Monday, June 28, 2010


This one’s got to be quick! That means I draw on my own photos.

Tuscany is a great place to overnight when driving, as we were, from Venice (in northeast Italy) to Rome (on the west coast). Normally one might stay in Florence, which was our first thought. But the hotel I fell in love with was in Lucca, about 45 minutes west of Florence. Though it was not in the original plan, we realized that by overnighting in Lucca, we were within striking distance to make a day trip to Cinque Terre.

The time constraints in travel often compel trade-offs. Others may choose differently, but having seen them both (even it if was for only two hours in Florence), I would choose Cinque Terre any day over Florence. Well, unless it was a rainy day!


Sorry to say, but this David was no Jew!

Facade of the multi-century-in-the-making Florence Cathedral

Hungry horse in Florence...

...and horses of a different stripe

Here are some photos from the town of Lucca, which we only saw at night:

The streets were empty, but there were a lot of nice alfresco restaurants.

The Church of San Michele, Lucca

The city is completely encircled by Medieval walls.

The ScheckTrek Hotel Pick: ALBERGO VILLA MARTA

A friend tried to convince my husband we should stay in Florence rather than Lucca. Al told the friend, “Vicki has a pretty firm hold on this hotel.” We didn't know until we arrived and saw this on the door that it was Conde Nast-recommended. No wonder it was so nice. And for only 99 Euros per night with breakfast! We had very little time in Tuscany itself, but staying at the Albergo [Hotel] Villa Marta, we were immersed in the Tuscan atmosphere. (Photos 1-3 below are from the hotel's website. Others: Schecktrek.)

Al waits patiently for the pictue-taking to finish.

It was a room with a view -- in fact, several of them.

You know you're in Tuscany when...

Bon appetit and sweet dreams till tomorrow!

And the bonus for staying in Lucca: Day trip to Cinque Terre!

The ferry approaches Monterosso, Cinque Terre

Along the Via Del Amore, between Riomaggiore and Manarola --
a most beautiful 20-minute walk

Vernazza, Cinque Terre (my favorite of the five villages)

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Ciao, Italia!

1 comment:

  1. Cinque Terre over Florence - Tony says that's a big call as we are in love with Florence! It's definitely on my list for next visit. I am hoping it will be our 25th anniversary visit (2012...)