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Lucca, The city of the beautiful walls

Lucca, The city of the beautiful walls

(143Km 1h30min) Two thousand years of history to visit every day, walking in the streets and squares of the historic center of Lucca. As many treasures are preserved in numerous museum collections.

The best way to discover Lucca is looking at it from above. You can do climbing on its massive walls, the Tower Guinigi or addressing the 207 steps of the more high Clock Tower. From these points there is a splendid view over the rooftops of the Tuscan town, an overview which allows you to appreciate the beauty and harmony and find the same urban structure built by the Romans. Amphitheatre Square, in the name of what was already said in this space now used as one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. The Church of San Michele, also called the Forum, is a place where there was the ancient center of Lucca. The two main axes, Via Fillungo and San Paolino, today the streets of shopping and socializing, modeled on the Roman decumans. Lucca is a hospitable city, tidy, with excellent food and surroundings with nature. On this page we recommend the 10 things you must see during a vacation or a weekend in Lucca. If you are looking for a hotel, you should choose between those offered by Booking.com. There are about 100 hotels with prices, photos and comments of guests before you. Go to Booking.com. Lucca | Square Amphitheatre Piazza dell'Anfiteatro We think we do not do wrong to other Italian cities if we define Amphitheatre Square in Lucca one of the most beautiful in Italy. Built starting in 1830 by architect Nottolini, it resumed the ancient route of the Roman amphitheater. The construction sacrificed much of Roman buildings, which are visible in the inside of the shops around the square. Harmony Square Amphitheatre captures admiring it from the center and is due largely to the absence of large openings. The access to the square, in fact, takes place by four small doors in time and this gives the appearance of "enclosed square." The intersection of the 4 doors is indicated by a ceramic tile in the middle of the square. The shops, clubs, bars and terraces of the weekly market make it the heart of Lucca, obligatory point of passage and parking of citizens and tourists.

 

Lucca | Cathedral THE CATHEDRAL OF LUCCA The first thing you notice of the cathedral dedicated to San Martino is the asymmetry of the right side of the facade that had to adapt to the existing bell tower. On the polychrome facade inspired by the Cathedral of Pisa is the statue of St. Martin in the act of sharing his cloak with a beggar. On the right side there is a maze that goes back to the myth of Ariadne and Theseus and, symbolically, the path to follow in life to seek the path of redemption. The interior has three naves and some extraordinary works of art: first of all the Funeral Monument of Ilaria del Carretto, wife of the lord of Lucca Paolo Guinigi, made by Jacopo della Quercia. The work to which the Lucchese are loyal is the ancient crucifix of the Holy Face (or Holy Cross) that represent the true face of Christ. According to legend it was carved by Nicodemus, helped by God's grace, to pass on the true likeness of Christ. After sailing adrift throughout the Mediterranean, she stopped in the port of Luni and was taken in Lucca from Bishop John in 782. There is also the Madonna and Child with SS. Peter Clement, Paul and Sebastiano del Ghirlandaio and the Last Supper by Tintoretto. When: Summer hours from 07.00 to 19.00. Winter hours from 07.00 to 17.00 How much: € 5 inclusive ticket with a visit to the Cathedral Museum and the church of Santi Giovanni e Reparata.

 

Lucca | San Frediano CHURCHES OF SAINT MICHAEL AND SAINT FREDIANO Like many other Italian cities, Lucca is also referred to as "the city of 100 churches." The abundance of places of worship does not refer only to the visible churches but also to the private chapels attached to the buildings, some of which are still visible. After the Cathedral of San Martino, the two most important churches are those of Saint Michael and Saint Frediano. San Michele is located in the square where once stood the Roman Forum. Striking for its high facade that sopraeleva four meters above the roof and on which stands a St. Michael the Archangel slaying the dragon. According to legend, the finger of the statue there is an exceptional diamond that at night you can see shine. San Frediano is one of the oldest places of worship of Lucca, founded by the saint whose name it bears. Striking for the mosaic on the facade (which is very rare for a Romanesque church) and the beautiful baptismal font housed. San Michele Where: St. Michael's Square in the old town When hours: from 07.40 to 12.00 and from 15.00 to 18.00 San Frediano Where: Piazza San Frediano in the historical center When: from 08.30 to 12.00 and from 15.00 to 17.00 Holidays: from 10.30 to 17.00

