August 15th is approaching. Ferragosto is one of the most popular bank holydays in Italy. Whether you're staying in town or visiting, here are our tips for the hottest day of the summer. A "fan" of fresh opportunities to be enjoyed at a slow pace among museums, historical and artistic beauties, moonlit evening events and craft markets.
Preview with good food and local wine.
In Piazza San Francesco, on the evening of August 15th, toasts are served with goblets of stars, guests of the Organic Wednesday Farmers' Market and of the association Strada del Vino e dell'Olio di Lucca, Montecarlo and Versilia.
The market is open, as usual, from 16:00, but at 19:00 you can taste the fine wines of Lucca companies, combined with products of the highest quality KM0 offered by market operators.
Bruschette with canestrino tomato and extra virgin olive oil from Monti Pisani, pate of red bean of Lucca, raw milk cheeses with local honey and other delicacies.
To complete the evening there will also be small art exhibitions and grand finale in music with musicians from Lucca.
Lovers of shopping and handicrafts, however, throughout the week of August 15 from 10:00 to 19:00 can take advantage, in addition to the last sales and advances for the autumn, also the Crafts Market in Piazza Napoleone.
From Monday 12 to Friday 16 August, the traditional and colorful stalls, all with exclusively Italian products, will be open until late in the evening to allow you to "take a look" even in the coolest hours of the day and take home something original or a simple memory. Leather and scarf items, costume jewelry and clothing, but also food: liquors, spices, balsamic vinegar, biscuits, licorice, rice of different varieties.
For an alternative Ferragosto, in the name of culture, you can take advantage of the extraordinary opening of the Museums of the Doge's Palace from 16:00 to 19:00 and the National Museums of Palazzo Mansi and Villa Guinigi (in the morning at 9:30 only entrance and from 12:00 to 19:30 continuous hours) to discover the historical and artistic treasures of the city. An additional opportunity to learn about the history of a rich family of merchants, silk processing and a bizarre ghost, the ancient art of loom weaving and its nineteenth and twentieth century tools, the precious painted crosses and a crazy allegory of the Liberty of Lucca painted in the nineteenth century and "hidden" at the Museum.
If you prefer a classic "outside door" in the countryside of Lucca, we suggest a visit to the splendid Villa Reale di Marlia,, one of the most admired historical residences in Italy and its large park with water features, streams, gardens of different eras, pond with swans, the small theater of greenery and... a surprise!
For the first time, a few days ago, the first restored rooms of the villa that belonged to Princess Elisa Baciocchi, Napoleon's sister, were opened to the public.
You can finally admire the wonderful interior in Empire style and the precious furnishings chosen by the princess herself: the refined tapestries, the trompe l'oeil frescoes, the large paintings, the glittering crystal chandeliers, the furniture of fine woods, the floors of rare marbles. Everything has returned to the splendour of Elisa's time.
Alternatively, on sunset, you can enjoy a walk along the paths of the beautiful hill of Monte Carlo in the moonlight.
At 7:30 p.m., the Ferragosto di Luna Piena, starts, a short and pleasant excursion in the landscape of Lucca during a summer evening, up to the hills of Verruca and Montichiari, where an evocative panorama is the background to a tasty stop for an aperitif.
After the break, return to the small medieval village always walking in the green countryside
Happy ferragosto to everybody!!