30th April 2011. Lucca to San Miniato
We arrived back in Lucca by 12. We are back on the bikes in half an hour and heading East out of Lucca on yet another busy highway. The area East of Lucca seems a bit more aggressive on the road, and manners worse. It is industrial. Porcari, Altopascio. Southeast into hills and then to end the day in charmless San Miniato Basso. We have organised Parochial Accommodation… we think. The Paroisse staff give us a stamp and leave, telling us we are too early to use the accommodation. Some time later, abandoned entirely, we move on! Towards itself – which predicatably enough is at the top of the only hill in the area. It’s an old and decayed hill town. Well, obviously there was not enough pain in the day, but that is soon put right. The town is centred on an old fortress, which has been reworked in Enlightenment times. The interior of the Courtyard look Habsburg, and is decorated with classical and worthy quotes, designed to improve those who read them. I am grateful for the efforts, and make a note to find out more about this curious place, which I am yet to fulfil.
We find accommodation in the most bizarre but wonderful B and B. Top floor in an old palace, looking out over the church roof. Every inch of the space is covered in textiles and artifacts, in a film set style. The director is only known to those staying in the house – Anna!