Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 6, 2013

A night in lovely Lucca

Bagni di Lucca is only 30 minutes by car from Lucca, so we don’t often stay there overnight, but for a change we decided to stay after the first of Mattia’s concerts in the Oratorio degli Angeli Custodi.

We arrived just in time for passeggiata in Via Filungo, the narrow, winding main street of Lucca.


People were lining up to buy gelato at the brand new Grom store, you can’t blame them for that.


We met friends at Ristorante Mecenate in Via del Fosso 94.


Stefano, the hard working owner opens the restaurant for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. He sources wonderful local produce for lucky diners like us.


The hard working chef also doubles as a waitress on occasion.



In another life the building housing the restaurant was a dying factory…from the days when Lucca was famous for its textiles. There are some lovely old artifacts salvaged from the past.


Of course our food was delicious.

Spaghetti with monk fish. There was some fresh thyme thrown in at the last minute…and I’m glad it was.


Fresh pasta Lucchese style.


Risotto with pigeon.


Maltagliata, fresh pasta made with 3 types of flour, with spring vegetables.


The others enjoyed gelato, but I chose the winner, fresh ricotta with chestnut honey.


Then it was off to the Oratorio degli Angeli Custodi for a delightful evening of piano, clarinet, a fabulous (and handsome, it always helps) tenor and a surprise soprano.


We stayed the night at La Romea, a Bed and Breakfast in a 14th century building in the centre of Lucca.


It is run by the very charming Giulio and his family. Our room was lovely and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast. Giulio has owned the B&B for more than 10 years and knows everything there is to know about Lucca.


There was time the next morning for a walk around Lucca’s magnificent wall before heading home. We need to stay in Lucca more often.



  1. Some great reccomendations here Debra. We have to try these new places to stay and eat.

    • The restaurant is excellent and I like the way he specialises in local products. La Romea is lovely and in a great position in the centre of Lucca.

  2. Debra, another great Lucca blog – more on our list of things to do!

    • You won’t run out of things to do here.

  3. Lucca is such a wonderful city! And driving from Bagni si Lucca is a very pleasant journey.

    • We are very lucky to be so close to Lucca.

  4. Love this post Debra! Of all your gorgeous images, I keep going back to the ricotta and the handsome tenor 🙂

    • The ricotta was delicious and it never hurts to look at good looking people.

  5. The B&B looks so cute. I can’t wait to go to Lucca someday! What’s in the Grom store? Gelato??

    • Grom claims to make the best gelato in Italy. They began in Torino and are setting up stores in several places in Italy. I think there is one in New York as well.

  6. I like that the restaurant owners display the artifacts from the old dye factory. Nice way to stay connected to the past.
    That dessert looks heavenly!

    • It tasted every bit as good as it looked.

  7. Cracking post. We’ve spent many a day and evening before during and after passagiata on Via Filungo, so those photos were much appreciated. What a super restaurant and hotel too. Sounds like a good evening was had by all with great music.

    • Lucca has much to offer.

  8. Thank you, Debra, for another wonderful blog. I feel a touch old when I remember that I use to visit Italy regularly when Giulio of LaRomea was born. They are a wonderful family. It’s a fine idea to stay over on those late concert evenings. Thank you for the fabulous restaurant photos. We will definitely eat at Ristorante Mecenate.

    • It is a small world. We found out when we were there that Giulio’s wife is the sister of the person we bought our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio from. He is very charming and helpful.

  9. you just can’t beat fresh ricotta in Italy. It’s like nothing else. Good choice! ps, has the rain stopped?!

    • The rain comes and goes. The weather this year in Italy is the worst I have known.

  10. Looks like it was a lovely evening!

    • It was a particularly wonderful evening.

  11. Gosh, I left Lucca a month ago after 5 months. I miss it more than I knew!

    • You clearly need to come back.

  12. Sounds like an lovely 24 hours.

    • Lucca is one of the loveliest towns in Italy. I am lucky to be able to go so often.

  13. Hi Deb, how divine . Mouth is watering.
    The 3 J,s plus 1 more will be in Lucca for 9 days before coming out to Cherrys place for a week . Hoping you will be there. We arrive September 28th.

    • I should be here in early October. I look forward to catching up then.

  14. Debra it is almost a year since we were there already! Enjoyed revisiting through your post thanks

    • Time certainly flies when you are having fun.

  15. Debra this time last year we too were absorbing a breathtaking performance by Mattia thanks to your recommendation upon meeting you at the cafe opposite your apartment. A huge highlight of our trip, I hope more readers of your blog can also enjoy this divine music in Lucca
    Donna Newell ( Australia)

    • I remember that evening. i am pleased Mattia has been able to run another series of concerts.

  16. A fabulous town, Debra, and the food looks even better than slimy raw Dutch herrings.

    • I think you need another trip to Bagni di Lucca.

  17. Reblogged this on ilovelucca and commented:
    lovely, Lovely Lucca…

  18. What a fabulous evening …. and now I’m craving food from that region!

    • The food around here is very good, and especially at this restaurant.

  19. Thanks for the tip on the restaurant-I’ve never been there.

    • I’m sure you will love it when you come in autumn.

  20. We love Lucca and spent 4 nights there 10 years ago when we were thinking of leaving the UK. A very special place and great for rock concerts too!

  21. The Anonymous person was me! forgot to fill in my details!

    • There are lots of music events in Lucca all year round, but particularly in summer.

  22. […] The rest is here: A night in lovely Lucca | Bagni di Lucca and Beyond […]

  23. I admit, I am SO envious. I have many lovely memories of Lucca but haven’t been there for years. We performed in Oratorio degli Angeli Custodi when there, beautiful place with great acoustics. (yes, the tenor is handsome!) Thanks as always for sharing your life in Italy, Debra – what a treat it is for those who love it and cannot be there.

    • How wonderful to have performed in the Oratorio. It is such a gorgeous olace, I love going to concerts there.

  24. Debra what a wonderful post, Lucca as I remember it some many years ago is just a lovely city. I am in Tuscany middle of June this summer, is it where you are far from Mercantale, close to Terontola?? I friend of mine invited me to come along to the Tuscany, while I am coming from the USA going to Germany, Munich for my brothers wedding. Sounds like a dream to me to be back to my beloved Italy, where I had been uncountable times when I lived in Germany. Viva Italia!!!

    • I think Terontola is near Arezzo, which is a few hours away from Lucca. I have not been there.

      • Terontola is the train station you get off if you want to visit Perugia

      • Thank you for the information.

  25. The pasta looks wonderful. I often see monkfish at the market but didn’t even think to put it with pasta.

  26. Dear Debra, thank you very much for your stay with us at La Romea B&B , you are very kind and your blog is really beautiful and interesting, nice pictures and true informations.Salutoni Giulio e Gaia

    • It was our pleasure to stay at La Romea, I will recommend it to all my friends.

  27. ohhh how i miss Italy, we spent some great time in Lucca… even for few hours.

    • Lucca is a perfect place to spend a few hours.

  28. this is wonderful Debra Helen

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