Lucca has a city wall that is absolutely incomparable. I originally thought of a city wall as narrow, steep and made entirely of stone, but in Lucca, the wall is enormous. The center is filled with dirt to withstand cannon balls, and the top is wide and flat, perfect for walking, jogging or bicycling. It rings the ancient historical center as a 4-kilometer linear tree-lined park. The bulwarks are now used as grassy playgrounds. All along the circle are benches, tables, play equipment and scenic views looking both inside the centro and without.
Despite the beauty of the wall and the vistas, it is people-watching that really make a trip or two around the wall an unforgettable experience. Mothers push children in strollers. Athletes use the wall as a fitness track, turning laps on fancy bikes, sprinting or just jogging. Couples walk hand-in-hand lie on the grass engaged in deep conversations and expression of amore. Grandfathers hold hands with nipotini, widows walk side-by-side, teenagers gather in groups to try out their developing social skills, and groups of ragazzi from school groups chatter loudly under the guidance of their teachers. And then there is always gelato, espresso and a cornetto, because just below the wall is the city, with many ramps that lead down to the shops and then back up again.
I put more information and photos in my blog entry: http://livingwithabroadintuscany.blogspot.it/2013/04/the-incomparable-city-wall-of-lucca.html
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