Salt pork, spelt, and “cacciucco” (fish soup) are the typical flavors of the towns of Tuscany from the hinterland to the coast, from the marble quarries to the Apuan Alps, to old Lucca, to the port of Leghorn (Livorno), through the village of Montecarlo, famous for its D.O.C. white wine.
The Flavors of Old Lucca
Arrival in Lucca and check-in at hotel. Tour of the historic center, surrounded by the 16thcentury walls, with the typical
examples of the Pisan-Lucchese Romanesque style: the Cathedral, San Frediano and San Michele in Foro; in addition to the Puccini Museum, in the house where the composer was born, the picturesque Piazza del Mercato, which still has the form of the 2nd-century Roman amphitheatre, is a must-see. Lunch with typical dishes of Lucca, such as the spelt of Garfagnana, the “farinate”, the “zuppa alla frantoiana”, and the “risotto al piccione”. Among the typical sweets are the “buccellato” (a ring with anise seed and raisins), “necci” (chestnut flour fritters), and the “torta co’ becchi”. In the afternoon, visit to the monumental apartment and Picture Gallery of Palazzo Mansi. Dinner and overnight stay.
The Salt Pork of Colonnata, “Pasto del Cavatore”
After breakfast, transfer to Carrara and short tour of the town: from the Romanesque Cathedral, faced with white and gray marbles, to Palazzo Cybo Malaspina, against the dungeon of the medieval castle, which has Roman sculptures of the ancient Luni, including the shrine of the Fantiscritti. Visit to the marble quarry and transfer to Colonnata, a little town in the heart of the Apuan Alps. The typical product is salt pork, once considered the “poor” food of the marble workers who ate it with bread, raw onion, and tomato. After a lunch of typical products, return to Lucca and visit to the National Museum of Villa Guinigi, housed in the famous 15th-century abode. In addition to the archaeological section, the collection contains works of art from the early Middle Ages to the 18th century. Dinner and overnight stay.
The Wine of Montecarlo and the Fish Specialties of Leghorn
After breakfast, transfer to Montecarlo, a small town enclosed by ancient walls and surrounded by grapevines and olive groves, known for the production of Montecarlo Bianco D.O.C. wine, to be tasted in a typical local wine cellar. Transfer to Leghorn, the most important port of the Tuscany of the Medici, the two fortresses enclosing the popular neighborhood called “Venezia nuova” (New Venice), the monument of the Four Moors, and the G. Fattori Civic Museum, devoted to the great “macchiaiolo” painter. Lunch at a typical restaurant to enjoy the specialties of Leghorn’s cooking: in addition to “cacciucco” (fish soup), Arab couscous, black rice with cuttlefish, “pappa al pomodoro” (tomato and bread soup), “cee alla salvia”, and “stoccafisso alla livornese”. Departure as planned.