We arrived today in Livorno, Italy, which is generally known as the port of Florence. Instead of taking the 1.5-hour shuttle to Florence, however, we went to Lucca, which was the only city republic in Tuscany that was never conquered by Florence. It's a charming walled city about 4 km in diameter, making it eminently walkable. Great shops, fantastic cafés, and fragrant restaurants compete for your attention in the streets, while every piazza has a polychrome church or palace facade that flirts with the photographer in you.
That's not paint. Really.
Preserved in part by its city walls, Lucca boasts nearly perfectly preserved Medieval streets that box you in, even from above.
The cornices snip the sky like a stencil.
And you never know what you might see when you turn a corner.
Count your blessings; this tower has has a bad hair century.