Every third weekend in the month Lucca holds its antiques market.
I love to go and explore the stalls and weave my way from piazza to piazza down the cobbled medieval streets.
There are a wealth of goodies to be found from paintings to carvings, murano glassware, furniture and yes, being Italy you can find a designer bargain from a pre-loved Italian handbag or stylish classic woolen coat. I did actually spot a Chanel quilted flap bag (unpriced) as well as Italian favourite brands such as Gucci and Prada on one of the stalls.
The weather here has been warmer than the seasonal norm here this winter and I knew it wasn’t going to rain. Perfect for browsing the antiques and also the sales which started here on 5 January and the rules are that they continue for 60 days. There are no flash sales here just twice a year, January and July. Incidentally the summer sales start on 7 July and run right up until 4 September.
Lucca is also perfect for trying out a new bistro or coffee bar and although I didn’t lunch, I found a sophisticated coffee bar on the Via Fillungo. I’ll have to get back to you with the *name as I hadn’t intended reviewing it. The cakes were not too special though and one was rather dry.
I did go to a great little restaurant with my lady friends the other day called L’Isola Che Non C’era, tel 0583 057384 for reservations. We had a great lunch for around 20€ with a glass of very good wine and a coffee after. No dessert as we were saving ourselves for a cake and coffee later that afternoon. The staff were pleasant and even though we forgot the time (we can really chat when we get going), we were not rushed and we actually left feeling a bit guilty for keeping the place open.
At the end of oir Lucca trip and being in antiques overload mood, we visited the Mercatino dell’Usato just on the outskirts of Lucca. It’s a treasure trove with tons of things. You need time and a warm coat, it’s freezing in there. Prices are fair with bargains to be had if you can find them. Items over two months old are reduced by 50% at the till and articles that have been there for a year or more have a whopping reduction of 75% at the till. Not all articles have this reduction. Some undated ones are the price on the label.
Outside there are statues and garden furniture, even old carriages but I like the inside with retro goods galore. It’s a great place for finding vintage pieces if you’re setting up a holiday rental or b & b.
The little bar is Il Bernino , the cakes were better this time too. Prices are 3.50€ for home made pastries and 2.50€ for home made cake. They also do some interesting looking cocktails with and without alcohol so I’ll be going back to try.