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Via dell' Anfiteatro in Lucca, Italy: remains of a Roman amphitheatre still visible in house walls. 
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Via dell' Anfiteatro in Lucca, Italy: remains of a Roman amphitheatre still visible in house walls.
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Inside the Osteria Baralla restaurant in Lucca, Italy. 
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Inside the Osteria Baralla restaurant in Lucca, Italy.

"In the heart of the medieval quarters of Lucca, in front of one of the most known gateways to Piazza Anfiteatro, the square which was once the site of a Roman amphitheatre, since 1860 Osteria Baralla has been welcoming its guests in the fifteenth-century Buonvisi palace. The owners, Lucia and Marco Brotini, manage the restaurant with care and professionalism, not only do they themselves select the menu but they make a point of personally welcoming and looking after their guests. Come along to find a rich and varied menu, where all dishes are prepared with the most select ingredients only, an experience to taste in a warm and friendly atmosphere. The traditional dishes and exclusive recipes of Osteria Baralla are matched with a wide selection of wines and delicious homemade desserts." (Text from www.osteriabaralla.it).
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Torre Guinigi in Lucca is famous for its helm oak grove on top. 
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Torre Guinigi in Lucca is famous for its helm oak grove on top.

"The trap-door opened, and we emerged on a grassy platform. The platform was shaded by a cluster of ancient bay-trees that had grown and flourished spite of the wind and the storms of centuries, looking fresh and green in their old age as our aged companion, who was glad to sink on a seat to rest. The view was glorious. At our feet lay the fair city and all its elegant buildings, winding streets, numerous monasteries, with their low towers pierced by open galleries; ancient churches, divided from the streets by gardens and trees; open piazzas breaking the uniformity of the lines of streets, stretching away towards the several gates, all belted round by the strong walls, fringed with trees, and encircled by a broad extent of green esplanade, enclosing the beautiful city like a cestus of beauty. On one side appeared the Duomo, with its long lines of extensive roofs and lofty campanile, just under the fortifications; farther on was the spacious ducal palace, rising out of its pretty planted piazza, and other notable churches and buildings all mapped out before us. Beyond the walls the waters of the river Serchio wound in silvery lines through the smiling plains, teeming with cultivation. Mountains entirely hemmed in the level ground, of every shape, of every shade, from the sternest precipices of dark rocky crags to the green and fertile mountain, the little Borgos nestling amid the chesnut woods, and splendid villas peeping forth from amid the deep groves of bay and ilex." (Florentia: The Baths of Lucca, "The New Monthly Magazine", Vol. 110, London 1857).
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Lucca: Torre Guinigi from Torre dell'Orologio (Wikimedia Commons)Lucca: view from Torre GuinigiLucca: view from Torre GuinigiLucca: view from Torre GuinigiLucca: view from Torre GuinigiLucca: view from Torre GuinigiLucca: view from Torre Guinigi
Inside the Romanesque Basilica of San Frediano in Lucca, Italy. 
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Inside the Romanesque Basilica of San Frediano in Lucca, Italy.

"Fridianus (Frediano) was an Irish bishop of Lucca in the first half of the 6th century. He had a church built on this spot, dedicated to St. Vincent, a martyr from Zaragoza, Spain. When Fridianus was buried in this church, the church was renamed Ss. Frediano and Vincenzo. Soon afterwards, a community of Augustinian canons was growing around this church. In the Longobard era, the church and the Canon House were enlarged. In 1104, this order was recognized by pope Paschal II. The prior of St. Frediano was later accorded a rank equal in dignity to that of a bishop.

The church acquired its present appearance of a typical Roman basilica during the period 1112-1147. In the 13th-14th centuries the striking façade was decorated with a huge golden 13th century mosaic representing The Ascension of Christ the Saviour with the apostles below. Berlinghiero Berlinghieri designed it in a Byzantine/medieval style.

Several chapels of the nobility were added in the 14th-16th centuries. These are lavishly decorated with paintings. Inside, the basilica is built in richly carved white marble. It consists of a nave and two aisles with arches supported by columns with Roman and Romanesque capitals. The Roman capitals were recycled from the nearby Roman amphitheatre." (Text from Wikipedia).

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The church of San Frediano, Lucca: a column with fresco fragmentsThe church of San Frediano, LuccaThe church of San Frediano, Lucca: the 12th century Romanesque baptismal fontThe church of San Frediano, Lucca: a detail from the 12th century Romanesque baptismal fontThe church of San Frediano, Lucca: a detail from the 12th century Romanesque baptismal font
Inside St. Martin's Cathedral (Duomo di San Martino) in Lucca, Italy. 
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Inside St. Martin's Cathedral (Duomo di San Martino) in Lucca, Italy.

"It was begun in 1063 by Bishop Anselm (later Pope Alexander II). Of the original structure, the great apse with its tall columnar arcades and the fine campanile remain. The nave and transepts of the cathedral were rebuilt in the Gothic style in the 14th century, while the west front was begun in 1204 by Guido Bigarelli of Como, and consists of a vast portico of three magnificent arches, and above them three ranges of open galleries adorned with sculptures. In the nave a small octagonal temple or chapel shrine contains the most precious relic in Lucca, the Volto Santo di Lucca or Sacred Countenance. This cedar-wood crucifix and image of Christ, according to the legend, was carved by his contemporary Nicodemus, and miraculously conveyed to Lucca in 782. Christ is clothed in the colobium, a long sleeveless garment. The chapel was built in 1484 by Matteo Civitali, the most famous Luccan sculptor of the early Renaissance." (Text from Wikipedia).
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Thursday, Nov 2, 2017: On the walls of Palácio da Pena in Sintra, Portugal
Palácio da Pena
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