Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 28, 2014

Cars, flowers and a saint

Saint Zita is a patron saint of Lucca and maids and domestic servants. Once a year, around 27th April, she is brought from her usual spot in the church of San Frediano and placed in the centre of the church so people can walk by and see her.


Bread is baked in her honour and Lucca is full of flowers for the event. The Anfiteatro is turned into a flower market for the weekend. Saturday was a gorgeous day to be in town to see the blooms.


I managed to find some more peonies for the garden at Casa Debbio.



We also came upon the start of the Lucca part of the Terre di Canossa in the Piazza Napoleone. This is the 4th year of the International Classic Cars Challenge, named after Countess Beatrice di Canossa, which begins and ends in Reggio Emilia and travels through Forte dei Marmi, Pietrasanta, Lucca and Pisa along the way. Vintage cars between 1919 and 1976 are invited to take part. The old cars looked fabulous heading out of Lucca.

There is always something to see and do in Lucca.


  1. I haven’t visited Sita, but I noticed the last time that I was in Lucca, my favourite Lucchese , Saint, Ilaria , had been moved to the museum.

  2. I also note Zita finds lost keys… now that is a handy saint to have. Up there with San Antonio.

    • I might have to get a small Zita for my mother, she loses keys all the time.

  3. Wow! So much fun and adventurous things to do and see.

    • Lucca is a lovely town, big enough to have lots going on and small enough to be easily navigated.

  4. I an counting the days

  5. Oh, aren’t those cars divine!

    • The cars were fabulous. Wouldn’t it be fun to be in that race.

  6. Happy memories, thank you, Debra. We were there during that festival in 2001. I confess we knew nothing about it until we were there 🙂

    • We go every year and love it.

  7. The colours are so vivid…my bags are itching to be packed. I will be there in 2 weeks…hope to catch up! Thanks….

    • We must have coffee at Giacosa.

  8. These cars! I will have to show this post to my little boys when they get home from school…they are going to go nuts!!!

    • I loved the tiny red one.

  9. […] Entrei na igreja de San Frediano, vi a Fonte Lustrale e me dirigi à Capela de Santa Zita, onde repousa o corpo da dita santa, que é padroeira dos empregados domésticos.  Saquei a máquina fotográfica do bolso e comecei a filmar quando senti um flash estourar atrás […]

  10. A great event and hommage to Matilda di Canossa, “La Gran Contessa”, also known as Matilda of Tuscany, one of the most powerful women in European history and one of my favourite characters
    She was a great benefactor to the region in general and to Bagni di Lucca in particular, starting a free health service for everyone so that they could have thermal cures. She also had the Ponte della Maddalena built at Borg a Mozzano, to facilitate the access.
    I also visit Saint Zita’s tomb whenever I am in Lucca. San Frediano is a jewel.
    Sorry to have missed these festivities. Fortunately, we have you as a great reporter!

    • Beatrice was the mother of Matilda. We love Matilda for the Ponte Della Maddelena alone.

  11. Your photographs are nice.

  12. Another great day in Lucca….and Jim very impressed with the cars!

    • Just about any day in Lucca is good.

  13. John would drool over those vintage cars and would wish to be there at that time!!! Lucca would be a wonderful backdrop for this concourse.

    • I am pleased we came across the cars, it was a lot of fun.

  14. Reblogged this on carmillaweirdlove.

  15. Ooh look at all those gorgeous old cars! And to be honest, I find dragging out the mummified body once a year a bit creepy… 🙂

    • I thought poor old Zita was a bit creepy the first time I saw her, but now we are old friends and I visit her often.

  16. The old cars must have been quite the sight!

    • They were fabulous. I wish I was part of the event…we have an old Toyota.

  17. some very expensive cars amoungst that lot jummmmm

    • You would have loved it…next year.

  18. Aren’t peonies beautiful? One of my favourite flowers 😀 They put a smile on my face!

    • They are my favourite flower. I hope all of my peonies grow at Casa Debbio.

  19. Lovely post; sun, flowers, vintage cars what a great day and surprising to see all those old vehicles in such a setting. Probably not unusual really but didn’t cross the ‘radar’ that it’s just as likely as it is in a North American setting. When they made cars to last; they are as exquisite as a beautifully made gown. Lucky you; a day full of eye candy!! Thanks for sharing that pleasure with us too.

  20. wow great to see those old cars

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