Italy is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries in Europe, if not the world. Every town has a wealth of attractions and history to explore, however, due to its increasing popularity, luccastyle it is perhaps more difficult to experience the authentic rustic Italian charm inspired by books and films. This does not mean that the languid country you’ve dreamed of no longer exists – on the contrary, it’s there just waiting to be uncovered. One way of experiencing the genuine culture of the country is by cycling holidays in Italy – when you can leave the crowds behind and discover its more hidden gems.
Lucca, described by Hilaire Belloc as the ‘most fly-in-amber little town in the world’, is the perfect place to begin your cycling holidays in Italy. Its relative quietness – a far cry from the crowds of nearby Pisa – will lull you with an invitation to discover its secrets, 800ageexpert whether you chose to begin with the impressive architecture of its centro storico (historical centre) or embark on an exploration of the surrounding Tuscan countryside.
The locals of Lucca cycle everywhere, both in and around the city, so you’ll feel right at home here during your cycling holidays in Italy. A simple jaunt around town will give you a great opportunity to enjoy its cobbled streets and four kilometres of high Renaissance-era city walls. A great place to officially start your tour is the Cattedrale di San Martino. Outside of Pisa, the Duomo di San Martino is considered the best example of the Pisan style. One of the treasures the Duomo holds is the Volto Santo, a wooden image of the crucified Christ said to accurately portray the face of Jesus. Carved by Nicodemus, it is a revered holy relic and is the centre of a procession each September. (The procession itself is very sombre, ntneurosurgery but the festival as a whole is quite the fiesta!) Piazza Michele, which features Chiesa di San Michele in Foro, is another important site that should be included in the itinerary of your cycling holidays in Italy around Lucca. The white marble Romanesque church holds the honour of being Lucca’s ‘most beautiful sight’ – definitely an impressive title considering how gorgeous the entire town is.
There are two excellent ways to see the stunning countryside around Lucca. The first is to climb up one of its many towers, such as the 14th century Torre Guinigi, for a bird’s view of the surrounding landscape and beyond – all the way to the Tyrrhenian Sea. The second way is to get on your bike and head out into the surrounding hills to explore. In addition to the lush natural beauty of Lucca, there are also a number of historically significant homes in the region to explore, such as Villa Reale (just seven kilometres from Lucca and easily reached by bicycle). This was once the home of the sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, port32naplesboatrentals Elisa, who also held the titles of the Princess of Lucca and Piombino, and the Grand Duchess of Tuscany.