The keyword is to blow off some steam. Here are 5 tips for a relaxation day dedicated to outdoor activities with friends. A choice between picnics in parks, rides on the promenade at sea, outing to the countryside and treasure hunts.
and... Happy Easter to everybody!
1. at the River Park
The river Serchio flows north of Lucca a few hundred meters from the City Walls. A biking trail runs all along the 19th century's banks, in the shade of poplars and willows, quiet and suitable for everyone, especially families.
With a standard Street Bike you can go, leaving Porta Santa Maria, to the terrace Petroni and ride, for about 11 km, the two sides of the river Serchio enclosed between the bridge of Monte San Quirico and the bridge San Pietro, have a picnic on the wooden benches or go on the sandy bank of the river.
Bike lovers can continue to Ponte a Moriano where the park partially crosses a variant of the Via Francigena and nature is predominant.
2. at the "Parole d'Oro"
A classic of Lucca's Easter Monday holyday, a magical place immersed in the green hills south of Lucca. From the railway station, using the pedestrian underpass you can reach the Tempietto di Valle and from there follow the path under the arches of the nineteenth-century aqueduct of Nottolini.
You will then reach the Tempietto di Monte and this corner of paradise, called "Parole d'Oro" (golden words).
It is the ideal place for picnics and outdoor walks, here where the excellent water coming from the natural spring of Monte Pisano get collected to supply the public fountains of Lucca. At the entrance, a small bridge bears an inscription in brass letters, "mistaken" for gold by the farmers of the time. These are the famous "golden words" that give the name to this park.
Bring with you sandwiches and salads but let us advise you to avoid disposable crockery. It will be easier for you to eat and you will respect nature.
3. at the Villas
The villas of Lucca form a rich itinerary on the hills, a few kilometers from the city.
Villa Torrigiani, Villa Reale, Villa Grabau, Villa Oliva, Villa Bernardini, Villa Mansi were the country estates of the aristocrats of the Republic of Lucca in the 16th century, with splendid English or Italian gardens, gardens of camellias, lemons and suggestive fountains. An extraordinary combination of nature and art for a day dedicated to relaxation and the discovery of the history of Lucca:
For Easter Monday the Park of Villa Reale, in addition to the visit of the park, you can participate to the special "Botanical Treasure Hunt", designed to bring children closer to the garden and nature, making them discover and recognize in a playful way - leaf by leaf - the trees and plants in the parks. (remember to book!)
4. at the castle
A day in the green Garfagnana between the fortress of Mont 'Alfonso and the historic center of Castelnuovo dressed up with a festive farmer's market and the handcrafs one.
The Este fortress, restored by Ludovico Ariosto at the time when he was Governor of Garfagnana, from which you can admire a splendid view over the valley, will be the scene of "Air Day", with street artists, balloons and soap bubbles, inflatable parks, model aircraft tests, kites and the possibility of flying over the valley of Garfagnana by helicopter.
5. at the seaside
Another great classic for the Easter Monday of Lucca is to have the first taste of the sea of the season. Some beach resorts open their first beach umbrellas, or you can walk along the free beach for more than 20 km of coastline from Viareggio to Forte dei Marmi along the dunes and pine forest of the park of Migliarino San Rossore.
For families and street food lovers, Viareggio Easter Monday turns into a fantastic pirate village with the arrival of the magical Black Pearl, Jack Sparrow's ship to entertain children while parents delight in the culinary delights of "Viareggio Street Food", or looking for fish and chips on the quayside of the port, shops and art nouveau houses on the waterfront
(foto R. Giomi, N.Ughi)