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Thursday, August 30, 2012

THE WANDERER'S GUIDE TO LUCCA -- PART 3


THE BEST "STORY BEHIND THE BEAUTY 
AND HISTORY" GUIDEBOOK WE'VE SEEN


"Lucca has always been a border town, with a sense of independence and self-identity common to such places, perched as they are between two worlds," writes Lindquist, in the opening of his 30 pages of history about the fabled walled city.

"It lies on the northern edge of Tuscany, the first town you encounter when you descend the mountains from the north, the last when you leave for the Po valley and northern Europe."

Lindquist goes on to cite crucial dates, such as:

  • 218 BC when Hannibal invades the Po valley and drives the Roman army across the Apennines to Lucca, a military outpost.

  • 56 BC Julius Caesar meets in Lucca with Pompey and Crassus to patch up their Triumvirate.

  • 1002 First war between Lucca and Pisa. The dreaded rivals battled and sacked each other for centuries.
  • Philip, Marquis of Tuscany, renounces all claims to the title; Lucca becomes a republic.
  • 1308 New popular statutes enacted, banning noble families from office; exodus of important citizens ends Lucca's monopoly over the silk trade. 
  • 1348 The great plague kills off a huge chunk of Lucca's population.
  • 1796 Josephine, Napoleon's wife, is welcomed to Lucca. For the next 20-plus years, Lucca becomes a pawn between France and Austria.
  • 1847 Lucca absorbed into Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
  • 1865 Lucca joins Kingdom of Italy.

Order the book at www.lindquistguides.com
 
The Wanderer's Guide to Lucca review 
continues tomorrow -- August 31

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