We suggest to our guests of Camping River to visit one of most beautiful town in Tuscany: Lucca.
Surrounded by Renaissance walls, the town can boast a historical centre perfectly intact: in every corner you can find medieval palaces, magnificent churches, towers. Lucca was founded by the Etruscans (there are traces of a pre-existing Ligurian settlement) and became a Roman colony in 180 BC. The rectangular grid of its historical centre preserves the Roman street plan, and the San Michele square occupies the site of the ancient forum. Traces of the amphitheatre can still be seen in the Amphitheatre square. Lucca was the site of a conference in 56 BC which reaffirmed the supremacy of the Roman Forum. Although the Guelphs and Ghibellines fights, the wars with Pisa and Florence, the city became prosperous through the silk trade and banker activities. Apart short periods during which the town was under the control of lords as Castruccio Castracani and Paolo Guinigi, Lucca began to constitute itself an independent Commune and later as a Republic till 1799. In 1805, Lucca was conquered by Napoleon who installed his sister Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi. After 1815 it became a Bourbon -Parma duky, then part of Tuscany in 1847 and finally part of the Italian State. In 1860 Lucca was annexed to Sardinia reign. The walls around the old town remained intact as the city expanded and modernized. As the walls lost their military importance, they became a pedestrian promenade which encircled the old town. They are still fully intact today: they are long about 4.5 km ; each of the four principal sides is lined with a different tree species. Lucca is also called “the town of the hundred churches". The Amphitheatre square, based on the ruins of ancient Roman amphitheatre, was projected by the famous architect Nottolini.
Lucca is a living museum where the new structures are in harmony with the old ones as witnessed by the Amphitheatre, Napoleon square and the walls.
In 2006 took place a bilateral meeting Italy- France in presence of both the Prime Ministers: Prodi and Chirac. Lucca has been nominated to become Unesco World Heritage Site.
Inside the Cathedral is placed the famous masterpiece of the sculptor Jacopo della Quercia: the sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto a refined marble sculpture. Noteworthy are the dome of San Michele and San Frediano Church both of Romanesque Pisan style. The market square was part of the Roman Amphitheatre. The antique market takes place in San Martino square every third weekend of the month.
Collodi and Pinocchio park: in the nearby of Collodi garden, the Pinocchio Park is no an ordinary theme park, but rather a precious masterpiece created by artists of great character working together. The literary itinerary, marked out by mosaics, buildings and sculptures set amidst the greenery, emerges from an inspired combination of art and nature. The path is winding, and the dense vegetation means that every stage on the route comes as an unexpected surprise, with the very plants and trees contributing to create the atmosphere and the episodes in the story of the Adventures of Pinocchio. The Park itself is the site of constantly exhibitions of art and illustrations inspired by children’s literature and the story of Pinocchio, puppet-making workshops, puppet and marionette shows and minstrels enliven the visit to the Park, depending on the season. A pleasant stop especially for families with children!
Tuscany is well known for its landscape but for also its gastronomy. We suggest to taste necci a chestnut crepes filled with ricotta cheese, the "Garmugia", an old recipe: a spring vegetable with minced beef soup served with hand-made croutons.