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Things to do in Lucca

  • A city best seen on foot

    Lucca is an ideal destination for those who love a good walk. The walkways along the city walls offer wonderful views of Lucca's historic centre, and visitors can climb several towers to get an even better view. The ancient heart of the city has been well protected by these sturdy walls, and the narrow streets are full of churches to explore and local treats to sample. Lucca is a city that encourages cycling and walking, and traffic is minimised by the layout of the solid Roman ramparts.

  • Architectural delights

    Lucca is also known for its many Romanesque and Medieval basilica-form churches, most notably the Duomo of San Martino, Lucca's cathedral. It dates back to 6th century, but was rebuilt in the 11th century in the Romanesque style. Churches aren't the only interesting buildings you will encounter however; Lucca has a rich architectural history that is surprisingly well preserved. You can also climb the Guinigi Tower and the Case Guinigi, home to the family of Pablo Guinigi, who ruled there for the first half of the 15th century.

  • An art lover's paradise

    An art lover's paradise
    Art lovers should visit the Palazzo Mansi, home to an amazing collection of Italian and Flemish paintings from the 14th to the 18th century, as well as the work of many other well-known artists of that era. Don't miss the Newlywed's Room with its beautifully carved and gilded alcove and 18th century silk hangings.

  • City of festivals

    City of festivals
    The Lucca area plays host to a number of well-known festivals, and if you're planning to visit this part of Italy, it's a good idea to see what's going on and plan around summer events. The Lucca Summer Festival draws big-name bands and singers, and for opera lovers an annual Puccini opera festival is held every summer in nearby Torre del Lago. The city also hosts the Lucca Film Festival, the Lucca Digital Photofest and the Lucca Comics and Games festival, which is actually the largest comic festival in Italy.

    As well as these regular events, Lucca also celebrates a month long holiday called Settembre Lucchese during September, which is focussed around the Holy Cross celebration on the 14th. This is a wonderful time to visit, as traditional agricultural fairs, markets and exhibitions of locally made handicrafts are held throughout the month, and locals enjoy holiday delicacies such as fratti, a sweet raisin bread.

  • Tuscany's underground caves

    Tuscany's underground caves
    With 1,200km of underground cave systems, there's plenty to explore. The Apuan Alps Regional Park allows visitors to visit the Monte Corchia cave system, which is the third deepest in Italy. The caves have their own unique micro-climate, and visitors will be able to see amazing displays of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as underwater formations known as 'cave pearls'. Shuttle buses leave regularly from Levigliani di Stazzema.

  • Explore the mountains or visit the beach

    Explore the mountains or visit the beach
    The Lucca area is situated on the plains below the Apuan Alps, and if you enjoy a good hike, there are many routes you can take through the Apuan Alps Park. If you have a hire car, head towards Levigliani and explore the area's craggy slopes and stunning mountain views, or head north to Bagni di Lucca and Montefegatesi for more mountain walks.

    If you just want to lie on the beach, you can catch the train to the classic Italian beach resort of Viareggio, or drive further along the coast to find more secluded beaches in the Migliarino Regional Park.

    If you fancy a shorter walk from the city, the Acquedotto del Nottolini is well worth a look. Constructed by Nottolini in the 19th century to carry drinking water from the Lucca springs, this architectural marvel has 459 arches.

  • The gardens of Lucca

    The gardens of Lucca

    You can't visit Lucca without visiting some of its amazing gardens, and there is no better place to start than the Garden of the Villa Reale di Marila. The garden has a 17th century layout, with a newer layout for the lower part created by Elisa Baciocchi to give the garden an open, natural vista. Near the Villa del Vescovo is a lake surrounded by woodland, which are home to goats, merino sheep and roe deer. Most of the oldest features have been altered, but you can still visit the 17th century church and nymphaeum, which are set in a natural grotto known as Pan's Grotto.

    Other notable gardens in Lucca include the Botannical Gardens, which date back to 1543 and are thought to be Europe's oldest scientific botanical gardens. You can also visit the traditional Tuscan Garzoni garden in the Villa Garzoni.botanical gardens. You can also visit the traditional Tuscan Garzoni garden in the Villa Garzoni.

  • And finally, the food!

    And finally, the food!
    The Lucca area has several delicious specialities, which you can try at the city's many restaurants, cafes and markets. Look out for tortelli lucchese, which is pasta stuffed with meat and served covered in ragu. What makes the pasta in Lucca stand out from the rest of Tuscany is that it is made with a larger proportion of eggs. While this may seem trivial, there is a historic reason for this. In the days gone by, Tuscany was not a particularly well off region and the people could not afford many eggs, resulting in pasta being made from just flour and water. Lucca, however, was an established trading post and banking town, meaning that its inhabitants could afford that which we now take for granted, resulting in their pasta being rich in eggs. The bright yellow colour of the noodles is evidence of this, but if you have had enough of pasta by the time you visit Lucca, then opt for farro soup, which is made from the local vitamin-rich grain, or the salted cod with olive oil and black pepper.

  • Video of Lucca

    Video of Lucca

  • Things to do

    Things to do
    You can also use the train to head into the Garfagnana, the valley that runs along the Apuan Alps and perfect starting point for hiking in the mountains.
    You can't see as much of the Ponte della Maddelena (10K North of Lucca)  (or Ponte del Diavolo (Devil's bridge)) as you used to be able to, due to the dam downstream, but this narrow five arched bridge of the fourteenth century is nevertheless very impressive. Sitting on now submerged islets, there are five asymmetrical arches, the largest of which spans 37 metres.
    To the east of Barga is the village of Coreglia Antelminelli, (31K North of Lucca)  an important stronghold of the powerful Castracani family during mediaeval times - traces of their defensive works can still be seen. The figurine museum houses a wide variety of plaster figurines and statues. The process and style was developed around Coreglia and Tereglio during the 16th and 17th centuries and exported all over the world courtesy of the large number of emigrant artisans from this area. The museum contains a workshop dedicated to the making of such figures.
    Montecarlo (20K from Lucca), with its bell tower of the collegiate church, is visible for miles all around. The wines of Montecarlo are unusual in that they use a relatively high proportion of French grape varieties in their blend.

