After our short excursion to Pisa we headed to Lucca, a nearby medieval walled city recommended by our friend Alex. It was fantastic. Beautiful place, lots to do, great food, and not a lot of tourists. This is their little Duomo and companile.
Lucca's never really been attacked so the city walls are all perfectly preserved. It's really a massively big embankment about as wide as a road, and you can rent bikes to ride the 4 kilometers around it (which is what we did).
I like my camera's timer feature. Here's the Snook and me with our bikes.
I was surprised to learn that Puccini was born in Lucca. This famous composer wrote my favorite opera, La Boheme, which was the inspiration for my favorite musical, Rent. So of course I had to track down his statue and pay homage.
Next we headed to Rome by way of Assisi. This is looking up towards the famous Basilica di San Francesco, which was founded by St. Francis. Unfortunately the fact that I had to put a skirt on over my shorts (on an incredibly hot day) just to get inside the church rather predisposed me to not like the Franciscans, no matter how cute they look in their little tunics.
As I understand it, Assisi is really two towns: one perched way up the mountain, and one way down the bottom. This is the Snook up top looking down an alley with a view all the way to the bottom.
This is the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, which literally means "Santa Maria on top of Minerva". In other words, it used to be a Temple of Minerva but the Christians turned it into a church. The columns and facade are all original, which makes it a little weird to go inside and see crucifixes and images of Mary all over the place.
This was in the lower part of Assisi. I fully admit that I took this picture intending to use it for my 26 Things submission.