We have taken many groups to the Tuscan city of Lucca over the years. We enjoy going back there and never get tired of this relaxing, elegant town with so much to do within its massive walls.
We always plan day trips for our groups when we’re in Lucca. One that we enjoy very much is a visit to tiny Montecatini Alto and a ride up the antique funicular railway.
When we’re in Montecatini Alto we always take our Sojourners to lunch at La Torre, one of our favorite restaurants. We’ve been gong there for twenty five years.
This year we gave our Sojourners a special treat. We’ve taken day trips to Carrara before, but never actually took a group into the marble quarries. We began the day with a stopover in the art town of Pietrasanta. There’s always public sculpture set throughout the town.
Almost always more interesting is the former monastery that’s home to many of the maquettes and full-scall works of art created in Pietrasanta. We stopped for lunch at an amazing pizzeria with a great view just below the Carrara quarries.
After lunch our driver proceeded up the winding roads into the towering mountains.
At the tour company we donned our orange vests and hard hats and loaded into Land Rovers for the rough dusty trip to the highest quarry in the mountains, with loose stone, no guard rails, and sheer drops hundreds of feet down, it was not a trip for the faint-hearted.
|Matthew Daub is a professional artist and university professor with works in major public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe. He has been leading plein air painting workshops in Italy since 1994.
In 1999, Matthew and his wife Barbara formed Arts Sojourn as “a vacation for artists and their friends.” The program is designed to appeal to artists of all levels as well as non-artists who enjoy the company of creative people in a slow travel format.
Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.