Ciao! There are few things you need to know about me. First, I love pizza, gelato and coffee (so there is almost no doubt I am Italian!), and I usually burn those calories running laps of the city walls. This is a big hint to tell you that I live in a beautiful walled city called Lucca. During and after college, I worked in sales for some years in the UK, and I travelled as much as I could, including Asia, Europe and the USA. Travelling is an addiction I can not quit, I still haven’t found the remedy! This probably explains why I picked a job that allows me to be with fellow lovers of travel; I have been working as a qualified tour guide and leader for the last 10 years. CV Villas is a new adventure and I am so excited!
Describe the perfect day in your destination?
A perfect day in my destination starts with a lap of the city walls in the morning (either walking, running or biking), followed by a sweet Italian breakfast with a foamy cappuccino or an espresso. Then you can go sightseeing for museums and churches, take the train to Florence or Pisa, drive around the historical villas and stop for a wine-tasting on the way - or even better - you could drive to some remote villages up in the mountains of Garfagnana to slow down and spend the evening with some local food festival.
What are your top travel tips for your destination?
My best tip is to plan something like a day tour to make the most of the main cities, starting at Lucca, to Florence, Pisa and Siena. But then leave some blank empty space on your agenda and improvise! Go with the flow, depending on your mood and the feelings the place gives you.
What local cuisine would you recommend to people staying in your destination?
Lucca and its surroundings offer a wide range of restaurants, bars, pizzerias and easy places to grab a super yummy sandwich or a big salad. It has become quite difficult to keep track in the last few years of all the new openings, but I usually find a friend to drag along and try each new spot. I have a good list of my favorites and some plan B's, just in case. I would say it almost 99.9% Italian/Tuscan/Lucchese cuisine here, even if the new generation of chefs have added some fusion from abroad. I love the fact that most of the restaurants follow the seasons, meaning, for example, if you love soup, you will have more choice in early spring with the garmugia and in the fall with the farro, the frantoiana and more. Beef and pork is also a big tradition here. The typical dish from Lucca is tordelli: fresh pasta filled with mixed meat and dressed with ragù sauce. The coast is not that far, so fresh seafood is always available, but I have to say I like it more when I eat it near the beach.
What experiences would you recommend to our customers in your destination?
I guess you can choose a different experience every day, or make it like a themed vacation focused on one experience! On top of the list, you can immerse yourself in a cultural experience of art and history - and do not miss the opportunity for some music: opera or the concert of Lucca Summer Festival! More active visitors can hike up the Apuan Alps, in Cinque Terre, on the Appenines. You will inevitably sit down each day for a meal or a glass of wine. I hope it will be a memorable experience!