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Submitted by Kathrin on 8. February 2022
#3thingstodo - Ilaria del Carretto in the san martino acthedral of Lucca


February is synonymous with sweetness and pampering. It is the month of Valentine's Day and a perfect occasion to celebrate in a city that seduces with its treasures and love stories carved in marble and ... chocolate.
The air is still fresh, but spring is coming and the first blooms are already scenting the air.

Here are # 3thingstodo for a romantic day in Lucca, in February.


1 # aselfiewith… Ilaria del Carretto

A classic destination for lovers in the cathedral of Lucca.
Here we recall the story of the young and beautiful wife of Paolo Guinigi, the magnificent lord of Lucca in 1400.
The story tells that Ilaria was only 25 years old when she died in 1405 after giving birth to a girl.
Her husband Paolo wanted to remember his sweet bride forever and asked the sculptor Jacopo della Quercia from Siena, one of the recognized masters of that period, to portray her in white marble for the tomb. And it immediately came out as an absolute masterpiece, a symbol of eternal beauty!


Ilaria del carretto


The enchanting realism of the figure of the noblewoman, the decorative details and the intensity of the sculpture has inspired poets and writers over the centuries.

The "sleeping beauty" lies stretched out on a base with her head resting on a pillow and her hands softly crossed at her belly. Her face is serene and her eyes are closed, she seems to be portrayed in her sleep. Her dress is refined, her head adorned with a crown of flowers, the typical garland of the time. The dog at her feet symbolizes marital fidelity.

According to popular belief, those who visit the famous sarcophagus on this day will find a soul mate ...


2 #a walk ... in a carriage


You can visit Lucca in many ways, even aboard a chariot carried by horses, in a fairytale atmosphere. An unusual ride, to be done slowly, to monuments, palaces, beautiful panoramas and stories that the coachman himself will be happy to tell.

A journey back in time, between the centuries and the history of the city, lulled by the sound of horses' hooves.


lucca in a carriage


The tour starts from Piazza Napoleone, like the noblewomen who lived in the Ducal palace, which overlooks the square, Elisa Bonaparte, sister of the Emperor and princess of Lucca and after her the Duchess Maria Luisa Di Borbone.
On the Renaissance walls, between tree-lined avenues and wonderful and unexpected views that suddenly open up, the baroque garden of Palazzo Pfanner with its marble statues looks like a theatrical scene. From above you can also see the Botanical Garden, 200 years of history and plants from all over the world. The view ranges from bell towers, churches and towers to the Pisan Mountains, the Pizzorne area and the Apuan Alps.

Descending into the historic center, a stop in the picturesque oval-shaped Piazza Anfiteatro is a must, as it is one of the most photographed squares in the world and a magnificent postcard of Lucca.


3 #Gluttony ... for chocolate lovers


The best end of a romantic day is to do it in a sweet way. In various points of the city there are historic chocolate shops for a sweet and creamy hot chocolate in a cup, refined chocolates or the legendary Sacher cake in single portions.


San Valentino sweets from the Caniparoli chocolate shop in Lucca


Specialties to be savored by taking a stroll downtown along via Fillungo for designer shopping. On Valentine's Day, in addition to the usual delicacies, you have to taste the "mendicanti", crunchy chocolate discs covered with dried and candied fruit, the "mendicants" of the French tradition, in a special heart shaped version.

The recipe can be checked on