Lucca, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
A beautiful walled city in Tuscany.
Just 30 minutes from Pisa and one hour from the Mediterranean.
Information about Lucca
Lucca, the famous and beautiful walled city in northern Tuscany is also, one of the richest cities in Northern Italy. There are many richly built medieval basilica-form churches in Lucca with rich arcaded facades and bell towers, some dating from the 8th century. Unusually for cities in the region, the walls around the old town have remained intact and as the city expanded and modernized and the wide walls lost their military importance, they became a promenade ringing the old town.
Lucca is the birthplace of composers Francesco Geminiani, Gioseffo Guami, Luigi Boccherini, Giacomo Puccini and Alfredo Catalani. The Casa di Puccini is open to the public. At nearby Torre del Lago there is a Puccini opera festival every year in July/August.
Lucca was founded by the Etruscans and became a Roman colony in 180 BC. The rectangular grid of its historical center preserves the Roman street plan, and the Piazza S. Michele occupies the site of the ancient forum.
It became prosperous through the silk trade that started in the 11th century, to rival the silks of Byzantium. In the 10th and 11th centuries Lucca was the capital of the feudal fiefdom of Tuscany, more or less independent but owing nominal allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor.
For almost 500 years from the 12th century , Lucca was an independent republic. After 1815 it became a Bourbon-Parma duchy, then part of Tuscany in 1847 and finally part of the Italian State.
Dazzling selection of resturants, shops and services.
The peaceful walled town of Lucca is famed for its elaborate churches, which include the Cathedral of San Martino with its assymetric façade and campanile, the striking San Frediano decorated with colourful mosaics, and San Michele in Foro, built on the site of the Roman forum. The main shopping street, Fillungo, is noted for a number of early-20th-century, Liberty-style façades.
Lucca is surrounded entirely by 16th century walls. In the 19th century, trees were planted and now the ramparts can be walked or cycled. It's approximately three miles around the oval. Bicycles can be rented; the top is paved.
Lucca offers up some pretty fine Tuscan cuisine. The restaurant most talked about is Ristorante Buca di Sant'Antonio. Have some farro soup, one of the oldest dishes in Italy and a favorite of Giacomo Puccini and Ezra Pound, according to the Restaurant's web site
The Romanesque Duomo di San Martino, completely rebuilt between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries, contains the Volto Santo (Holy Face), a wooden figure of Christ. The Volto Santo is believed to be the face of Christ, carved by Nicodemus who was present at the crucifixion.
The facade of San Michele in Foro found in Piazza San Michele is probably the most photographed in Lucca. If it looks tacked on, it's because they spent all the money on it, and didn't have enough left to raise the church as high as the facade. The columns in the facade are all different, and the archangel crowning the church features retractable wings to survive high winds. Puccini sang in the choir here. Open daily 7:40-noon and 3-6.
Festivals held throughout the year. The highlight is the summer music festival which plays host annually to a number of international renowned performers.