We too are happy in Lucca, come and join us!
On April 27th Lucca celebrates Santa Zita with a pretty flower fair and market in Piazza Anfiteatro and close to the Church of San Frediano. Santa Zita is related to flowers because of a miracle: as a young girl she was working as a servant at Fatinelli family and she used, now and then, to steal something from the family’s pantry to bring to poor people living in her quarter. She put everything she can bring in her large apron and sneaked off the house to reach her church and the paupers.
But her collegues were resenting so reported her activity to the master. So Mister Fatinelli stopped Zita while she was slipping away holding her bulging apron and he asked rhetorically what she was carrying. She fell lost but had the strengh to answer: “flowers! I’m bringing flowers to the church!”. And when she was ordered to open the apron as the master didn’t believe her.. there were flowers instead of bread and food for the poor people!!!
So Zita was save and could go on taking foodstuff from the Fatinelli family and now she is remembered as the little Saint of the flowers.
I vanished for a while.. but it was for a good reason, believe me!
I worked hard with my husband because we decided to start a family activity up. Nowadays he works and lives in Milano while I work and live in Lucca and we spent 10 years meeting only during weekends and holidays.. maybe it’s the right recipe for a long marriage relationship but we realized we need more time to spend togheter.
So, we found a house in Lucca, inside the walls, quite completely abandoned and we fell in love with it, with its large rooms, with its private and silent garden.. we bought it thinking it could be a good idea both for living togheter and to run a bed and breakfast as a family business.
We spent a lot of time, finding money for the restoration, following the masons, deciding colors, style… that’s why I vanished in the past months… but now it’s ready! 🙂
I love it and I hope you will love it too! You can see the pictures I took during the works on our new blog and the house is now ready as a bed and breakfast to welcome travellers: B&B Casa San Jacopo al Giardino
Browsing the web, I found an interesting article dated November 2013 and entitled “An Italian plant fair near Pisa makes a great weekend break” by Stephen Lacey on the online newspaper The Telegraph. Stephen Lacey writes about a nice plant fair called Murabilia usually held at the end of September in a pretty city close to Pisa called Lucca!
I agree with Mr Lacey about his suggestion to visit Lucca (“stunning location”) during Murabilia but if you are interested in plant and flowers and you’re looking for an excuse to come to Lucca in spring.. here you are with Verdemura!
Quite similar to Murabilia, Verdemura will be held on April 4th, 5th and 6th 2014 and about 150 exhibitor will be welcomed on the Reinassance Walls.
The local Guides of Lucca (me too!) will organize guided tours to the city and to the Botanical Garden, so feel free to contact me for information about tickets and rates.
And if you are looking for a Bed&Breakfast in Lucca, inside the walls, in a quite area, I suggest Casa San Jacopo al Giardino.
The charm of Lucca also come from its Renaissance Walls that surround the old city.
But Lucca has always been a walled city since it was founded by the Romans in the year 180 B.C.
The first walls surrounded the village called “Luca” (from the original name Loik), they formed a square and were long around 2 km.
During the Middle Ages after the year 1000, Lucca was pretty rich, wealthy and a strategic stop along the French Route (Via Francigena) and so new walls were needed to protect the suburbs that had grown outside the Roman walls.
These walls were finished around the year 1270 and nowadays we can still admire a part of them in the North side of the city and two big gates.
As the walls were built to protect the city from enemies, the East side was made safer by digging out a fosse and we can still walk along Via del Fosso following it. The fosse was outside of the original walls to provide extra protection.
Finally, the Reinaissance Walls were started on October 1513 to include buildings and houses developed outside the Middle Ages walls. 4 km long, provided with bastions and controlled by soldiers, the Walls are a symbol of Lucca.
Season sales are the best way to find a bargain but be careful not to be fascinated by low prices and then cheated by low quality!
During the next days I will give you some suggestions about shops I like in Lucca and the first one is Zazzi in Via Calderia 13 at a walking distance from Piazza San Michele: a charming boutique where one can find hundreds of scarves and shawls traditionally weaved in Garfagnana factories. You can also see an original loom in the shop and usually on week ends a nice lady will be weaving all day long. I bought a very warm and colourful scarf for my mother at Christmas and I will visit the shop to see if I can find something for me too! 🙂