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July 27, 2018

Our Ambassador Elizabeth jumped out for the weekend to Lucca, Italy. Follow her adventures at insearchofs.com and Instagram at @insearchofs.

Duffler in Lucca, Italy

By Elizabeth Georgian

In my opinion, visitors who really want to experience Italy and its different regions, foods, and cultures should opt to make use of the excellent train service connecting throughout the country. But, traveling by train requires a specific packing regime and bag that is comfortable and light enough to carry through bustling train stations, crowded train cars, and into vehicle-limited old cities. For a recent trip from my home in Florence, Italy to Lucca—about a one-and-a-half-hour train ride away—I tested out my Duffler bag for its functionality for train travel and extended carrying.

As I watched other travelers alighting in Lucca with their cumbersome wheeling bags, which would soon be rendered useless by stairs and cobblestones, I slung my Duffler over my shoulder and hopped off the train, ready to explore Lucca for a few hours before check-in time. My first stop, and the main draw for visitors to Lucca, was the complete city walls that have been developed into a park with playgrounds and a 4-km biking, running, and walking path encircling the entirety of the old city. Using the long crossbody strap adjusted to the length comfortable for my height, I carried my Duffler through the first sight of the day while marveling at the incredible wall from the 1500s.

To adjust my Duffler for less bumping in the tight city streets, I easily removed the long strap that’d I’d been using previously via its clips and tucked it into a secure zipped pocket in the Duffler. Using the comfortable shorter straps, I switched my Duffler into a backpack, allowing me to skip down the steps into Lucca’s old city. With the Duffler on my back, I next passed by the Cattedrale di S. Martino, Santa Maria Foris Portam church, and Basilica di San Frediano, keeping my hands free for snapping photos of the gorgeous architecture of the Catholic churches and the yellow stucco buildings lining the intertwined streets.

After all of this sightseeing, I was sufficiently ready for a gelato and an espresso doppio. Ducking into one of the almost hidden archways entering Piazza Anfiteatro, I paused a moment to readjust my Duffler, carrying it in-hand by its two short straps Velcroed together, so I could easily set it down. Walking out of the archway into the elliptic piazza, built upon the remains of a second-century Roman amphitheater, I set down my bag to once more extract my camera and photograph the umbrella-lined piazza before joining the other visitors reading menus, people watching over an espresso, and savoring gelato.

The different carrying options created by the Duffler’s straps and their adjustability made the bag ideal for train travel and extended carrying while sightseeing in Lucca, Italy. Even when packed full for a several day trip, the Duffler was comfortable to carry, making it the ideal bag.


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