Day Trips from Florence: Lucca + Bologna

29-30 March: Thursday & Friday.

A great thing about living in Florence is that it is located in the very center of beautiful Tuscany. It is so easy to travel to the near by hill towns or to travel north to some of Italy’s great motor-sport factories.

 

Lucca.

Located near the sea just north of Pisa, Lucca is a delicate little town that is perfect for a day trip from the warm, low-land Florence. Around the ancient center there is the original walled fortification that is shaped like a pentagon, with lookout points at each corner. This barricade has been turned into a walking path and park.

 

Jacy and I took the noon train from Florence and spent a lazy afternoon exploring and shopping. We walk along the wall, peering into gardens and enjoying the towers of the many churches. We peeked into a circular piazza that was a Roman coliseum. We enjoyed afternoon tea at a nice hotel and people-watched. It was a beautiful day and we soaked in the Tuscan sun. Inside the walls, the town was picturesque and we had so much fun wandering the streets and peeking into shops. I even bought a very cute pair of red, leather flats, and I love them!

We left Lucca around 7pm and were home in time for dinner!

 

Bologna’s Ducati Factory.

Ducati motorcycles are some of the most revered bikes in motorcycle racing. I joined Fran, Gabe, and JC on a tour of their factory and history museum. For a small donation to charity, we got to go inside the actual factory and see every step of construction that one of their bikes goes through. From engine assembly to body to testing, everything is hand done. The only step we did not see was their top secret product development lab. The factory in Bologna is very unique and assembles 6 types of production bikes that are street safe and can be sold to the public. Each worker is trained to complete and entire bike and follows each bike through all of its stages of assembly – this keeps the Ducati workers more alert because they are not doing the same, repetitive movements.

The historical museum was also very interesting, taking us through each bike created by the Ducati brand and through its racing success.

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