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GUINIGI TOWER — LUCCA

Goethe once observed, “Tuscany looks like Italy should [look]." The Cruise Ship Crystal Serenity, on which I was serving as a guest lecturer, docked in Livorno, the 15th century sea port on the Tyrrhenian Sea coast of Italy. Livorno is the gateway to Italy's Tuscan region and to many spectacular sights; including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the overwhelming prize of all, the timeless city of Florence. There is also the lovely town of San Gimignano, abounding in medieval towers, which was featured in a photo by my good friend, Hakan Delic. On this particular stopover in Livorno, I decided to journey to the charming medieval town of Lucca.

During the late Medieval and Early Renaissance days the Guinici family represented one of the most important families of Lucca. Paolo Guinigi, who ruled the town during the first half of the XV century, commissioned the construction of Case (House of) Guinigi, comprised of a group of mansions and towers, creating an unusually beautiful example of Medieval architecture. Construction on the Guinigi Tower seen in the photograph, commenced in 1384, and it is the only one of the four original towers to have survived. Rising to 44.25 m (145 ft), the tower offers a majestic view of the city. At the top of the 14-story tower is a hanging garden, featuring seven ‘holm oaks.’

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5971 W: 457 N: 10312] (34571)
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