An excursion to Lucca: Lucca, the medieval City of Silk, is an 80 minute train ride from Florence, and an excellent area to explore when traveling with the family. Lucca is in the northern part of the province of Tuscany. it became a colony of ancient Rome in 180 BC, and still contains much architecture in the Romanesque style. I has an outstanding cathedral which was constructed in the 11th century. Lucca is enclosed by massive red brick walls, which seem to shut out the modern world. A promenade runs along the top of these city walls and features a double row of stately trees along a broad avenue. Other attractions include:
Collodi (outside Lucca) (Tour available from Lucca)
Theme park consisting of gardens featuring mosaics and sculptures based on the Adventures of Pinocchio. there is also a maze; a playground, an exhibition center and children's restaurant.
The village of Poppi is the site of an imposing castle:
Castello di Poppi
Oct.-March: Sat and Sun, or by appointment
Castello di Romena
This is the castle where Dante stayed as a guest of the local rulers in the 14th century. The village church connected with the castle dates back to 1152.
Zoo Fauna Europa
This zoo specializes in the conservation of wildlife and protects endangered species. Among its current subjects for protection are the Apennine wolf and the lynx.
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