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The Lure Of Lucca, Italy   by Sharon Stajda

Tuscany is home to the town of Lucca, an exquisite example of Romanesque architecture displayed in all of its glory throughout the town. The cathedrals of San Michele and San Martino are two of the best examples of the Romanesque architecture to be seen in Lucca, or all of Northern Italy for that.

Lucca sits near the Serchio River, about 30 kilometers from Pisa and 80 kilometers from Florence. The town itself rests on a plateau under the watchful gaze of the Apuane Alps. The medieval walls, thick and strong, built in the sixteenth century still surround the town and the walkways present on the top of the walls offer an enjoyable opportunity for biking or walking to nearby sights.

The town is full of charming shops and antique markets that offer a variety of unique and interesting items. In fact, the town is sufficiently insulated from the hectic pace of city life, that it provides a restful and peaceful vacation spot.

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The superb aromas wafting from the restaurants in Lucca tempt tourists and residents alike. Superb dining is at the end of their search for the perfect cuisine or culinary delight to feed their hunger. One of the best restaurants in Lucca is Ristorante Buca di Sant'Antonio. Make sure to try the faro soup. This is known to be one of the oldest dishes in Italy.

Large villas, nestled in the surrounding hillsides in all of their finery, and impressive gardens beckon too many tourists who visit the area. Some of Italy's finest beaches are less than a half an hour distance away. Nearby is the town of Barga. It is north of Lucca and is a wonderful medieval walled city that is not on the tourist path. Pietrasanta is another small town nearby that is known as the place which Michelangelo came for stone. Today, it remains a place where many artists reside and a continue to craft items from the stone.

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About the Author - For more information about Tuscany and Lucca, please visit Lucca - A Tuscan Town.

Riverside Villa with Garden, Bagni di Lucca, Italy
Beautiful house in the historical village of Bagni di Lucca, with a very large private garden and private access to the river. The region around Bagni di Lucca is called Media Valle - Garfagnana and has a multitude of lovely spots and historical towns like Barga, Castelnuovo, Coreglia degli Antelminelli etc... all at an altitude of 500m (1500 feet). This region has attracted many illustrious British visitors in the past two centuries; Byron and Shelley, for instance, visited Bagni di Lucca many times. The thermal baths of Bagni di Lucca have been known for many centuries. Montaigne, the French writer, cured his illness in Bagni di Lucca and wrote about it in his memories. In the first half of the 19th century Bagni di Lucca became a fashionable resort of the court of the grand duke of Tuscany. The first roulette in the world was conceived and installed in the Casino of Bagni di Lucca.  Self-catering, sleeps: 5, Total bedrooms: 3 
Spend Christmas in Tuscany (Ref: 34842) Self catering house in Lucca, Italy
The property itself is old, stone and a rustic, mid terrace built on 4 floors. The first and second floor are for rental purposes and the top floor is locked attic space. The owner lives in a small apartment below (separate entrance) providing on site advice, translation and general help if required (babysitting at hourly charge). Entrance to the rental is through the little cottage garden around the back of the property.  The small garden provides an additional space for dining outside, relaxing in peace and is comfortably shaded and "cool" during the hot summer months. BBQ, garden furniture provided. The house is literally "home from home" and equipped with ample kitchen and living appliances for everyday comfort.  Sleeps 7.
Villa Colletto (Ref: 24977) Self catering villa in Coreglia-Antelminelli, Italy
This magnificent large early 19th century villa, which is the owners personal residence, has been lovingly restored to maintain the romantic ambience of a previous age. It has a wealth of original features painted trompe loeil ceiling, terracotta tiled floors and period antique furniture all in keeping with the original Tuscan style whilst incorporating the luxury of every modern convenience. Both the spacious salon, with a period marble fireplace, and the dining room, with trompe loeil ceiling and painted panelled walls, have shuttered french doors which open out onto a large terracotta terrace with central fountain. To the side of the terrace is a large beamed loggia, seating 14 people for al fresco eating, a sitting area, a wood burning oven for pizzas, and a barbecue. All bedrooms have their own bathrooms/showers (3 en-suite). The glorious elevated position allows a stunning vista from each of the rooms making this the most sought after property. The heated swimming pool is shared with Residence Paradiso.   Sleeps 8.
Villa Serena (Ref: 24990) Self catering villa in Coregglia-Antelminelli, Italy
This luxurious south facing property is a late 18th century rustic farmhouse which has been lovingly restored to maintain the romantic ambience.  The beautiful swimming pool on the terrace is designed as a water-feature, with antique fountainhead. It is surrounded by a garden with hedges of holm oak and lavender and has superb panoramic views. The glorious elevated position which allows such stunning vistas from each of its rooms, make this a most sought after property. Convenient for visiting Lucca: 40 minutes. Florence: 1½ hours. Pisa: 1hour.  Time to shops: 10 minutes  Time to beach: 1 hour. Magical setting with private garden, pool, and house
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Latest update: May 10, 2010