Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Lucca a Summer Sensation

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Lucca a Summer Sensation

Article excerpt

Byline: Ann Rickard

GOING beneath the walls that surround Lucca is not an everyday opportunity.

The walls that are synonymous with the lovely Tuscan town are solid, apart from 11 bastions (or ramparts) around the four kilometres of the wall.

Guided tours of the underground sections are possible, but we were fortunate to see them at night during the Lucca Notte Bianca, the White Night of Lucca.

This annual August celebration means museums, towers and historic palaces are open to everyone, and that includes some of the bastions along the walls.

The bastions once housed guards and their horses who protected the walls.

Instead of horses on this festival night, exhibitions of art, ceramics, wood carvings, clothing and accessories were on display in the eerily beautiful depths of the bastions.

It was a thrill to be under the walls, to see their vast space, their imposing vaulted ceilings and heavy stone columns.

Then there was everything else going on in the small Tuscan town on this night to celebrate Lucca Notte Bianca.

Shops were open and festively lit, crowds packed the squares where bands played and DJs did their stuff.

For us, the enjoyment lay in wandering slowly through the masses choking the narrow cobbled streets to pop out into yet another piazza to watch displays of ballroom dancing, flash mob routines and sand painting.

In Napoleon Square the throng of young people were dancing frantically even though the air was empty of music.

Individual headphones explained this silent disco, the perfect way to please both young participants and oldies content to just stand by and watch.

It was a big night of partying in Lucca, but then the Italians really know how to put on a party.

Days before, we had driven half an hour out of Lucca to Torre de Lago, a pretty hamlet in Viareggio on the Tuscan coast, most known for being the lake-side summer retreat of composer Puccini.

Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca and his imposing statue in the Piazza Cittadella is much photographed. …

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