Local festivity of Santa Zita
When we traveled to Lucca by the end of April, we found that from April 24-27, the locals were celebrating the local festivity of Santa Zita who is the patron saint of Lucca.
They told us that every year, on 27th April, in the honour of S.Zita in S. Frediano square there are a lot of flowers and you can find a flower/street market in the Amphitheater. People buy a bunch of flowers along the street and they have it blessed and they keep it in their houses. The wild daffodil is the flower that is usually connected with this saint.
In those days, Piazza dell´Anfiteatro is full of colours because the locals celebrate this festivity with flowers and people from everywhere come here to buy flowers. They also do a Flowers competition between the flower stalls and it is a party for the eyes, not only because the colours but also for the diversity of flowers there.
The locals made also the typical sweets and they go outside to celebrate the party.
Villa Bottini and its park
At the end of Via Elisa there is this villa. Not opened for tour or visit, it hosts the newspaper and photograph city archives and sometimes several kind of exhibitions.
The nice park is opened all day long and in summer is often used for concert of classical music.
Good food in small places
We found the Gabry Cafe while wandering the streets of Lucca. Really more of a place to stop in and grab something to go, they also had a pleasant little eating area out front. We ordered pizzas, salad and iced teas all for around 16 Euro, and enjoyed every bite.
As this was our first day in Italy, it was also a good chance to try out our Italian on the very nice waitress. She smiled and we got our order so we must have said something correct!
Lucca Walls and Gates
The medieval walls of Lucca are well preserved and make for a great place to take a walk or bike along. The current walls were constructed between 1544 and 1650. Of the gates, Porta San Pietro was erected in 1566 and is located in the south. If you go clockwise from here you will see Porta Sant Anna, Porta San Donato (1629), Porta Santa Maria (1593), Porta San Jacopo and Porta Elisa (1804). Porta Sant Anna and Porta San Jacopo were added in the 20th century.
San Michele in Foro
Piazza and cathedral San Michele is right in the center of Lucca, on a place of a former Roman forum. The facade of the 12th century church is most impressive, having four rows of colonades, two large and two small, topped with a statue of Archangel Michele which has mobile wings - operated by two men climbing a stair behind. The facade is taller than the church itself (the last two rows of colonades). This feature and the simple design, arches and arches, white marble and the tower on the right back corner makes it a very easy to look at and enjoyable church. The interior is rich and also beautiful.