Lucca, Italy

I love everything about Italy so when I was looking where to go this year in Tuscany, Florence was top of my list. Pisa was also on the list seeing as we was flying in and out of there. I knew I wanted to stay some nights in Florence and then a few nights in another place but not pisa. Pisa was just going to be a one day thing for me, seeing the leaning tower.

So when I got told by two different people to try Lucca I started researching. Lucky my partner loved the look of it too so we chose two nights there and two nights Florence. Please read my Florence post coming soon to see what I thought of Florence. Back to Lucca for now.

As I was told the trains would be easy to lucca. I have previously got trains from Naples to Pompeii so knew what to expect. We got the airport shuttle train to Pisa central (€5 Euro each) and then the train direct to Lucca (€8 Euro each). This took an hour in total and so easy.

Arriving in Lucca we got a taxi straight to our b&b as this was a 10 min drive. We pulled up to our accommodation B&B villa Corte Degli Dei and was blown away. It was magical. The owners let us choose out of two rooms and gave us a free upgrade. I already had paid for the roll top bath in our room yet we were given an even bigger room with a four poster bed. I could have stayed there forever.

We were in the heart of Lucca countryside so off we went exploring down the country lanes to the city walls. It was so pretty and yet we only were a 20 min walk to the city walls. I wasn’t sure what to expect not staying right in the centre of the walls, yet this was perfect. We had best of both worlds and love walking.

We found a nice traditional Italian, ordered some white wine, cheese and pasta. The food was just amazing. I defo recommend this little place called Bar De Gigi. The service matched the food and was lovely.

After dinner we explored inside the walls and then had a nice stroll back. All around were little shops, some designer, some independent shops and then coffee shops and restaurants dotted about. Inside the walls was lovely, so much going on.

Where I got to try the bath. Wow just amazing after a day travelling and exploring was nice to jump in and relax with my book.

The next day waking to beautiful blue skies, we went and hired bicycles. We spent the day riding about Lucca. This was one of my best days of the trip. There is something about riding a bike in the sunshine with no care in the works. Just perfect. We first rode all around the city walls until we went inside the walls and stopped for a coffee and pastry (when in Rome). The shops were so lovely, spoilt for choice with the amount of places to eat, drink and shop. Just think pretty little shops down little streets that are so beautiful. We then rode until we come to the Tower where you can climb the stairs to view all of Lucca.

After the 44 meter climb and 330 stairs the view was worth it. It was breathtaking. I do not like heights but pushed myself and made it to the top. Glad I did this! You can see all of Lucca, the wonderful terracotta rooftops with the mountains in the back ground. Can get some great photos here.

After this we rode until we found the cathedral. Riding in the squares with music playing was just lovely. People were casually strolling around, no one was rushing was lovely, We paid a small fee to get into the church, definitely recommend going in. Such a lovely church, so pretty and you don’t need too long in there. It was then time to sample Lucca’s gelato, we stopped off at I Gelati Di Piero. The banana and lemon gelato is a must! Absolutely delicious. So many choices I had to have two scoops.

We found a nice square restaurant/bar to sample Italy’s famous drink aperol spritz. Delicious! What I loved is ordering a drink and being given nibbles. For free. Result! Sitting watching the world go by was just so relaxing and blissful. There was a man doing big bubbles that the kiddies were loving. It really was so nice to just watch what was going on around. Everyone was loving life.

It was then time for a well deserved lunch, pizza of course. €1.50 for a slice of pizza – bargain!! We explored some more on the bikes and see the main square which is just so beautiful. The colours of the buildings and little shops were lovely. After exploring it was time to head back to chill in our wonderful room (the bath for me). Heaven!

For dinner we rode back into the city walls and headed to this lovely Pizzeria for more pizza. Silvia Pizzeria. One slice in the day was just a taster. Haha! There are so many restaurants to choose from it’s hard to know where to even begin to try as they all look amazing. We chose well here though, good 80s music playing in the background, great value for money, outside and great service with delicious food.

Before heading back my partner researched this bar to go for some cocktails. Franklin 33. I recommend this one for some delicious cocktails with a good jazz 1920’s vibe. If you head here, try the sea breeze and Roosevelt aviation.

We then took a slow ride back. The one thing I loved here was people actually stopped for you at crossings and roundabouts so you didn’t feel like you was going to get run over, Naples was crazy for that. So riding bikes was really safe. Lucca has many places to tie your bicycle too safely. Either at the bike parks or against the walls. So don’t worry there.

