Lucca is an ancient walled city less than an hour from Pisa, and the next stop on our whirlwind tour. Today, it's mostly famous simply because much of its wall, which dates back to the Renaissance, is still intact. A lot of us started our tour thinking it was going to be a visit through ancient relics, but amazingly, once inside, we discovered a fully functional city built up within the walls, full of shops (though most were closed on Easter Sunday) and restaurants (which seem to always be open in tourist areas).
Not a lot of explanation here, just a bunch of pictures from Lucca:
By the end of the day, even though it was only about 4pm, we were wiped out from a full day yesterday and an early morning start today. Mrs. Richardson, our accompanist, managed to snag a few shots of some exhausted travelers resting before the bus ride back to the hotel.
Finally, in the spirit of full disclosure, we've been told by several chaperones that we are required to admit that your faithful blogger and his wife got lost in Lucca. Really, actually lost. We're constantly bouncing between the three groups in order to get a greater variety of students in the pictures, and at one point, we zigged when we should have zagged on the city's narrow and winding roads, and suddenly we couldn't find ANY of the groups! We also were unclear on where everyone was meeting after the tour, so even though we had a map and knew exactly where we were in the city, we didn't know where we were supposed to be. Thank goodness Mrs. McDonough carries an emergency phone. (And for that matter, thank goodness my wife made sure hers would work in Italy.) In the end, we really only delayed our bus by about fifteen minutes, but it was an embarrassing and slightly frightening situation, and we're probably going to be hearing a lot about it the rest of the trip.
Tomorrow, we leave for Rome with a stop in Siena along the way. We'll be staying in Rome for the rest of our visit, so cross your fingers that we'll be able to solve the WiFi issue there as well, so we can keep bringing you picture of the students in action.