Venice to Lucca

Day 22 – Venice to Lucca

Daily Wrap-Up

One Word
  • Barb: Lillilputian
  • Mike: Internet
  • Jen: Andiamo!
Two Words
  • Barb: Working Venice
  • Mike: Pinch point
  • Jen: Bye, Lexi
Three or Four Words
  • Barb: Dogs, no cats
  • Mike: Early morning (relative) solitude
  • Jen: Pastries on ponte Rialto
One Sentence
  • Barb: Get me out of this Florence traffic and onto the autostrade!
  • Mike: New item for my bucket list: Walk every street in Venice.
  • Jen: You mean we didn’t?

We took advantage of our last morning in Venice to—you guessed it—get up and out early for a final walkabout around our own, private Venice and to enjoy pastries on the Rialto bridge over the Grand Canal.

Though I should be used to it by now, I still marvel at the number of churches here in Venice and in every Italian town. Our Chorus passes give us entry to fifteen churches here on this two-square-mile island, and that doesn’t include all the churches here. I have no idea how many there are, but I know there are a lot.

So I asked my travel companions to finish this sentence: Italy has churches like ___. Here are some of the answers.

Italy has churches like…

  • the Internet has porn.
  • Alaska has moose. (In hindsight, I’m thinking caribou might be more accurate.)
  • the universe has galaxies.
  • … everywhere.
Bridge of Sighs in Venice.

The Bridge of Sighs in Venice. That’s the Ducal Palace on the left and what used to be a prison on the right. Inmates would sigh as they crossed this bridge and got one last look through the windows at the freedom they were leaving behind. We sighed looking at it today. Good-bye, Venice.

I think we were all a little sorry to leave Venice, or maybe I’m projecting. We’re embarking on the last leg of the trip, and we had to return Lexi to school in Florence—though not before I quizzed her to death on the week’s Italian vocabulary. I don’t think any of us will soon forget “il maglione” (sweater) or “la maglietta” (t-shirt).

The drive from Venice to Florence was surprisingly easy, even the approach to Florence. Mind you, we don’t actually drive into Florence; we stay on the outskirts.

After considerable deliberation, we decided to drop Lexi at the bus stop in Fiesole. She’s familiar with the area and has taken the bus to and from there a number of times. We saw to it she got a ticket and then ditched her, alone, on the sidewalk to await the next bus.

We had some trouble escaping the black hole that is city traffic in Italy, but our super navigator and indefatigable, NASCAR-ready driver got us out safely.


Lucca is a medieval hill town without the hill. It’s a planned Roman city, founded in 180 BC. The cobblestone streets are narrow and feel like a maze, but they are laid out in a grid. For some reason, bicycles became a thing here: everyone rides them. I find them just as bothersome as cars when walking.

The great defensive wall around the city was built in the 16th and 17th centuries. The land beyond the wall was cleared so that advancing enemies wouldn’t be able to hide. It remains clear today, a lovely play area for residents, visitors, dogs, and kids. The wall, which never once needed to be defended, is now a park with a walking/jogging path.

The wall that surrounds Lucca.

Lucca’s wide, solid walls once protected the city from enemies but now mostly keep traffic out. These days, residents and visitors walk on the paved path on top of the walls.

We’re staying inside the city wall, in an ancient building that has been remodeled to accommodate twenty-first century living.

Via Santa Andrea in Lucca

Our street in Lucca, via Santa Andrea. That’s our front door (#27) on the left side of the image and our window above the door. That’s Torre Guinigi (the tower) at the end of the street.

Our apartment is comfortable, spacious, and colorful.

Living and dining room in our Lucca apartment.

The living and dining room in our Lucca apartment. Orange seems to be popular in Italian home decor just now. It strikes me as retro 1960s, but I doubt Italians see it that way. This place was nice. Tons of space.

Check out our dining room art. Barb calls it “Jetsonesque.”

Cartoon image of man and woman dining that reminds us of the Jetsons.

Jetsonesque dining room art in our Lucca first-floor walkup.

Categories: Italy, Travel

2 replies »

  1. I’m SO glad that WE got to see Venice. Thanks for the tour. And, my goodness, your apartment was such an improvement over the leaky farm house!