Day 22 – Venice to Lucca
- Barb: Lillilputian
- Mike: Internet
- Jen: Andiamo!
- 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
- 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.
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.
We’re staying inside the city wall, in an ancient building that has been remodeled to accommodate twenty-first century living.
Our apartment is comfortable, spacious, and colorful.
Check out our dining room art. Barb calls it “Jetsonesque.”