Scott used the leftover crepe batter to make crepes for breakfast and then we are going to spend the day walking around the town and the walls. When I bought groceries, I couldn’t see any coffee. We have to have tea, much to Scott’s disappointment.
The town of Lucca within the walls was originally part of a Roman settlement. The grid system for the streets marks the Roman part. A canal runs through the east end of the town near our apartment. We walked through archway in the walls to look at the canal.
We wandered around, got a bit lost, although nowhere near as lost as in Venice. We found the main shopping street, Via Fillungo and the Anfiteatro, an amphitheatre built on the original site of a Roman amphitheatre. The old Roman ruins are incorporated into the walls.
We walk through the piazza by San Michele, where there’s a street market and Scott bargains with a seller for a silver ring.
We wander through Piazza Napoleone, the biggest of the many piazzas (piazze?)
and into Piazza del Giglio where we see Ristorante Giglio, [Piazza del Giglio, 2 Lucca, tel: 39 0583 494058] On Easter Monday, when we expected few places to be open, this restaurant was open for lunch. Again, because we were rather early, just shortly after noon, we are able to get a table without a reservation. Because we know we couldn’t do this in Calgary, we opt for a table in the tent outside.
We start with a Lucchese sangiovese wine which is quite good and quite inexpensive. We split a antipasto of mixed salumi. There were some very different items, one sausage was kind of pate like in consistency but with a spice like nutmeg or mace, head cheese, a slice of lardo (which is literally a slice of lard, cured pork fat – very tasty and you try not to think about cholesterol) and a really tasty liver topping on a crostini. Scott had the tortelli Lucchese this time. Both here and at All’Olivo, the pasta is beautifully dark yellow. The Giglio portion is smaller. Scott has a contorno of stewed artichokes which are cooked with a goodly amount of garlic. I have chicken and carciofi which are deep fried – way better than KFC. We both are becoming addicted to the artichokes; deep fried, they’re like potato chips.
Everything was so good we discussed coming back one evening for dinner but never did.
The lunch was also memorable because of the family beside us who consumed an enormous amount of food at a very rapid rate. It was partly understandable on the part of the father, who was huge, but the younger of the two boys could only have been 6 at the oldest also ate more than Scott and I could.
A waitress at Giglio was wearing Dolce & Gabanna trainers that were very funky looking. I searched the rest of our time in Lucca and later in Rome for those shoes but never found them.
From there, we walked around the walls, making one detour to the apartment for il bagno.
The top of the walls are busy as it’s a holiday, the weather is beautiful, and almost everyone seems to be outside. Many are tourists who don’t know how to ride a bike and are thrashing around the top of the walls.
When we complete the loop, we go looking for Puccini’s house. We get lost but eventually found the place as it’s marked by a statue of Puccini looking rather bored.
We spend the evening in the apartment having our leftovers from Saturday’s dinner.