Lucca, Italy, is a town that brought me much peace of mind. As a writer, I’ve never before felt such calmness and clarity as I did in Lucca. I spent a full day wondering around this remarkable little town with a goal, not of seeking out the most popular sights, but instead of losing myself in a never-ending, intoxicating stroll without a single break, and without a map.
Strolling without any real direction is, for me, one of the most incredible facets of travel. I love losing myself in a place I’ve never experienced before. It’s part of the allure of travel for me. And Lucca was a town full of pleasant surprises for the carefree stroller. But the surprise for me was more so an internally focussed one. Here my spirit felt as light as anything. I was a fairy dancing from piazza to piazza, from church to campanile, losing myself in the foreignness, the simplistic beauty and the modestness of this relatively unknown town.
Minimal research prior to my trip taught me that this was a town with a Renaissance-era wall and that I would have to go beyond that wall. I memorized the walking route from the train station to the wall. That’s all I knew from the onset. That was all I needed to get me going in the right direction.
And the wall was fascinating – massive with an open green backdrop. Once used as a prominent security measure, it is now a pedestrian and bicycle-friendly area where locals follow its circumference as part of their daily passagata. In fact, I found tranquility in the overall simplicity of every aspect of Lucca and, even whilst observing the busier walkway of the wall.
For a creative looking for inspiration but at the same time peacefulness, I highly recommend Lucca, Italy. The interesting contrast in the design of churches and facades, the lovely piazzas and winding, narrow streets most definitely serve as a muse for the information-overloaded city dweller.
Looking back, it is difficult to recreate a calm that has the power to overcome one’s entire being. And it is this calmness that serves as the perfect fuel for a crisp, focussed mind enabling one to write and to imagine. It is little wonder that famous composers such as Puccini, Dorati and Geminiani were born in this unexpectedly inspiring town.