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Florence, Italy  City Info
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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:

Pinocchio Park
Collodi (outside Lucca) (Tour available from Lucca)
Open daily
Admission charged
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.

Excursion to Poppi:
The town of Poppi in eastern Tuscany can be reached from Florence by taking a train to Arezzo, and then either renting a car or taking a train to Poppi. There is irregular bus service, as well. Poppi is readily accessible by car , and is only a short distance from Arezzo. The older part of Poppi is located high above the bus and train terminal. Eastern Tuscany is an area of huge forests and tiny mountain pastures. It is the region of Pierro della Francesca. His frescoes in Arezzo are outstanding.

The village of Poppi is the site of an imposing castle:

Castello di Poppi
April-Sept. daily
Oct.-March: Sat and Sun, or by appointment
Admission charged.

Castello di Romena
open daily.
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
Open daily
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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