A botanical treasure hunt in a fairy-tale villa, a medieval picnic or with a view on the river, on the banks of a lake hidden in the most authentic countryside or at the foot of a centuries-old oak.
If you want to spend Easter Monday with your friends, we suggest renting a bike to arrive and enjoy the pleasure of a day outdoors while respecting the environment.
Here are our five favourite tours through nature, history and tasty food.
1 - A GREEN TREASURE HUNT
... at Villa Reale di Marlia, just a few kilometers from Lucca, easy to reach even on two wheels.
Easter Monday dedicated to families and children with the traditional special treasure hunt to play, leaf by leaf, petal by petal, plants and flowers in the gardens of the wonderful villa, once the home of Princess Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi.
From terrazza Petroni, near the San Quirico bridge, follow the northern section of the cycle track of the river park towards Ponte Moriano. From there, on a dirt road, following the signs for the tour of the villas, you will reach the monumental villa and its large park.
Up and down through groves and a panoramic mound, small budding botanists, with a treasure map to solve botanical riddles, will have to recognize the shape and essence of many exotic plants Elisa has brought from every corner of the world, from the fragrant wisteria to the colors of camellias to the tulip and the fan tree.
For reservations check on easter botanical treasure hunt /booking
2 - AN ORGANIC SNACK ON THE RIVER
From terrazza Petroni, which can be reached from Porta Santa Maria on the city walls, the 11-kilometer ring tour of the river park starts. Going to the left side, along the mighty banks of the river, you arrive at Ponte San Pietro in a locality called Nave.
A ride suitable for everyone, in touch with nature stopping at the Albogatti farm where you can find picnic areas to taste typical local products or an organic snack on the river bank, surrounded by a large green space and a vegetable garden.
A moment of relax in the shade of willows and poplars that hide the ancient bell tower of the San Matteo Apostolo church.
In spring, the colors of the blooms of the spontaneous herbs of the floodplains, the landscape of the wheat fields, the silver reflections of the water that accompany the bike ride along the Serchio river, that is a traditional tour of Lucca's inhabitants on Easter Monday.
On the way back, you can stop on the suspension bridge where at sunset, in a play of lights and shadows, you can enjoy one of the most evocative views of the river and the surrounding hills, perfect for an unforgettable selfie.
3 - A PIC NIC IN THE MIDDLE AGES
cycle tour to discover small and charming villages as a pleasant destination.
Equip yourself with an e-bike or a street bike and ride through the landscape crossing art, history and nature up to the villages of Gattaiola and Meati, at the foot of Mount Pisano.
Leaving from Porta Vittorio Emanuele, along the old via pisana, the route is easy and inviting. Among the jewels of Romanesque art typical of Lucca, the parish church of San Michele Arcangelo in Meati and the church of Sant'Andrea Apostolo in Gattaiola, you can breathe the atmosphere of medieval Lucca. In the shade of centuries-old holm oaks, you can spread out a comfortable blanket, organize a picnic and enjoy a suggestive view of the peaks of Mount Pisano which in this season, as if by magic, become a colorful garden of orchids, euphorbia and myrtle.
4 - BY THE LAKE
... Easter Monday inside nature, in the beautiful water reflections where many migratory birds stop in spring.
The Gherardesca lake, on the slopes of Mount Pisano, is a small but suggestive oasis of peace and biodiversity where you can relax listening to the silence of nature.
The lake can be reached with a country-style ride on a path of about 20 kilometers, half asphalted and half dirt, along the dirt roads of the marshland towards Porcari, full of cultivated fields, reeds and ditches. Continue on via Fossanuova and via delle Barche until the stretch of water appears framed by a row of cypress and willow trees.
The paths along the banks can be done by bike or on foot (by car they can be reached from Lucca in about 15 minutes) and offer a view of the small villages perched on the Compitese hills to the south and, in the distance, the peaks of the Apuan Alps and the Apennines to the north.
After a bit of bird watching, it's time to open the basket and spread out the tablecloth for a tasty lunch, among egrets and herons flying elegantly over the water and with a little luck ... and in silence, you can also spot beautiful storks and flamingos.
5 - UNDER THE PINOCCHIO OAK TREE
In the footsteps of the most famous puppet in the world up to the oak in San Martino in Colle and the village of Montecarlo in an evocative and intoxicating landscape of vineyards and panoramic sunsets over the Lucca plain.
From Lucca, towards Pescia, take via Pesciatina to the locality of Fontananuova and San Martino in Colle, in the area of Capannori. After a stone bridge and along a dirt road you enter the estate of villa Carrara, accessible from the local road.
An enchanted world where the queen is a magnificent centuries-old oak, about 600 years old and 40 meters in diameter with twisted branches that form a prodigious architecture.
Catch your breath to rest in the shadow of his majestic foliage that has inspired stories and legends such as that of the assassin tree in the famous novel by Carlo Collodi.
Bike lovers can continue up a shady avenue up to the medieval village of Montecarlo. A spectacular view opens up from the mighty fortress overlooking the plain and a good glass of wine. The return from Poggio Baldino and along the Pesciatina road you return to Lucca.
img: turismo.lucca.it - r.giomi / Capannori-terraditoscana