia and then Viarreggio. Trains are very cheap but switching trains is no fun. Teri watches the bags while I frantically figure out what track we need to be on sometimes with only minutes to spare (and we've missed plenty of trains by minutes). If we are not going to a major station, we have to figure out what major station is the final destination for our transfer point. There are no official people to ask. Sometimes the locals can help and in general, everyone is nice. Sometimes, like yesterday, they decide to cancel a train so we have to wait for the next one.
The train ride was interesting going by the Carrara marble works, a whole mountain of pure white marble that Michelangelo got his marble for David from. At some point , we went into a tunnel that had no lights and there were no lights on the train. Total darkness for 5 minutes. Very creepy.

Octapussy is the English translation for Polpo. It is funny how they translate things sometimes.

We are seeing and experiencing so much, it is hard to keep track. Bonassola and Cinque Terre were the experiences of a lifetime. The last morning in Bonassola, Teri and I parted ways. I went to explore the local marble which is green. The beach is covered with polished marble stones of various colors-no shells or seaweed. I picked up some. The seawalls were the crystalline green marble which is quite fragile as I was able to break off pieces with my hands. There are pieces of mica and quartz crystals embedded in it. If I had a hammer, I could get pieces perfect for my rock garden but I do have some small crystals. I bought some alleged local Limonccino (tastes like limoncello of the south) but I see across the cork a sticker from Espana on it.

Food in Lucca is the best and the cheapest we've found. Last night Teri and I shared a bottle of good wine (9 euro) and antipasti della casa that was a meal in itself. 6 kinds of meat, stuffed olives, red melon that even I liked, spinach frittata, and on with at least 20 little goodies. We also got a pear salad with really good pears (rare at home) pecorino, raddicchio, and pepper that we put on balsimetico on. For once, we had good bread (foccacia with the meal. We had no room for the luccchese ravioli. For lunch, we had cecina and artichoke stuffed foccacio and of course wine. Also had a crepe made from chestnut flour stuffed with ricotta (castagnoccino). Tutti per 5 euros a piece with some pizza thrown in. We will go to Firenze tomorrow while using this as our home base.

No comments:


Blog Archive