Sunday, May 10, 2009


I had a tough 24 hours in Italy with work last week. After the trauma of an 8.05am flight from Gatwick (which meant getting up at 4.30, and catching a train at 5.25. Ouch) to Pisa and then two different trains, I arrived in Lucca a bit too early so was told to go and sit in the square and get a coffee whilst I waited. This, of course, was extremely challenging and tough. I sat in this square, the Piazza Napoleone:

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. :-(
A post about my weekend in Bristol, including the Get Knitted workshop will appear soon(ish).


Mary Anne said...

It sounds like a wonderful trip, in spite of the trauma of an early flight and having to sit in the sunshine and knit for so long :)
The photos are quite lovely, thank you for sharing.

acrylik said...

Sounds like a great trip, really enjoyed reading all about it and enjoyed your photos. Here's hoping you get to visit for longer at some point :)

Jamie said...

Such a dedicated employee! I'm sure they really appreciate your sacrifice. ;)

Sounds like a great trip, even if you had to get up so early.

blog-blethers said...

There are times when work related stress looks extremely attractive;o) What a beautiful location.

Have you started Maude yet?