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Experience traveling to Lucca from Florence with Fall 2023 participant Luke Berthelot. 

***This is an example of a student’s experience from Fall 2023 traveling independently. Specific programming and activities are subject to change semester by semester.

This past weekend I got the chance to take a day trip from Florence to Lucca! I don’t have Friday classes so I have a three-day weekend every week! This gives me wonderful opportunities to explore both in and outside of Florence. An easy day trip from Florence is the town of Lucca! Train tickets are about 30 euros for a round trip, and the town is about 1 1/2 hours away. This makes for a stress-free, fun day trip to a beautiful Italian town. Lucca is a charming city in Tuscany, Italy, known for its well-preserved Renaissance walls and historic architecture. 

When we got off the train, we explored the town for a while and saw many beautiful churches, street performers, and narrow charming streets! We stopped to enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the local osterias. We tried the regional specialty of Tortelli Lucchesi, which is a local handmade pasta. Lucca is famous for its intact city walls. We spent some time walking along the tree-lined walls for beautiful views of the town. We continued to wander around and walked into a Christmas-themed shop that had amazing decorations and candles and got to hang out with the cutest dog by the name of Oliver (pictured below). 

We spent our evening in the main square, Piazza Napoleone. It’s a classic Italian plaza surrounded by cafes and is a great place to hang out. We saw some children playing duck duck goose, so we decided to start a game of our own, which funny enough, was an absolute blast. We had the best time just hanging out in the square as the sun set over the colorful shops and cafes. Lucca is enchanting at night. We took some time to stroll through the narrow streets, illuminated by charming street lamps.

We got some gelato and stopped to watch a street performance by a man singing and playing guitar. We decided to call it a day late into the evening and we headed back to the train station. The ride home was not crowded at all and ended up being a ton of fun hanging out on the train back to Florence. The best part of studying abroad is the opportunity to take easy day trips like this that make memories to last a lifetime!

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