Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our travel for discovering the beauties of Italy goes on.
Today we will discover an incredible treasure conserved in the middle of Italy, precisely in Tuscany where, between expanses of fields and hills that embrace the sun on the horizon, amazing historical villages arise.
This is exactly the case of Lucca, the Tuscany city which arises at just 100 kilometers from Florence and just 20 from Pisa.
But what is the secret of Lucca, recognized all over the world as one of the best Italian cities?
A city “within the walls”
The History of Lucca is something comparable to a fairy tale for children, a glorious history of knights, princesses, treasures to be found and mythological creatures to be flighted.
I’m obviously joking, but even if it’s a joke, there is a bit of truth.
Founded by Etruscans, Lucca became a Roman colony in 180BC. Yes, you got it right, 180BC
But it was after the Middle Ages that Lucca became the city we all know today, especially in the Italian Renaissance. It was during this period, in fact, that the architecture of the city changed, influenced by new cultural influences, and for competing with the near cities, Florence and Pisa.
Business improved enormously, and for protecting the city to potential attacks, in Lucca was built imponent boundary walls which are the largest completely-preserved intact walls in Europe. These boundary walls are 4 kilometers and 195 meters long. Can you image how long is it?
This and other buildings built during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance represent today a real touristic attraction. Lucca is also called “La città delle cento Chiese” (the city of 100 churches) and you can easily walk around the city for admiring the evocative artistic heritage, and if you are an architecture lover, I highly recommend to visit the Gothic-style “Cattedrale di San Marino” built during the 13th century, “Piazza Napoleone” and “Palazzo Ducale”, two diamonds of the 19th century architecture, and “Piazza San Michele”, one of the oldest of the city, built by Romans as business center.
Tortelli Lucchesi and Pollo Alla Cacciatora… everyone sitting at the table!
Now that you discovered the best spots to visit, let’s have a trip in the… Culinary Specialties 🙂
The first dish that has to be mentioned is, for sure, “Tortelli Lucchesi”. Very similar to “Agnolotti Alla Piemontese” (one dish you should know from our Kitchen), this dish comes out from peasants’ tradition of using leftovers of Sundays. Stuffed with meat and cheese, this Ravioli Pasta is perfect with the Italian typical Ragù sauce.
Moreover, if you are a chicken lover, you really shouldn’t miss the opportunity to taste the “Pollo Alla Cacciatora”. Chicken thighs and drumsticks are cooked on a low heat rigidly following the tradition. Potatoes, olives and dried tomatoes enrich the dish helping to give an unrepeatable as unique flavoured taste which recalls flavours and aromas of the woods in the countryside.
Last but not least, is the time to talk about dessert and our suggestion can’t be different from “I Necci”.
This dessert is coming from “Farina di neccio della Garfagnana DOP”, a flour coming from a region near Lucca, once considered the basic food of the humble classes and obtained from the processing of chestnuts.
Fill with Ricotta cheese, this dessert is usually served with a pine seed-based topping, and in some cases, chocolate.
Still Hungry? If, yes, trust me, Lucca with its stunning buildings, is full of culinary delights, all to be discovered and, of course, eaten! 🙂