Day: July 8, 2014

Running on the Walls of Lucca, Italy

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After my parents, Jeremy, and I left Turin, we headed south for the coast near Cinque Terre, hoping to spend some days by the ocean and explore the towns around there. We didn’t have any set plans until a few days before leaving, and we looked for last-minute houses on Airbnb and VRBO until we found one that looked perfect. It was a picturesque Tuscan villa with a pool, near the town of Lucca.

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The pretty Tuscan villa that wasn’t meant to be.

Basically, the house ended up being waaaay far up windy, narrow roads, pretty far from Lucca, and the host accidentally booked the wrong house for us and it was too small. We decided not to stay there, and at 7pm on a Saturday night, had nowhere to sleep. We luckily found a hotel right outside the center of Lucca, and stayed there for the night. We got to the hotel pretty late, and we didn’t feel like walking the mile into town to eat dinner, so we did something I haven’t done in years: ate at McDonald’s. I was hoping they would have some interesting things on the menu since McDonald’s in other countries are known for this, but the only different things they had were pasta and beer pretty much. They did sellย a pistachio McFlurry though, and I had to try it. I am not very picky and can eat pretty much anything, but I actually couldn’t stand it.

Vespa inside McDonald's.

Vespa inside McDonald’s.

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My gross pistachio McFlurry.

My gross pistachio McFlurry.

I read online about how the walls that surround the old city center of Lucca had been turned into a walking/bicycle path. I didn’t know how long we’d be in the area, so I woke up early the next morning to make sure I got a chance to run the walls. The city was nice and quiet, and the only people out were runners (I heard a fellow American runner comment on my San Diego Half Marathon shirt) and a few bicyclists. The wall circles the city, and is 4km in length.

Early morning streets in Lucca.

Early morning streets in Lucca.

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Up on the walls โ€“ the path is very wide!

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The weather was perfect and there was so much to look at, the run went by very fast. I did a total of four miles, then went to the tiny hotel gym to get some strength training in, and use the Stairmaster.

This was a lot harder than I remembered.

This was a lot harder than I remembered.

Before we left for our next destination, we took a quick walk around Lucca. It’s a really charming town!

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Perfecting my tourist pose.

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Gelato place with swings inside. Too bad it wasn’t open.

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This is kind of heartbreaking.

Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July!