 

Lucca | Walls THE WALLS OF LUCCA We do not notice the majesty of Lucca's walls until we set foot on it. Not so much the height to impress (12 meters) but the length of 4 km and width of 30 meters, the four-lane highway! With all this space and without even an enemy to be resisted, it was natural for the city to transform this space into a beautiful tree lined avenue where walking, playing sports, organizing events, or simply enjoy the beautiful view over the rooftops of the city. Admired all over the world for their architectural value, have always been the subject of study for architects and planners: they are, in fact, the only example of defensive walls of the modern age arrived intact to this day. They were built between 1504 and 1645 on a project of Alessandro Farnese and, fortunately, have never served to defend the city from a siege. Have been very useful, however, to save the center of Lucca by the violent flood of the river Serchio on Nov. 18, 1812.

 

Lucca | Guinigi Tower and Clock Tower TORRE GUINIGI AND TOWER OF HOURS IN LUCCA There was a time, in the Middle Ages, when there were 250 towers in Lucca of all sizes. Today there are only two: the Guinigi Tower and that "the Hours". The Guinigi Tower was commissioned by the wealthy and powerful merchant family from Lucca fifteenth centuries. It is 45 meters high and the top has a roof garden where, for centuries, grow some beautiful oaks. Their shade is ideal, especially in summer, to recover from the climb of 230 steps. The Clock Tower is an irresistible attraction for all lovers of European mechanisms to measure time: installed in 1754 by the watchmakers Lucca on an earlier instead of a clock pre-existing works still hand-wound and has the mechanism to view . Again we arrive after 207 wooden steps and the view is spectacular, because the tower is still higher than the Guinigi. When: January and February from 9.30 to 16.30. March from 9.30 to 17.30. April and May from 9.30 to 18.30. From June to September from 9.30 to 19.30. October from 9.30 to 17.30 Guinigi Tower: November and December (NO 25/12) from 9.30 to 16.30 Clock Tower: November and December closed. How much: € 3.50 full ticket. € 2.50 for groups of 20 people-with a guide, for over sixty and under 10s. € 5.00 combined entry to Guinigi Tower and Clock Tower. € 3.00 combined entry to Guinigi Tower and Clock Tower for groups of 20 people-with a guide, for over sixty and under 10s.   

 

Lucca | Museum Villa Mansi NATIONAL MUSEUM OF VILLA MANSI In this beautiful 1600 building that belonged to the family Mansi houses the most important collection of paintings by Lucca. After a passage for different family apartments richly frescoed (major work a Holy Family by Van Dyck) leads to the gallery with eighty works donated to the city in 1847 by Grand Duke Peter Leopold II after the annexation of Lucca to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. In the first room contains the large paintings, including The Continence of Scipio by Domenico Beccafumi and the Triumph of David by Rutilio Manetti. The two major works include the Triumph of Galatea of ​​Lucca Pietro Testa, and the San Sebastian by Luca Giordano. The second room is called the 'Medici' because it houses almost exclusively portraits of the Tuscan family. Among them is the most famous painting of the portrait gallery of a youth Pontormo representing Alessandro de Medici, Duke of Florence and which segono Don Garzia Medici child and Cosimo Bronzino. In the third room contains the small paintings that deal mostly with religious themes: the Portrait of a Man by Tintoretto and the Madonna and Child by Francesco Avanzi, the sixteenth-century copy of the Madonna and Child with St. Anne and John by Andrea del Sarto and the Christ Carrying attributed to Beccafumi. In the fourth and last hall there are some paintings Flemish and French. When: Tuesday to Saturday 8:30 to 19:30, last admission 19:00; Sundays and holidays. Closed Monday closed weekdays. Never: 1st January, 1st May and 25th December. How much: adults € 4.00, reduced € 2.00; Where: Via Galli Tassi 43. From the Church of St. Michael the following Via San Paolino.