After breakfast and leaving with a heavy heart it was then time to head on to the next adventure Florence…..

I could not rate Lucca enough and think it’s definitely a place to add on the list of places to visit in Tuscany. It’s one of the more chilled out place in Italy that I’ve been, not over crowded, yet still many beautiful sights to see and nice to just explore at a leisurely pace. Also cannot forget about the amazing food and friendly people. The transport link is so good you could stay here as your base and explore other areas near by. I cannot wait to come back one day.

I went in the middle of October and had 2 out of 3 days sunshine.

Book Review

Book Review: The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh

The blurb

Imagine you meet a man, spend seven glorious days together, and fall in love. And it’s mutual: you’ve never been so certain of anything. 

So when he leaves for a long-booked holiday and promises to call from the airport, you have no cause to doubt him.

But he doesn’t call. 

Your friends tell you to forget him, but you know they’re wrong: something must have happened; there must be a reason for his silence.

What do you do when you finally discover you’re right? That there is a reason – and that reason is the one thing you didn’t share with each other? 

The truth

My review

I have just finished this wonderful, intriguing story, that I could not put it down. I therefore give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Without giving too much away for those who have not read or finished this I had to know what had happened to Eddie. Did anyone guess ?

I’ll admit I didn’t! I also didn’t see a lot of the twists and reveals which I’m glad about as some left me speechless.

I just loved Sarah, she seemed like such a sweet natured girl with a big heart. Some of her crazy stuff she was doing when he didn’t call, I’m sure some of us can relate to that. Which made me laugh and remind me of growing up and being uncertain of boys.

I loved the week they spent together, they just seemed so deliriously happy. Being a hopeless romantic I was smitten and was routing for them all throughout.

I also liked the drama added in the story and how it left you guessing what was to come.

Rosie also touched on mental health issues and described them very well. Which is great especially how it’s more talked about now and not hidden these days.

Please put this to the top of your TBR pile if you haven’t already read this. You will not be disappointed. If you have read it, do you agree with my 5 ⭐️?

Book Review

Book Review: Some Kind Of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher

I absolutely love all of Giovanna’s books so when she has a new book out, I’m always excited as I know it’s going to be great. It has taken me a while to get around to reading this partly due to my book shelf bursting with all many books to read. I’m just gutted I didn’t get to this sooner.

The blurb 

When the love of your life says you’re not The One, who are you?

Lizzy and Ian have been a couple since the first week of university. Now, after celebrating a decade together, everyone thinks they’re about to get engaged.

Instead, a romantic escape to Dubai leaves Lizzy with no ring, no fiancé and no future.

Lizzy is heartbroken – but through the tears, she sees an opportunity. This is her moment to discover what she’s been missing while playing Ian’s ideal ‘better half’.

But how much has Ian changed her, and who should she be without him?

Determined to discover who she is at heart, Lizzy sets out to rediscover the girl she was before – and, in the meantime, have a little fun . . .

My review 

Imagine sitting by the pool in Dubai with your boyfriend of 10 years, waiting for that proposal. Both your friends and family think it’s going to happen. So last day in the sun, he must do it before you leave, right?!

Lizzy is beginning to give up hope. We all know what’s coming…well more we are hoping and praying for Lizzy. It seems it’s her dream to marry Ian.

Then picture him on one knee….

So how did Lizzy then end up to spending the last night alone.

Back home it’s now time for Lizzy to pick up the pieces and move on. Easier said than done, as us girls that have ever been in that situation would know. Lizzy does what any of us would and goes into melt down.  She starts revaluating the last 10 years of her life and where did it go wrong. How could she change so much because of one person?

But really does one person change us or do we adapt to fit in someone else life. This is a brilliant story of self-discovery. Lizzy is so inspiring. I loved how she picked herself back up by doing something she loves for herself. It’s a great message to love yourself first and just be you and do what you want to do.

This isn’t just a story about boy and girl it’s also a touching story on friendship and family. Her friendship with her family is just so lovely and honest. Best friend Connie was exactly what you want in a friend and same for the new friendship with Natalia. They were both funny, loyal and full of spirit. With Natalia there comes Alastair and just wow! The attraction was just electric. I thought I was with them in the club on New Year’s Eve. My heart was racing, everything stopped around me while I was willing them to kiss. The chemistry and desire were jumping out the page it was so real and intense. Then there was the church scene where I was squealing with delight.

Some Kind of Wonderful is a must read it’s a perfect book to get lost in, that you won’t want to put down.