Getting lost in Italian towns is one of life’s simplest pleasures.
Like stepping into a story, the clichés come thick and fast: whining scooters whizzing along cobbled streets; excited nonni exclaiming rapidly to one another on doorsteps; piazzi and pizza around every other corner.
This noisy, manic menagerie is, even on a damp and drizzly day, a balm to the traveller’s soul. Best enjoyed by immersion, perched upon a bench, the city centre’s hubbub and charm are certain to soak in deep.
Take an espresso, perhaps, from a local café (still in existence, nestled away from the tourist hotspots), rest legs made weary by walking atop the ancient walls of Lucca and simply observe the comings and goings of the Italian day.
From peeling shutters creaking open to giggling gaggles of texting teenagers, it possesses a certain sort of vibrance unrivalled but for similar Italian citadels.
Head to Siena or Florence, Pisa or Rome, and each will have its own character – doubtless in spades. One constant remains, though, and that’s the worth of a good perch – whether a bench or a café chair. Take a book, a camera or nothing at all – and enjoy.