Saturday, September 19, 2015

Day 13: Lucca - Altopascio

16.5 km
 No GPS signal for much of the way so I report the length stated in the guidebook, and the track appears as a dotted line!

The cathedral of Lucca early in the morning

Cycling to school along the top of the city walls

Lucca, city of a thousand churches (and bicycles)

The clock tower

The famous labyrinth on the cathedral wall, a symbol of pilgrimage

Setting off for the day's walk quite late, after our tour of Lucca. My son Davide joined us for this leg of the trip

Leaving the city through Porta San Gervasio

We stopped for picnic supplies at the coop - but there was no room in the cart for the groceries once we'd put all our backpacks in!

Rest stop by the church in Porcari

On the road

Under an amazing sky

We arrived in  Altopascio just in time to pick up the keys to the Magione dei Cavalieri del Tau, a historic hospice operated by the order of knights concerned with hospitality for pilgrims and maintenance and marking of the Way. 

Here we were reunited with our friend Sava from the day before, and all went to dinner together at the nearby trattoria La Dispensa. An appropriate choice, since the premises were orginally the food stores (dispensa) for pilgrims stopping by in Altopascio.

 I had another bowl of the delicious local soup I had discovered the night before in Lucca, Zuppa Frantoiana. Without realising what the potential effects of this double dose on the digestive system would be!

Dining at La Dispensa with Davide (who took the photograph), Sava and Simone. At the next table are Alain and Marie-Helene, whom I was to get to know better in the days to come! 

Altopascio by night

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