Festivity of Corpus Domini for all of Italy

If you happen to be in Italy during the latter part of May and the beginning of June (this year the festival is June 3) you may be lucky enough to experience the Catholic Festivity of Corpus Domini.

The story of this festival started many centuries ago, back in the 13th century. During the year 1263, a bohemian priest on his pilgrimage to Rome stopped to say mass in Bolsena (a province of Viterbo). While he was distributing the host (the communion bread, which is the body of Christ in Catholic ceremonies), he saw a few drops of blood, which came from the bread itself. Pope Urbano came to know of this and instituted the festivity in honour of the “Body of Christ,” or Corpus Domani.

The festival is so important that it is now celebrated all over Italy in the Catholic churches. It begins with a religious procession along a route covered with fresh flowers. Once it is finished, the local parish priest, dressed in the festive clothes of the Catholic Church and holding the chalice containing the holy Eucharist, will walk on the flowers.

When I was a little girl, these local processions were very simply decorated with spring flowers from the fields that we children used to pick and put in big wooden baskets. Then, the adults would spread them along the route. It is a beautiful tradition, that still exists to this day. Almost all parish churches will create their “fiorita” (flower procession).

Isa-Festival1

It is work done by town volunteers who often work overnight to have it ready for the afternoon procession. Some are simple and some are very intricate and sophisticated, but always with religious themes as the subject.

One of the most important traditions in Lucca is within the city of Camaiore. Here, the fiorita is designed with fresh flowers, sawdust, sand and other materials. Each year marks a different design but always with a religious theme.  

Isa-Festival2

Catholic or not, if you experience the beauty, art and pageantry of this Festivity, I think you will agree with me that it is something not to miss!

A good man is hard to find

But not in Florence! The beauty of Michaelangelo’s David is a Tuscany treasure that must be experienced in person. Florence is the epicenter of the Rennaisance, home to incredible art, literature, architecture, science and history. Many say of all the brilliant works to be seen, The David stands above them all.

You can decide for yourself with so much to see and do, whether you want to see as much as possible in one day or want to carve out more time in this gem of a city. Contact me for a 30-minute pre-holiday preparation to learn my tips for visiting these great works of art, avoiding lines and crowds (as much as possible) and still having time for a wonderful meal, a cafe or (and!) a gelato. I can also offer you a customized guided tour.

I look forward to hearing from you.

The surprising gem of historic Lucca

In a one-of-a-kind region like Tuscana, the city of Lucca is a gem, like the diamond at the center of a beautiful wedding ring.

The amazing walls that surround the Centro Historico, provide a ribbon of natural beauty around a city as if protecting the deep treasures of art, history and cuisine that reside within.

This picturesque city can be enjoyed walking through the narrow cobblestone roads or with a bike tour that captures beautiful view spots.

Getting to know Lucca can be a very memorable experience.  Many of you have probably never heard of Lucca, or maybe someone just mentioned it to you.  You will be surprised if you decide to spend some time here. It’s a small city, but it lacks in nothing. This Great location is close to other vital areas of Tuscany like the Pisa International Airport, beautiful beaches and the nearby mountains.  

The historical center is a beautiful place to stay for your first time in Lucca. Pick among the many hotels, BnBs, and vacation properties. The city will surprise you in a very positive way. If you decide to stay in the town center, there is no need for a car. Just put on your comfortable walking shoes or rent a bike and start enjoying the good Italian life.

Lucca offers many excellent restaurants, café’s (no Starbucks), museums and theatre (it’s not Broadway). UNESCO recognises the city as the city of music. Once you have discovered the historical center, plan on visiting its countryside covered by lush vegetation, vineyards, and olive trees. Take a train to the Garfagnana mountains and stop for lunch in one of the many villages. And when you are in the mood for a large city, hop on the train and go to Florence or Pisa to enjoy the wonders of the Renaissance. Coming to Lucca can indeed be an experience!

Visit my tours page to add your name to the likes of Puccini, Dante, and even Julius Ceaser himself, all of whom make up part of the incredible history and culture of Lucca.

Celebrate the arts, nature in Lucca

Throughout the year, Lucca is home to many wonderful events that celebrate the beauty of Tuscany and the culture that it has nurtured for centuries. Here is a quick list of some of my favourites, with links for you to use to learn more.

Contact me to arrange a 30-minute pre-vacation consultation. I can help you plan your Tuscan holiday. I end every consultation by sending you a fact sheet of useful information full of local insight that will save you time and money.

Pisa is more than the tower

The traditions of Tuscan towns go back hundreds of years, especially between the close towns of Pisa and Lucca. Everyone has strong opinions! But a visit to Tuscany should include a quick trip by train (just 20 minutes) from Lucca to Pisa. See the tower and its beauty, but there is so much more to see. The historic center, a walk on the Arno and some many local trattorias with excellent local food. Contact me for more information about this interesting and very different Tuscan town.

The beauty of the walls

The famed walls of Tuscany provide a beautiful 4 km park like setting that surrounds the ancient city of Lucca. But underneath the walls holds a beauty all its own, with amazing engineering and craftsmanship all its own, not to mention a defense strategy that was the envy of the era. Come with me under the walls to fully appreciate this important Italian monument from our Rennasaince Era past.