From Florence, we did a day trip to Lucca, a small city in Tuscany. For a change,this post was written by Mr Choo who shared his thoughts on the day.
We started off pretty early, on a 9.10am train bound for Lucca from Florence. The train journey wasn’t too long, at 1 hour 20 minutes. But of course, this meant entertaining Sophie to prevent her from being too restless during the train ride since she had to be strapped in the baby carrier all the way.
Arriving at Lucca, we headed for the city centre from the railway station. Lucca is a really old city, which has been around since the Roman times. And it has a very nice and well-preserved set of walls that run around the city’s centre. With a stroller, this of course meant a fair bit of heavy lifting since there were steps which you had to climb to reach the top of the wall and enter the city.
First Stop: St Martin’s Cathedral (Admission: EUR 3)
This has been around for more than 1600 years. We were lucky to visit when it was fairly empty (again, timing your visits is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind when holidaying in Italy in order not to waste time queuing to see sights).
The exterior of the cathedral had lots of nice green and white ceramic arches, while on the inside, you actually get to see beautiful murals (on the ceilings) and stained glasses.
Second Stop: Lunch
Our next stop was of course to head for lunch, since it was about noon. We never fail to beat the lunch crowd in Italy as our lunch timings was easily at least an hour ahead of the Italian’s lunch time. For lunch, we decided to eat at the Osteria Da Rosolo, which was a pretty famous eatery in Lucca. The wild boar stew with Polenta was seriously seriously awesome. Extremely hearty and filling, the strong tasting meat and the stew sauce went perfectly well with the Polenta. The sea bass with pasta on the other hand, was light but flavorful. You could taste the sweetness of the fish with each bite that you take. Perfectly done.
We roamed Lucca’s ancient streets after lunch. The whole fun of it was to just wander aimlessly and soak in the atmosphere of the old, cobblestone streets. Of course, we needed to have a gelato to complete the experience and we did just that since the day was a sunny one!
We visited the Town Square next. This wasn’t like any other that we had visited before as it was shaped exactly like the Colosseum in Rome. Round like an amphitheater, shops and restaurants surrounded the square itself. Part of the fun was of course to take a panorama shot of the place, which we did of course. We walked around a fair bit before heading off to a nearby park where Sophie could play for a while.
A big must when bringing a baby / toddler for an overseas holiday is the need to let him / her have some play time. Else a bored baby / toddler would easily turn into a cranky one, which isn’t really what you would want to have on your holiday. The park at Lucca was a simple one, with a slide and a swing. Sophie thoroughly enjoyed herself, especially when she was on the swing and she was able to rock the swing all by herself as well!