From Pavia to Lucca, following the path of Lombards

Tuscany Ride a Bike offers a nice tour from Pavia, trough the Valley of river Po, the hills nearby Parma, and across the paths of Lunigiana to finally reach Lucca. The two cities were two important centers of the Lombard Kingdom. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Byzantines reconquered Italy after a war against the Goths and prepared to enjoy their new “purchase” but the Lombards, had other ideas!! Who were they?! A fierce and warlike people of Germanic origin, who invaded italian peninsula in 568 a.C led by the legendary king Alboin, famous for his ardor in battle and for offering to drink to his the skull of his father! She evidently didn’t like very much and killed him with a conspiracy. After that the most important cities of northern Italy and almost half of peninsula was conquered, the Lombards choosed Pavia, as the capital of their kingdom.
If Pavia was taken by force after a long siege, Lucca (who evidently didn’t like much the Byzantine tax) opened its doors to newcomers Lombards, who made it one of the most important cities of their kingdom, with the King's palace, the
mint and the palace from which the Duke of Lucca ruled almost all Tuscany.
Pavia and Lucca are linked to each other by the destiny of the last king of this strong people,
Desiderio, first Duke of Tuscany, then King of Lombards, who opposed the invasion led by Carlo Magno; only after a long siege, the city capitulated to the man who became the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.
Our travel route will retrace the footsteps of these indomitable warriors of which we can admire swords, daggers, spears and shields richly decorated, but also beautiful jewels, shown at the museums of Lucca and Pavia. Then, while riding bike on the street, you get hungry, remember that you are crossing in the paradise of italian gastronomy: we mention only
Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and Culatello to suggest you the way for a perfect snack!