The Story of Lucca

By Janet Ross; Nelly Erischen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
A First Impression of Lucca

". . . the green forest-walk on the wall--
With the Apennine blue through the trees;
. . . the palaces, churches and all
The great pictures that burn out of these."

E. B. BROWNING,

The Sword of Castruccio Castracane.

ITALY is pre-eminently a land of cities. Hardly one among them, from the Apennines to the Ionian Sea, but has its individual charm. Some appeal to us by their past, some by their beauty; some sit aloft and demand our allegiance, others by their modest reticence compel our love. Among the latter is Lucca, and the love she excites is a gentle and benign influence, irradiating both from her history and her outward aspect. Her history has been told in the preceding pages: it remains to give some account of her appearance.

Lucca still masquerades "in the guise of a forest," as she did in the fourteenth century, when Fazio degli Uberti described her. She is a city of the plains, and lies hidden within the perfect circuit of her walls. Nothing is visible above their fantastic curtains and bastions, scarps and counterecarps, save thick-set forest trees whose waving boughs ever and again disclose a tantalising glimpse of rugged towers. This hint of mystery is alluring, and it is a little in the spirit of the questing prince in La Belle au Bois Dormant that we pass through the frowning Porta S. Pietro into the

-105-

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The Story of Lucca
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Chapter II 25
  • Chapter III 51
  • Chapter V 92
  • Chapter VI - A First Impression of Lucca 105
  • Chapter VII - The Duomo and Its History 121
  • Chapter VII - The Interior of the Duomo and Its Monuments 151
  • Chapter IX - The Churches, Walls, and Towers Of Lucca 189
  • Chapter X - Pictures, Palaces, and Books 247
  • Chapter XI - Beyond the Walls of Lucca 290
  • Chapter XII - The Bagni Di Lucca 328
  • Index 355
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