Lucca is a delightful and relaxing town full of attractions that include beautiful churches and perfectly preserved city walls. It’s less touristy than many other destinations in Tuscany, and with lots of open spaces it’s a good option if you’re travelling with children. The 4 km. long city wall makes for a lovely walk and offers mesmerising views over the city and its surrounds.
Where is Lucca, Tuscany
Lucca is half an hour from the Versilia coast, and from Pisa. The mountainous green area of the Garfagnana Valley is an hour’s scenic drive away. And you can get to Florence in just over an hour by train.
Lucca top attractions
A day is enough to see Lucca’s top attractions. These include the beautiful Cathedral of San Martino, and the Churches of San Michele in Foro and San Frediano.
The oval-shaped square Piazza Anfiteatro is perfect for a drink or a coffee break. If you’re feeling energetic, you can have a walk or a bike along the city walls. In fact Lucca is one of Tuscany’s walled towns, and it’s the only city in Italy with perfectly preserved Renaissance ramparts.
If you have more time you can climb the Guinigi Tower to see its unusual hanging garden at the top. Enjoying the city’s view from the top of the tower is one of the best things to do in Lucca. And the Villa Pfanner is a great place to enjoy the grandeur of a Baroque palace and gardens.
Art enthusiasts will enjoy the Pinacoteca Nazionale Palazzo Mansi with its collection of 16th and 18th century paintings.
Villa Guinigi National Museum is the place to go to learn more about Lucca’s history. It has an extensive collection of artefacts from antiquity to the Middle Ages. Unfortunately there are no explanations in English.
For more inspiration from Lucca, have a look at this photographic journey.
Lucca top attractions for music lovers
Lucca has always had a soft spot for music and musicians. Its most famous son is the great composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), whose Tosca, Madame Butterfly, and La Bohème have become some of the best known operas in the world. The “Puccini e la sua Lucca” permanent Festival is a great opportunity to enjoy Puccini in his home town. There are daily concerts at 7pm from March to October. To round off your experience, pay a visit to the house where Puccini was born. It’s in Corte San Lorenzo, 9.
Lucca Summer Festival – the town hosts a popular contemporary music Festival every July, with huge international names descending on the town for a live open-air show. Guests have included Simply Red, Anastacia and Neil Young.
To help you plan your visit to this delightful town, we’ve made a list of our favourite things to do in Lucca.
Nearby there are plenty of opportunities for sightseeing: villas, parks, the Medieval borgo of Montecarlo, and Puccini’s villa in Torre del Lago Puccini, a must for opera enthusiasts.