Here they do not offer too much in the way of restaurant desserts nor can one order them. Rather, it is common to come to this bakery for a coffee and one of the many specialties. The frittelle, orange rice flour fritters with powdered sugar on top and krapfen with cream, are the sweet treats are the most in demand this busy pastry bar in the center of Lucca.
If you pass by Lucca, you can not leave without first having breakfast at Caffe Di Simo. You know you're getting close when you walk along the Via Fillungo because, suddenly, an aroma of fresh pastries invades you and from there, just follow your nose! ;) Besides being a place with much charm and thousands of delicious treats, the staff are really friendly and will advise you with kindness and patience, despite my poor knowledge of Italian! :) In the end, I decided not to complicate things and I played it safe: I went for a cappuccino and croissants, which were heavenly. Logically, Puccini is present throughout the city, and at Café di Simo you should not expect any less: it offers piano concerts on Saturday afternoons. Cappuccino, fresh croissants and Madame Butterfly, a perfect combination in Lucca.
I asked a student for a good non-touristy place to eat and he sent us here. Locall cured meats, giant, delicious pizzas, some Tuscan wine (of course), and coffee ... all for less than 15€ / head. The service was good (but in Italian, of course) and the place was very charming since it was an old drugstore built in 1895.
This amazing city is full of monuments and has a curious provincial atmosphere. I wanted to get to know this place that so closely resembled something out of a Visconti film. It was a Sunday with flea market stands set up along the streets and good weather, so the streets were packed. I was lucky to get a table at this restaurant with its décor of crystal chandeliers, soft carpets, exquisite leather chairs and table-side service. The funny thing was that the waiters serve you in their street clothes, but a black apron would have been perfect. The menu consisted of a delicious lasagna and lemony scallops. No one really had dessert, just a delicious espresso. The total was 15 euros. The city theater is just around the corner, and the same building houses a hotel. The area seems like it hasn't changed a bit in years.
To eat in Lucca, we rely on the local food market, Which as its name suggests, only offers dishes using local products, such as ravioli a la ricotta, which we loved. After lunch, we went shopping in the adjacent market, where you can find the same fresh, handmade and local products we had tried earlier. It is a good place for shopping, eating, and getting to know local economy.
We didn't want to return empty handed from our trip to Tuscany, so we decided to do some shopping in this family business. Here, you can find absolutely everything reminiscent of Italy. Cheese, wine (including Chianti), homemade pasta, meat; everything to make foodies like us happy.
Thanks to the advice of B&B Mimosa where we stayed, we decided to spend our last night in Chez Giulio. It had great priced Tuscan food, with an added discount for staying at Mimosa. The ultimate taste of Italy, without breaking the bank!