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Cycling in the city - or strolling along the ramparts

  • Cycling in the city - or strolling along the ramparts

    Lucca is full of lanes too narrow for cars, so the locals often get about by bicycle. Ringed by Renaissance walls, the city is made for leisure. The massive ramparts are now the place for jogging, flirting, gossiping and cycling – or several activities at once. It’s hard to believe that Lucca’s 500-year-old walls were built to keep enemies at bay. In 1817, the encircling ramparts were planted with a double row of plane trees, which shade the broad avenue ¬running along the top of the walls. This is now a popular playground, promenade, jogging trail and cycle route. Every now and again, you can take the sloped exit down into town and cycle around the key sites, locking the bike up to a gate when walking around a piazza. This, combined with Lucca’s reputation for culture and ¬intellectual pursuits, has earned the city the nickname of the `Cambridge of ¬Tuscany.’ British fashion designer Paul Smith, a keen cyclist, has a home in the hills and enthuses about cycling in Lucca: “I love cycling around the walls of Lucca; it's so relaxing because there are no cars.” There is something deliciously Continental about cycling around an historic walled city, through its pretty paved streets and piazzas – ideally with a delicious deli lunch tucked away in the basket. You can hire a bike with numerous companies, including Cici Rai close to Porta San Gervasio, the San Gervasio Gate. Cycling is also a healthy alternative to a day on the beach.

    Address: Cicli Rai, Via d San Nicolao 66, Lucca
    Web: www.ciclirai.it

Experience an official tuscany tour with

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A fantastic way to see two wonderful cities in a single day. This full-day private tour (no more than 8 people) will have an English-speaking driver pick you up at the port and drive you to Florence where you will have a 3-hrs guided tour of Florence including the highlights and Michelangelo's David. You will then stop in Pisa on the way back to the ship to see the famous Leaning Tower, where you have a few hours of free time to explore the sights and history of the tower.

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Combine two best-selling Florence tours at a discounted price, and enjoy a day of art and sightseeing in the city! This small-group Florence Super Saver includes skip-the-line entry to the prestigious Accademia and Uffizi galleries, two of the most famous art museums in the world. Start your morning skipping the line at the Accademia Gallery, then a walking tour around the town's historic center. Explore the Duomo and finish the day with a guided Uffizi Gallery tour.

Numbers are limited to 25 people, ensuring you'll discover Florence in a small-group atmosphere. Even better, enjoy an 11% discount when you buy these combined tours.

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