Lucca Italy is a romantic city that's best visited at dusk. The shops are lit up with a glow, each window displaying treasures so aesthetically pleasing that only an artist's touch could have arranged it. Each cobble street echoes the click clack of patrons fashionable shoes.
Situated in the mountains, is the diamond nestled away. A walled city that is the stuff of story books. One could bicycle in and around the ancient parts of the city in less than a day, or venture out along the river that leads to the breathtaking mountains.
Lucca, Italy has two main towers from which you can view the whole city in the round 360. Turning and turning, every new vantage point is a fiest for the eyes. Stucco architecture colored by siena and pale washed colors is surrounding on every side by blue paintedmountains and a sky that suggests divinty.
Several squares sprinkle the town of Lucca, as in most Italian cities. This one looked like winter in September as the ground, some of her buildings, and the bark of the trees lining it were white. There was an outdoor shop selling chocolate and a light-hearted spirit in the air.
Lucca is home for many youth and international young minds. On this day, there was an open market under bright orange tents featuring the work and delicacies of local artisans. All the teens and 20s came out to meet in this central location to shoot the breeze.
Cinque Terre means "Five lands" and is a sparkling gem on the hand of Italy. Situated on the Meditarranean Coast near the border of France are these trail of towns which you can hike one to another. I even watched 70 year olds walk the near-the-edge path with more grace than I.
Italian towns are alive because of the people who show no signs of quieting with age. The elderly of this lot are most intentional about keeping their friendships alive, ever yet active in the bustle of daily life. You'll always spot their presence in the open window frames above, talking to a neighbor, watering potted plants, or hanging clean clothes in open air.
Captured in the third picture here is Vernazza, the most treasured in my heart of the Cinque Terre. The locals have somehow managed to keep the local feel, in the courtyards and shops are more residents than tourists. The dock is speckled with fisherman and their small boats, bringing their catch home in time for the spectacular view of the sunset.
My brother and I found this man fishing in nothing but his trunks after having climbed along a somewhat treacherous rocky, barnacle laden off-shoot from the shore. From there you feel like you're out in the ocean with nothing but the salty air and warming sun to take in.
Candelight twinkles at dusk in Vernazza, here from the train platform.