Lucca is a peaceful city with narrow lanes, which preserve intact its original Roman street plan. The city center is medieval and sits atop layers of Etruscan and Roman settlements. The two and a half miles of walls from 1504-1645 look out over the town’s lovely towers, broad piazzas and park grounds. The city’s medieval battlements, la Mura, offer a wonderful option for biking and viewing the city. Bicycle shops clustered near Lucca’s north gate, the Porta Santa Maria, offer a variety of rental options. Cicli Bizaarri or Antonio Poli offer hourly, daily and weekly bike rental options.
Sites to see
Piazza del Mercato-elliptical shape is due to its having been an Roman amphitheatre
House of Puccini (Casa di Pucci)-birthplace of Puccini
San Michele in Foro (church)- view the outside of the church
Palazzo Ducale-once home to Lucca’s rulers it has a Mannerist colonnade
Piazza Napoleone-this square is named after Napoleon, whose sister Elisa was a ruler of Lucca.
Via Fillungo-street for shopping
Torre (Tower) dei Guinigi and Palazzo(palace) dei Guinigi and Museo Nazionale Guinigi (national museum)-the museum is in a massive Renaissance villa built for Paolo Guinigi, who ruled Lucca from 1400 to 1430. The ground floor contains sculpture and there is a picture gallery on the floor above.
Museo (museum) dell’Opera della Cattedrale di San Martino and the church of San Martino, which houses the wooden relic known as Volto Santo, a statue of the crucified Jesus reputed to have been carved by the disciple Nicodemus. The museum features the treasures of San Martino. The cathedral dates from the 11th century.
Giardino Botanico (Botanic Gardens)
Palazzo (palace) Pfanner with gardens-the house is closed to the public but the gardens are lined with Baroque statues of gods and goddesses of Roman mythology and filled with lemon trees in huge terra cotta pots. The garden can also be viewed while walking along the ramparts.
Trattoria Da Francesco, Corte Portici 13-lunch and dinner
Trattoria Gigi, Piazza del Carmine, 7-lunch and dinner
Santini, in Piazza Citadella, is a world-class gelateria