The ancient city of Lucca is famous for its intact Renaissance city walls and 100 beautiful churches. A day trip will not be enough to explore all Lucca’s treasure but it will allow you a glimpse into one of Italy’s most famous cities past and present.
Walking within Lucca’s walls you can trace its history from Roman times through the Middle Ages to the Renaissance period and beyond. A strong rivalry of Florence and Pisa, Lucca was an important independent state for many centuries.
A great way to start your day in Lucca is a stroll on the ancient city walls that have been turned into a four-kilometre panoramic pedestrian promenade with stunning views over Lucca and the Apuan Alps’ peaks. From there head to the beautiful 11th century Il Duomo, the main cathedral, that has many
treasures: 15th century Ilaria del Carretto’s Tomb by Jacopo della Quercia, the Volto Santo di Lucca, a wooden crucifix with an image of Christ that according to the legend was carved by his disciple Nicodemus, works by such Renaissance masters as Ghirlandaio, Tintoretto and Fra Bartolomeo. Along the main street, Il Fillungo, you will find another majestic church, San Michele in Foro with its four-metre statue of St. Michael the Archangel flanked by two angels on the top, elegant loggias and sculptures.
|Lucca - Piazza dell'Anfiteatro|
Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is another must-see in Lucca. If you stand in the centre of the oval square you will see the ways the building were built around the structure of the Roman amphitheatre that stood here a long time ago.
|Lucca - Torre Guinigi|
Climb up the steps on the top of the Torre Guinigi, one of a few remaining in Lucca, to admire the views over the city in the shade of the oaks that grow on the top of the tower. The Ducal Palace, Piazza Napoleone, Palazzo Pfanner and Villa Garzoni – there are many sights, picturesque squares and pretty streets in Lucca to explore. The ancient city steals many people’s heart who want to go back again and again.
Photos via Flickr by: Marc-Olivier Bergeron, Mathias Liebing, Alex Janssen.