New Year in Lucca
30 December 2007 - 2 January 2008
This relaxing New Years break stays at the unspoilt Tuscan town of Lucca and includes visits to three of this regions top wine estates.
Lucca, Puccini’s birthplace, was an independent city-state until the nineteenth century. The complete 16th century walls enclose a labyrinth of medieval streets, Romanesque churches and stately palazzi along with designer shops, mouthwatering delis and great trattorias and wine bars. Sites include the 12th century and 14th century San Michele in Foro church on the site of the Roman Forum, with its magnificent towering facade; the Cathedral with a striking green and white marble facade and the Piazza del Anfiteatro, a ramshackle oval of medieval buildings incorporating elements of the Roman Amphitheatre that stood here.
Our hotel, a family run four star, is between the outer and inner city walls, and you can either stroll the very short level walk into the centre or get around, like the locals do, by bicycle as these are on loan from the hotel!
The city walls have a tree lined walkway at the top of the ramparts which make for a wonderful walk and views over this unspoilt Tuscan city.
The main winding street of Via Fililungo is home to many tempting shops, many of them still with art Nouveau design. As for gastronomy, Lucca’s classic dishes reflect the city’s former wealth, such as “torta di erbe”, a vegetable pie studded with pine nuts and raisins and “Il buccellato” a raisin and aniseed cake. The olive oil, which is mild to almost sweet, is very highly regarded.
Our wine visits will show the best now coming from the Lucchesi Hills, which have improved greatly over the last few years. No longer totally over shadowed by the neighbouring Chianti Classico, the wines now include some superb examples of the sangiovese grape. There are also some incredibly impressive blends with syrah and merlot.
If you would like to extend at the end of the tour for a few days in the glorious renaissance city of Florence, please call the office for details.