I couldn’t help but to post one more pic from Cinque Terre. Although our town was high up on the rocks, we could descend down a few hundred steps to a “beach” area and swim. The area is filled with huge rocks that served as the beach and was quite isolated. We swam twice in the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
Our next major stop was Ascoli Piceno on the Adriatic side of Italy. With one extra night available, we decided to stop in Lucca for one night. Lucca is just a few minutes from Pisa, so we made a quick stop to see the tower as well:
Lucca is a walled town (made up of 10K miles of dirt @100 feet wide) and is significant for our friends Brett and Teri. His mother’s side of the family is from Lucca, and in the early 1800’s, was forced to “sell” their grand home to Napoleon. Brett wanted to see the home, which eventually became government offices and was supposed to be open to the public. However, it is now rentable for civic and private events and a wedding was taking place when we stopped by to see the home. Closed!
Lucca is most significant as the birthplace and home of Puccini. Puccini wrote 13 operas and Liz and I have performed 10 of them, several of them more than once. Lucca hosts a year round festival in honor of their great opera composer which features concerts 7 days a week. On Saturdays, the concert consists of opera arias of all of the great composers, and we were able to get tickets to hear renowned Italian singers perform. It was an outstanding opportunity so we took advantage of it. Hear are a few pics from the event:
And a shot of Brett and Teri enjoying the music:
With only one night in Lucca, we are off to Brett’s family town of Ascoli Piceno. We will be there meeting his family, eating great food and getting the inside scoop of a medieval town just off the Adriatic Sea. From there, it is on to Venice! Ciao!