 

Lucca | Piazza Napoleone PIAZZA NAPOLEON IN LUCCA Napoleon Square is the largest square in Lucca, but it is comparable in beauty to the small and harmonious Amphitheatre Square. It rises where there was already a fortress Augusta and then the Citadel of Lucca, commissioned by Paul Guinigi. It takes its name from Elisa Bonaparte, French Emperor's sister, who ruled from 1806 the Principality of Lucca and commissioned the architect Lazzarini to create an open space that would enhance the Palazzo Ducale. The intervention led to the destruction of old houses, the salt warehouses and the Church of San Pietro Maggiore. At the center of the square it had to be a large statue of Napoleon, but the fall of the emperor was replaced by Maria Luisa of Bourbon, chosen as regent of the new Duchy of Tuscany. Today the Ducal Palace hosts the Province of Lucca and the square is an area with shops, bars and restaurants, meeting place of tourists and Lucca. If you find yourself in Lucca in July, do not miss the magical nights of the Summer Festival which takes place in this square.

 

Lucca | Devil's Bridge AROUND LUCCA Lucca is set in the stunning natural landscape that would peccatto not enjoy some 'during a stay in the Tuscan town. A few minutes from the center is the River Park of the river Serchio where you can walk, canoeing, hiking or even just a picnic. Not far away the beautiful villages of Montecarlo and Altopascio Capannori, famous for the bread. Along the Serchio you meet one of the most important tourist attractions of the area: it is the Devil's Bridge, an extraordinary example of architecture that, for this reason, he did think the intervention of the evil in its construction. A bit 'more distant but rich in rivers, lakes, forests and hills, the Garfagnana, known as "The Green Island" in Tuscany. Do not miss a few hours in Castelnuovo, rich in monuments.

 

WHAT TO EAT IN LUCCA Lucca's cooking is fully embedded, for ingredients and flavors, rich in Tuscan tradition. Poor, genuine, almost always with products of the territory, satisfies the desire to "return to tradition" of those who visit cities like Lucca. Among the first courses include soups, such as spelled, made with beans, herbs and ham, garmugia, with onions, peas, artichokes, asparagus, fresh beans, meat, bacon, oil and croutons of toasted bread. Always among the first to try the porridge, tordelli (fresh pasta), the matuffi (soft polenta) and baked vegetables. Among the latter the rabbit stew, roasted salt cod with chickpeas and, especially, the rovelline, beef slices breaded and fried rehearse in a sauce with tomatoes and capers. Usually they accompany the puree. Desserts are also closely linked to the territory: we start from buccellato, typical donut with raisins and anise, so typical that there is a local proverb that says "He who comes to Lucca and do not eat buccellato is like it had never been." Among other docci, remember the chestnut (chestnut flour, with walnuts, pine nuts, orange peel, raisins, rosemary and olive oil), the necci (crepes made with chestnut flour and ricotta). The soup of Lucca is a variant of buccellato softened with vin santo, strawberries flavored with wine and cream. Finally, a demanding chocolate cake with a filling of boiled rice, dark chocolate, cocoa, candied fruit, pine nuts, raisins, nutmeg, eggs.

 

WHERE TO STAY IN LUCCA Lucca has an excellent accommodation capacity but it is a city with a strong tourist attraction, so it is best to book in advance your stay. The average price of a 3-star hotel within the walls of Lucca from 70 € in high season (from April onwards). During some events such as the Summer Festival, Comics and Games and the Puccini Festival, it might be hard to find rooms cheaper price. To book a hotel you want to choose from among those offered by Booking.com. There are about 100 hotels with prices, services, photos and comments of guests before you.