28th April Sarzana toLucca.
Headed out of town. – using the train underpass! There is no other obvious way over and in our direction. We are headed Carara – the Mediterranean seaside, and then cutting back inland toLucca– largely ignoring the official routes. Our French Guide book has a completely different route from the trusted Lightfoot. There are the marble Mountains of Carrara as beautiful as they have been to the Romans, to the left. We find a place to stop and admire the sea – at Luni Mare there is a café, which has no milk or coffee.
The Mediterranean is so blue and so placid, but the sea side strip is grim – a mix of nasty little resortlets, some genuinely grim bars and disco places with some posher areas and their hotels further along the strip. A couple of 5 stars in the Mediterranean woodland are equally unappealing and out of price range! Glad to nip along it and turn towards Pietrasanta. It is good to know where and with who you belong. I do not belong in those places, or perhaps with the people who enjoy them.
Petrasanta is entirely better – old with an interesting penchant for black giant baby statues, and grotesque gladiators!! We move through it again pretty quickly and on towardsLucca. SS439 is our route, and not the official one with grim climbs. As it happens we have to cross between River Valleys, which is just as bad. It s a huge climb up the Col delle Gavine… we end up walking the bikes up the steepest bits, then racing down into Lucca and it’s ancient centre.
Rose has informed me that I have been here before – and she is right! We have enough time to have a good look at the old centre, with it amphitheatre, now marked as a piazza with a ring of houses. I like Lucca.
There will now be a couple of days interlude to meet some of Regula’s family who are in Italy.