i love The Wanderer’s Guide to Lucca….

Personally, I love, love,love this book!!

Here it is!!! The Wanderer’s Guide to Lucca…

Not only am I lucky enough to own the book but also that Brian Lindquist, the Author of The Wanderer’s guide to Lucca, has granted i love Lucca an interview!! 

San Michele- A favourite of Brian…

As you know, I am just a nosey little Kiwi, so this book has done a lot of the nosing around Lucca for me!!

I could dream up a million questions about Lucca and Wanderer’s Guide to Lucca would answer many of them.

And the map…don’t even get me started on the map…..

Lets get luscious and see what Brian has to say…..

Many thanks Brian!!

When did you first discover Lucca and how?
I went to Lucca the first time by chance.

I had a ticket to Italy and a friend with an apartment in Lucca, where I could stay for free, so I went there.

The plane ticket was the gift of another friend who insisted that I and my wife had to go to Italy.

He said we would love it.

He was right.

Taddeucci

Why the interest in Lucca?

Why not another part of Italy?

So, in the beginning I had no interest in Lucca.
It just looked like a good base from which to visit Florence,Pisa,Siena, San Gimignano, and other places I had heard of and was told I had to see.
I remember sitting in Piazza San Michele trying to decide where to spend the remaining few days, how to get to Siena, should we rent a car?, we’ll need a hotel, etc.
Everyone said we had to see Siena.
We sat drinking our aperitivo, looking around the square, and thought “this is nice, why not just stay here?”
We were right.
There were sufficient discoveries to be made in Lucca.

Lucca

 ” I love your book, it just adds to your time in Lucca.

It is as the NY times says for the serious and intelligent.

I did not have the book the first time I went to Lucca, but after that I did…I just saw things in a different light.

Even guidebooks allocate Lucca 2-4 pages maybe….

I found even info on the internet is quite scarce and very fluffy….”
Did you write it because there is hardly any information really in English on Lucca?

When I got home I tried to find something out about the place, but all I could find in English were a few academic articles and a rare book.
There was almost nothing that was not in Italian, and I couldn’t read Italian.
My frustration grew.
One night I said to my wife, I want to write a book about Lucca.
She said, do it.
That was the start of many years of walking the town.
I have gotten to know other parts of Italy as well,Florence very well.

Lucca Walls

I love the map….and the family history, what is your favorite part of the book?

My favorite part of the book?

The parts which open readers’ eyes, whether to notice an art work they would have passed by,

or to glimpse the life of Lucca while looking at a Palazzo and reading about the family,

or to notice an architectural detail, an arch of decorative brick, a faded fresco, or to have an enigmatic inscription deciphered.

My other favorite part of the book is the map, since that came first.

I wanted, above all, a good map of Lucca.

Once that was done, the book could proceed.

I’m glad you appreciated it.

A good map is the first thing I want when I go somewhere and a good map too rare.

The Family part—I wish I could have written more, and intend to do so. These are the stories of Lucca.

Angel at San Michele

How did you gather the information?

 I gathered the information by learning Italian, buying every book about Lucca I could,
which turned out to be many, carting and shipping them across the Atlantic and then spending as much time as possible reading them, painfully slowly at first.
And, of course, visiting libraries.
In recent years the internet became useful.

Lucca

How often do you go to Lucca now days?

I go to Lucca as much as I can.

I lived in Florence for a few years, working there, so getting into Lucca was easy.

When returned to this side of the Atlantic ,I scheme for a way back.

I have too many good friends there to stay away long.

Lucca Cats..

How long did it take to re-do this latest edition?
 It took about fifteen years to write the book from inception to publication.
Progress came in waves.

I accomplished the least while living in Florence since I was busy working, and decided to spend my spare time more appropriately, making a map of Florence.

Santa Croce, Firenze..

What is your favourite local dish?

My favorite local food!

Ah, you shouldn’t bring up food.

As soon as food is brought into an Italian conversation you are lost (but then saved.)

Farro is the classic local dish. It’s made from the grain on which the Roman armies marched.

It’s a soup, no, too rich for a soup. My wife could live on it. I need meat. There I would go with rosticciana.

It is the dish I most associate with Lucca, it always brings me back.

For pasta, first of all, tortelli Lucchese. I could eat it every day.

If you have no objection to eating rabbit you should try a fresh one from the Garfgnana.

If a restaurant offers coniglio fritto, try it. Among the top local classic dishes I would have to list tartare al cavallo, with green sauce, from Da Giulio.

The idea of eating raw horse meat offends some sensibilities, but the practical inhabitants of Lucca welcome sustinence where they can find it, and are thankful.

My personal local addiction is acciughe marinate, marinated anchovies.

My favorite are, again, from Da Giulio.

The perfect appetizer, they don’t fill you up at all and are intensely flavorful.

Pollo al mottone, chicken under a brick.

The focaccia from Giusti’s. Go there around noon, or six pm.

The best focaccia in the world.

Lucca Focaccia..

Your Favourite church?

San Frediano

  San Frediano.
It is the perfect Romanesque church, filled with treasures and history.
But I also love many others.
Santa Maria della Rosais one of the most perfect little churches in the world, with one wall built two thousand years ago.
There are so many churches in Lucca.

Your favourite place in Lucca or the surrounding areas?

The piazza of San Michele. How could it be otherwise?

This is the center of town, and has been for two thousand years.

My second favorite place—on the walls, looking down on the city, or across the hills towards Pisa, or north to the snow-capped Alps, inviting and forbidding.

My third, standing in front of the Cathedral, gawking at it, and then entering inside, to the world of Matteo Civitali.

To anfiteatro...

Many thanks once again to Brian for his time and of course his wonderful book!!

Don’t forget, you too can wander Lucca with i love Lucca and Ivan Miller on Ivan’s upcoming Writers workshop in Lucca…

All people who book by August will get a complimentary copy of Brian’s Fabulous book from i love Lucca!!

Are you ready to get Luscious???

Lucca Bus…

 

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