|restored Gothic ceiling of the Duomo di San Martino, Lucca|
After so many weeks of intensive living in Firenze, the differences of Lucca were to me absolutely charming. Everything about Lucca feels older and more peculiar than Florence. A smaller, less crowded place, it feels rather open and still, preserved and isolated by its history as well as its fortified walls.
|Roman columns adorn the facade of San Michele in Foro|
|The simple and mystical entrance to San Michele in Foro|
|Roman amphitheater recycled|
|Spectacular byzantine mosaic atop the austere facade of Basilica San Fredanio|
|detail of chapel with a self-portrait by Amico Aspertini|
Another mysterious white facade, San Fredanio is capped with a breathtaking Byzantine style mosaic.
Inside, a collection of dream-like scenes tell the story of the Volto Santo di Lucca, which miraculously found its way to Lucca in 742 AD. This corpus statue was reputedly carved in cedar by Nicodemus, all except the face, which was completed by an angel after the sculptor fell asleep. (This statue is now kept in spectacular fashion in the Duomo di San Martino.)
Housekeepers and those who have lost their keys come to pray to St. Zita, whose body rests enshrined in a glass coffin.
Nearby, an empty chapel is filled with light and faded frescoes.
|An empty chapel, painted with quadratura frescoes in the Basilica San Fredanio|
|Lucca's fortifications: a park above, a maze of secret passageways below.|
all photos in this post by Lynne Rutter, Lucca, Italy, March 2014
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