3 promenades in spring
In these first sunny days we all love to pass our time outdoors again, to go for a walk or cycling.
Let's start with three classic spring tours.
1 - a walk in the "urban forest"
... or rather the city wall of Lucca. In 1800, two great women transformed the mighty defensive structure into a long tree-lined promenade and the ramparts into gardens with elegant groves.
On the San Donato bastion the "ragnaia" design has been used, with a group of trees arranged in a circle to compose a unique dense foliage very attractive for birds, and at San Paolino the rotunda for carriages revolves around the music monument.
More picturesque is the Santa Croce and San Martino bulwark where the towers of the previous medieval wall can be recognized.
Simple "groves" of local species, elms and hornbeams at the San Colombano and San Salvatore bastion have been planted, but also an extension of the Botanical Garden with rare and exotic plants at the Libertà and San Regolo rampart. In between long tree-lined avenues where you can test our botanical knowledge and recognize the palmate leaves of plane trees and lyriodendrons, the small rounded leaves of the poplars, the particular leaves of the oaks, the silvery stem of hackberries, the mossy ones of the holm oaks, and the scaly ones of the plane trees.
2 - A ride along the river to the castle
You can also go horseback riding, along the river banks like real knights, but cycling can be done by everyone.
From the historic center of Lucca, you can follow the Puccini cycle track / pedestrian path, along the banks of the Serchio river, to reach the castle.
Pedaling between poplar and willow trees, you will arrive at the castle of Nozzano, small but strategic, due to its position along an important defensive border in the past.
On the other river bank, a little further on, the castle of Ripafratta, belonging to the territory of Pisa,
confirms this historical fact.
The castle of Nozzano is located in the heart of the small village that can be visited in a short time, but it is, however, pleasant to make a stop there.
In the background, the apparently barren reliefs of Mount Pisano, which are preparing to bloom with orchids and myrtle in this season.
3 - Country walking along the aqueduct
Here it's impossible to get lost, even if you are ... just taking the first steps. From the south exit of
the railway station, the great arches of the nineteenth-century aqueduct safely mark the path and, walking at the foot of this great monument in the countryside, you can easily reach (3, 450 km) the "mountain temple" and the springs. But, as some say, the goal here is the path.
In fact, on your way along the path of the arches you will see small but "picturesque" landscapes with country villas in brickstone with fragrant wisteria and ivy and small country churches.
The Ozzeri canal where swamp irises and water lilies are blooming, to be crossed on a small bridge.
The fields waiting to be plowed, blooming with corollas of different colors.
The regular poplar groves that are colored with coppery and green gems and the dense and luminous wood of Verciano, small and intricate.
Take a sandwich with you for a snack, and don't forget your water bottle: excellent water comes from several fountains along the way.