experience lucca and the cinque terre
Lucca has been Chef Squires destination and home away from home for more than 15 years. Located just an hour west of Florence, and twenty minutes Northeast of Pisa, Lucca is a city renowned for it’s Renaissance era city walls, among other things. The town is completely surrounded by walls that have long since lost any sort of military importance, yet they still stand perfectly in tact today, acting as popular promenade for both the Lucchesi and travellers visiting the area.
Lucca is certainly a different destination that the average traveller is used to seeing in Italy. While still surrounded by mountains, valleys and picturesque landscapes, the town has been well-preserved and has stayed tucked away from the sometimes destructive influence of large-scale tourism. This means a traveller to Lucca can see a town built, inhabited and still run by Tuscan people, for Tuscan people. Chef Squire has chosen Lucca as his home base for good reason.
Chef Squire and his travellers stay at Villa Al Boschiglia in Lucca and often take day trips to the nearby Cinque Terre and other surrounding areas.
The Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre is an incredible part of Italy and well worth seeing. The best views are by boat. Chef Squire will take you to Lerici (45 minutes north of the villa on the autostrade) and then embark a boat that will visit Portovenere (must be seen) and all of the five tiny cliff villages of the Cinque Terre. A stop in Portovenere is recommended with its colourful narrow houses lining the seafront and the church perched on the clifftop. You can then back on the boat and then jump off at Riomaggiore to do the cliff top walk (Via dell’amore) to Manarola and then back on the boat from there, past Corniglia, lunch stop at Vernazza and on to Monterosso and then all the way back down to Lerici for apertivi and a seafood dinner.
Eating in the Cinque Terre
As a coastal destination you can imagine the quality of seafood there is to be found in the Cinque Terre. From Sea Bass to Sardines, Anchovies and Mackerel, the seafood is abundant, fresh and treated with immaculate respect. The Cinque Terre is also a high quality wine and olive oil producing region much different than some of it’s close Tuscan neighbours.
Hiking The Cinque Terre
The hike is the sole reason many travellers choose to visit the Cinque Terre. The five small towns of the Cinque Terre are connected by a number of hiking trails, pathways and ascents that are simply breathtaking. Many travellers will choose to stay in the Cinque Terre for a number of days to make it through all of the trails, however a day or even an afternoon hike is easily enough to give you a taste of what the Cinque Terre has to offer.