Lucca: Wine tasting, traditional food and history
by Tiana Kai Madera
Tiana is a Digital Marketing Consultant from Miami exploring Florence
Upon entering the walls of Lucca it was apparent that the food and wine runs deep into its veins. In just one full day I experienced the best of what Lucca has to offer. It has a mix of tradition, history, cuisine and art.
After building up an appetite from biking the Roman walls of the city we headed to Enoteca Vanni for some wine tasting before lunch. This was not your average wine shop. At first glance it looks quaint and small, but if you walk further in you’ll see that you’re in a cave, a medieval cave.
I passed rows upon rows of vintage wine bottles dating back to the early 1900’s and some as late as 1890’s. The Matraja Rosso 2010 was a smooth red that would have been perfect with some prosciutto. The DOC di Montecarlo Vermentino 2011 was crisp and made me dream of cold Summer pasta. Luckily, lunch was right around the corner.
We rode our bikes to Caffè delle Mura. It didn’t look like a caffè, but more like an estate with antique pastel colors painted on the walls of the high ceiling dining area. Stepping out onto the garden terrace I saw a beautiful table set for us, ready for a well deserved lunch.
Desserts came rolling in. First a fresh tiramisu then fresh Caniparoli chocolate and cigars from La Manifattura di Lucca. I have never tried so many chocolates before. My favorites were the chocolate truffles of course. An Italian cigar was a great end to a long lunch. It was so different and pleasantly unexpected. I all felt like a VIP.
The Chef from Buca di Sant’Antonio greeted us with fresh, traditional biscotti filled will crispy raisins to be dunked in the chilled Vin Santo. It was fascinating to hear that it was the oldest restaurant in Lucca, which used to be a resting place for many tired travellers late at night. Imagine all of the history and stories the walls must have.
I loved the tour of the newly discovered Roman ruins from the 1st Century at Domus Romano. I tasted typical Roman snacks and wine, stood over what was once a home and saw how children were taught at school. Besides the impressive and more modern art displayed at Lu.C.C.A, the contemporary art museum, the ground floor is said to have been a Roman brothel.
Seeing the ruins, tasting the food and drinking the wine helped me paint a picture of what life could have looked like so many years ago. Lucca has so much to discovery, even on a bike.