Posted by: Debra Kolkka | January 15, 2014

Starting early

Italians are very skillful drivers. They drive too fast and take too many risks, but they handle their cars with amazing confidence and ability. I may have found a good reason for this on the Lucca wall the other day.


…They start really early. This well dressed young lady was taking her doll out for a drive.

It was a lovely winter day to be out and about and the Lucca wall was busy with walkers, cyclists, young drivers and people just having a chat.



I never tire of my walks on the wall around Lucca. I think it looks great in any season.

Click here and here to see lovely Lucca in other seasons.


  1. I finally got to run the ramparts when I was there in november! It was something silly but everytime I tour people I think I’d like to run this! Two times around was five miles I think and it was loaded with runners ! It kept me busy waiting for the kate dinner times in Italy. If I lived in Lucca I would have a standing date with the walls at 6:30! Ha

    • Any time is a good time to walk the walls. I have resisted the temptation to run on the walls.

  2. We had a lovely time in Lucca but it wasn’t in winter. I agree Deb it does look great any season.
    Love the little girls car… so cute!

    • It is spectacular in spring and gorgeous in autumn.

  3. LUCCA IS one beautiful italian city.

    • It is one of my favourites…and only 30 minutes from Bagni di Lucca.

  4. It does look good in all seasons.

    • I would find it difficult to choose a favourite season.

  5. It is certainly one of the ‘must do’ things at least once every season change….the differences in the trees on the wall and mountains beyond are so beautiful.

    • Coming from a subtropical climate makes us appreciate the changes even more.

  6. Lucca’s ancient walls are one of the greatest assets that this wonderful city has.

    • I agree, it is great that they are intact.

  7. Have never seen Lucca in winter but it looks just as inviting. It is a special place.

    • I like the bare trees in winter just as much as the beautiful green of spring.

  8. During our stay in Bagni de Lucca last year we really enjoyed our trips to Lucca, such an exceptional place. As to the drivers, I was warned by several Americans about the Italian driving technique but one person who motorcycles through the Alps there every year assured me that I would adopt quickly.

    We started out our trip by driving from Rome to BDL and my friend was exactly right – I found driving in Italy highly disciplined and much in keeping with my sense of how to properly use the freeways.

    Alas, I live in San Diego where clueless drivers sprawl all over the freeway in any lane that strikes their fancy! Oh, that every CA driver should be schooled by a few months mandatory driving in Italy before taking to the roads here in CA.

    I always enjoy your posts, Deb, and hope to return some time in the future to BDL! Keep up the great work.


    • You do get used to Italian drivers. I still have a bit of trouble with the narrow, winding mountain roads, but i am even becoming used to those.

  9. What a sweet photo of the little car. The hat and doll are perfect accessories. Walking on a winter’s day is lovely.

    • She was very well set up for a day out with her Dad and her doll.

  10. I think I’d miss my walks around Lucca and its walls more than anything else if I had to return to the UK

    • Me too! I just love Lucca and the wall has to be its best asset.

  11. […] Debra Kolkka’s excellent blog at and, in particular, her witty comments on Italian driving at I was reminded of an accident which took place near us in Longoio in January 2006 where a car went […]

  12. Absolutely! … Meanwhile, the opening pic caught me a bit off guard.

    • I thought she was gorgeous. Her Dad was hovering around operating the car by remote control.

      • … and the rest of the story is even better!

  13. No visit to Lucca is complete without a walk or a cycle (or both!) on the Lucca walls. Lovely photographs of people having fun, thanks.
    The citizens of Lucca are indeed very lucky people – I would’nt mind being there right now.

    • It is great to see that the residents use the wall. There are always people up there enjoying the view.

  14. I love the walls at Lucca! Especially early in the morning….

    • Sunset is great too…but I will take any time of the day.

      • Of course! It’s just great for a wander

  15. Well, thank you for this reminder. The drizzle was just too bad when we were there this time again, so, one time in the coming years …. Always nice to have great things on your wish list. Thanks Debra!

    • I don’t mind the walk in the rain, as long as it is not too cold and dismal.

  16. I’ve never been to Lucca and am sure it’s beautiful. Today I’m taking my Sydney brother to Venice and hoping it won’t be acqua alta. At least there’ll be no crazy Italian drivers!

    • Venice is one of my favourite places in Italy. On a good day it takes your breath away.

  17. How hilarious, Debra. That is EARLY! Don’t you wonder what’s going through that kid’s head?

    Hugs from Ecuador,

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