Today we woke up at 9:15 in Lucca. This is a middle of a second week and it is a midpoint in our trip. This is night number 12 out of 24.
Right now (10:37) we are finishing our fruit breakfast in the kitchen, and planning to stroll around the city over the city walls.
|Lucca – City walls are so thick that a wide comfortable boulevard is forming a unique circle around the center||Lucca – Basilica di San Frediano – 13:16|
First, we climbed the city wall (11:52) near our hotel (Corso Garibaldi) and walked our marry ways along with other pedestrians and bicyclists. The walls were built so thick (100 ft) that no one ever stormed them, and now there is a wide elevated boulevard is running all around the city.
At some point half way through the circle we jumped down into the city. We ate lunch around 14:00 (Soup in Town – Piazza San Giusto, 6 – €18 – no receipt) at a healthy and green place, and we started for La Speza around 14:45. Odometer showed 9,866.
|We ate on this Piazza San Giusto in “Soup in Town”. We were staring at this building, and had time translate that this is local Bank – Cassa di Risparmio||On Wednesday, August 22 we drove 75 km to the most Northern base city of our trip – La Spezia|
It appeared that gas stations in the city only took debit card. We stopped on the first service station on a highway, and paid with AmEx €78.27 (14:49) for a full tank of 40 litters. Odometer showed 9,875 km. It means that we covered 523 km on one tank of gas. How much km per one litter? It is only 13 km per liter. My estimate calculations were based on 20 km per liter from the manufacturer.
|We visited Liguria from “other side” – from the north 2 years ago. This time we entering Liguria from the South.||Hotel Ghironi – La Spezia. The suite has 2 rooms for 4 people, balcony and windows on three sides. Refrigerator, and A/C, and breakfast, and shuttle to the train station for only €108.|
At 15:14 we were done with Toscana (Tuscany) and crossed into Liguria. Back in 2010 we started exploring Liguria from the North (Genoa and Italian Rivera). Now we entered the region from the South.
We arrived at the Hotel Ghironi (Via del Tino, 62) around 4PM (free parking, free shuttle to the train station, free breakfast, refrigerator, balcony, but €1/h Internet) and got a room for 2 nights for €109 per night – most expensive accommodation for the entire trip. This was a huge suite with 2 rooms for 4 people, but we only were able to negotiate the price down from €114. This will be our base for exploring Cinque Terra tomorrow.
|We had may be only 2 hours to view La Spezia. Stay here is a bit more expensive due to closeness to Cinque Terre||Ocean – Ligurian Sea – is just a short walk away. We got a brief introduction by climbing high into the hills|
We had a few hours to explore La Spezia. We found paring on Piazza Giuseppe Verdi (17:38), and walked very high up on Via dei Colli. We climbed so high, that we had to use one free street escalator, and another free street elevator to reach the city main pedestrian street – Via del Prione. We even found hotel very advanced “My One Hotel” (€129) that was on my list. However, we had difficulties to find any Trp Advisor recommended restaurants. Even iPhone was confused to point us in a right direction. Some places were not Italian enough, others were not healthy enough. And most were simply closed for August holiday. Instead, I bought a detailed plan of Cinque Terra for tomorrow (€7.50), a croissant for my evening tea (€0.80), and we drove back closer to our hotel. We decided to try front-desk-recommended Ristorante Pizzeria I Mitili (The Mussels) on Viale San Bartolomeo, 373. They proudly displayed in the windows: “We do not offer any pizza here”.
|Free outside elevators and funiculars are very common in hilly town center||Call this “train” as you would an elevator. The ride is picturesque and free.|
It was a few minutes before 19:30, so we did not get sited right away (that should have been our first warning sign). Instead, we made a reservation through a half open door, and had a few minutes to look around. The only thing we noticed was a Trattoria Igor nearby (Viale San Bartolomeo 341 – +39 339 594 3332). Name Igor in it brought in mind some Russian associations. Me made a note of it.
|In this hotel at 45 Via Prione, Richard Wagner wrote his creation inspired by . . . the very affordable price (?)||This the most celebrated area and most famous street in La Spezia|
It was 19:31 and we were the first customers. After Lucca supreme supper a day ago, we were looking to repeat the experience. And everything was going very nice till the moment, when we said that pasta is over salted. Unexpectedly, the chef refused to fix the problem. He emerged from the depth of the kitchen himself, and emphatically declared that he tried the pasta himself, and all his customers like it, and everyone like it. So, how come we – little urchins – do not like it? We did not know what to do. Now we only wanted to get out as quickly as possible. We paid €14 for other ordered items, but the funny monologue continued, when chef leaped to save his precious bottle of unfinished water – yes! – water, and declared that we have to finish it inside. We finished the water, and left never to deal with this establishment ever. The evening was ruined, but learned a lot of new Italian words. We quietly finished our meal in the room.
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- Aug 17 FRI - Orvieto - Montepulciano - Siena (2020/12/24)
- Aug 18 SAT - Siena - Villa Galileo - Firenze - Day 1 (2020/12/28)
- Aug 19 SUN - Firenze - Day 2 - Uffizi Gallery (2021/01/04)
- Aug 20 MON - Firenze (Day 3) - Collodi (2021/01/08)
- Aug 21 TUE - From Pescia to Lucca (2021/01/12)
- Aug 22 WED - Lucca (Toscana) - La Spezia (Liguria) (2021/01/16)
- Aug 23 THU - Cinque Terra [... in progress ...] (2021/01/20)
- Aug 24 FRI - Torre del Lago Puccini - Pisa and Agriturismo (2021/01/24)
- Aug 25 SAT - Agriturismo in Pitigliano [... in progress ...] (2021/01/28)
- Aug 26 SUN - Road to Napoli [... in progress ...] (2021/02/04)
- Aug 27 MON - Napoli - Day 2 [... in progress ...] (2021/02/08)
- Aug 28 TUE - From focused Napoli to heavenly Sorrento (2021/02/12)
- Aug 29 WED - Capri - Day 1 [... in progress ...] (2021/02/16)
- Aug 30 THU - Capri - Day 2 [... in progress ...] (2021/02/20)
- Aug 31 FRI - La Dolce Far Niente [... in progress ...] (2021/02/24)
- Sep 1 SAT - Mount Vesuvius [... in progress ...] (2021/02/28)
- Sep 2 SUN - Last day in Rome [... in progress ...] (2021/03/04)
- Sep 3 MON - From Rome back to Boston (2021/03/08)
- Italy 2012 - Final Summary - Rules to Adopt and Follow <br> (2021/03/12)
- Italy 2012 August - Roma, Firenze, Napoli and between (2021/11/24)
- Aug 10-11 FRI-SAT - A two-day flight to Rome (2021/11/28)
- Aug 12 SUN - First steps in Rome - Pantheon (2021/12/04)
- Aug 13 MON - Vatican (2021/12/08)
- Aug 14 TUE - Colosseum (2021/12/12)
- Aug 15 WED - Getting the car - Starting North - Viterbo (2021/12/16)
- Aug 16 THU - Bagnoregio in Lazio, Orvieto in Umbria (2021/12/20)