Postcard 9 – Florence to Lucca and Vernazza

Florence is a fabulous city and I’ve added a few more pictures to illustrate the astonishing beauty of the snappily titled ‘Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore’ and the astonishing bridge, Ponte Vecchio, that I referred to in the last post.

We’re now on our way to Lucca.

Lucca is wonderful and our accommodation that Cecilia has found is quaintly beautiful. It’s in the heart of the town and run by a delightful gentleman who advices us on eating establishments and gives us the choice of any of the rooms. After hitting my head on the rafter in the toilet of the larger room we opt for the marginally smaller one that has a higher ceiling in the loo. It’ll reduce the need for a lexicon search for new swear words through the night and help preserve what little there is left in my cranium.

It’s a walled city that was a bit sensitive about attacks from Pisa and surrounding towns. There’s no evidence of any large scale action so maybe the walls put them off.

The walls are significantly wide but not that high. Clearly, they’re bigger than a bloke with a ladder but not high when you compare them with the likes of the Vatican etc. They’re excellent for walking, biking and are completely wheelchair friendly so no one needs to miss out. We walk most of the way around in the sun and it’s lovely. Two thirds of the way around and we break off to go into town for a bite to eat and climb a tower that’s been a bit of a draw since we got here. It stands way above the roofs of the surrounding buildings and at the top we meet a couple and the gentleman hails from Middlesbrough! – they get everywhere 🙂

So now we’re on our way to Cinque Terra towns in the North West passing through Pisa and with a change of trains in La Spezia. The journey is extraordinarily beautiful although the towns and railway stations do suffer from the Italian disease of graffiti which is everywhere and nothing is sacrosanct. They’ll spray a wall or a sculptural masterpiece, they’re all rendered equal by these secretive vandals. Later I’ll tell you about a technique that the Swiss have adopted that might have a bit of a chance of inhibiting them.

Cecilia is in charge of accommodation and manages to bag a lovely little apartment in Vernazza although with the weekend looming, it’s only for one night and we’ll need two for no other reason that this region and these towns are captivating.

I’ll tell you about the region in the next postcard.

Enjoy the snaps. G x

PS: There’s a lot of snaps.

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