in the sunshine, with my knitting, and drank cappuccinos for an hour and a half. Once the work was finished (which took 40 minutes, although it could have taken a lot longer if something had gone wrong), I wandered off to find my hotel and do some exploring.
I stayed in the luxurious Palazzo Alexander, where my single room was bigger than my flat back at home. Still, I managed to cope with the size of it.
And I did some exploring. Lucca has the most amazing city walls, which still encircle the old city. You can walk round the top of them, where there's a wide tree-lined path for cyclists and pedestrians. I even found a restaurant on top of the walls, where you could buy cappuccinos and knit(anyone spot a theme developing here?).
Lucca Cathedral, like every British cathedral I've ever been anywhere near, had lots of scaffolding and noisy building work taking place. Bizarrely they also had electric candles you could light at one point (instead of the real candles I've encountered at every other cathedral I've visited). Screwing a fake candle into a stand just doesn't feel the same as lighting a real candle.
But I think what I liked best were the winding streets. Within the walls it's an almost car-free area so the streets bustle with pedestrians and cyclists. I only spotted two chain stores in my whole time in Italy (a McDonalds at Pisa Centrale railway station, and an Accessorize in Lucca), everything else was small, individual shops just begging to be explored. There were wonderful food shops with all sorts of bread and vegetables (and some had meat but I avoided those!). No sign of any yarn shops, but I did discover a wonderful fabric shop with vast quantities of fabric inside. I was very very tempted to buy some, but it wasn't really very practical due to lack of storage at home at the moment.
Possibly the most amusing thing (apart from the electric candles) was the advertising at Pisa airport. Which was really doing its best to promote Yorkshire as the best tourist destination:
So, a pretty good trip. I think next time I'd make it a bit longer though...
Oh, and I didn't manage to get my knitting needles onto the plane. :-(