    4 important villas of the Lucca area:
    Villa Torrigiani Camigliano, 7K North-East of Lucca;
    Villa Reale, Via Fraga Alta, Marlia, 5K North-East of Lucca
    Villa Mansi, Segromigno in Monte, near Marlia
    Villa Garzoni Collodi, between Lucca and Pescia

    In Collodi, (17K North of Lucca)  a small town not far from Pistoia, you can visit the very original Pinocchio Park dedicated to the famous long-nosed marionette. The park is set up completely outdoors. Walking inside the large garden, surrounded by the well-cared after vegetation, you’ll find all the main protagonists of the story: Pinocchio, the Fairy with Turquoise Hair, the Cat and the Fox and many other characters from the novel virtually accompany visitors and remind them some of the most relevant passages of the book.

    The Grotta del Vento, a beautiful system of caves and grottoes that wind underneath the Pania Secca where several tours have been set up.

    The canyon carved out of the rock over thousands of years ,The Orrido di Botri (47K North of Lucca)  is a deep limestone gorge carved by the Rio Pelago. The area is located in the municipality of Bagni di Lucca, in the Val Fegana, under the slopes of the Tre Potenze and Rondinaio mountains.

    Bagni di Lucca's spa, (20K North of Lucca) the springs of the hills of Corsena are all sulphate-bicarbonate-calcium and have temperatures between 54.1°C/130°F and 36.5°C/98°F. The spa uses 25 springs.

    Barga (25K North of Lucca) is part of hidden Tuscany, a town with a view of the Apuan Alps in a region known as the Garfagnana, north of the town of Lucca. Barga, along with other small villages around it, has a link to Scotland, as many Italians went there to find work in leaner times. Some returned to open shops in Barga. You'll see not only Scottish crafts, but hear English spoken more often than you'd think in an out-of-the-way village.

    Lucca is less than half an hour from the Tuscan coast.
    If you are on holiday in Versilia, there are many fine places to visit between its beaches and its hinterland. There are, for example, Pietrasanta, Marina di Pietrasanta, Forte dei Marmi, Seravezza, Stazzema, Camaiore, Lido di Camaiore, Massarosa, Viareggio, and Torre del Lago Puccini.
    Viareggio (19K from Lucca), holds one of the largest and most celebrated carnival festivals in Italy, drawing over a million people. The elaborate parade, running along the seafront promenade, is usually held the three Sundays before carnevale, the day of carnevale (Shrove Tuesday), and the Sunday following. Museo Cittadella del Carnevale - The Carnival Citadel Museum has an exhibition of floats, masks, carnival postcards, and other memorabilia related to carnevale. It's currently open Saturday and Sunday afternoons and admission is free.
    Beaches - The coast is lined with sandy beaches, most part of privately owned facilities although there is a free beach area in the south part of the city. For a price at the private beach establishments, you get a beach chair and umbrella and use of facilities like changing rooms and restrooms. Most facilities have a snack bar too. The sea is usually calm and good for swimming.
    Forte dei Marmi (36K from Lucca), is known for its clean, sandy beaches. Every Wednesday there is a market that deals in designer clothing, among other things.
    Pietrasanta (25K North West of Lucca), A busy little town, Pietrasanta is historically and artistically the chief town of inland Versilia. Share a coffee with marble sculptors from all over the world and maybe even visit a marble workshop. The town has a pleasant historical centre, and the main piazza is often decorated with exhibitions of modern sculpture.

Experience an official tuscany tour with

Private 500 Fiat tour in Tuscany From Florence

Discover the beautiful Tuscan hills in a vintage Fiat 500. Visit three quaint villages during your 6-hour tour with English-speaking guide. Enjoy a homemade lunch with a wine-tasting session at a 200 year old villa. Visit its ancient wine cellar.

from 311,47 US Dollar

Visit the Uffizi Gallery in the morning

A full immersion in one of the most famous museums in the world.
A chronological tour starting from the sparks of the Renaissance, that will walk you through Renaissance and Mannerist masterpieces.

from 59,8 US Dollar

Outlet Shopping Tour - The Mall, Prada, Gucci, Armani, D&G and all the like

The Mall - The famous Italian outlet stores close Florence

They are not far from Florence, approximately 40 kilometers away from the city.

This stores are famous for their impressive discounts on such luxury brands as Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Valentino, Prada, Versace, Balenciaga, Emilio Pucci, Zegna, Armani, Givenchy, Hogan, Tod's and all the like. These malls are very elegant. You will find there not only outlet stores but also various restaurants, bars and English speaking shop assistants, who will help you to choose the right clothes for you. This tour is especially popular among the various private tours in Florence. As a professional private guide in Florence I usually offer this tour to the fashion devotees. At first I will pick you from your hotel, and we will spend some time driving towards the stores.

from 87,21 US Dollar

Private Tour of Palazzo Vecchio

This is the right tour to visit one of the best historical palace in Florence with a private guide: Palazzo Vecchio. Here you will hear the story of the Medici family, rulers of the city for over three centuries. In all the splendid and beautiful rooms of Palazzo Vecchio you will learn much more about the Medici family and their artistic interest in working with the best artists of the Renaissance period.

from 24,92 US Dollar
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