Lucca is a charming city located in Tuscany, Italy. Known for its impressive Renaissance walls, beautiful architecture, and rich cultural heritage, Lucca is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Italy. Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or simply taking a leisurely stroll, Lucca has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 15 best things to do in Lucca.
Walk the Renaissance Walls
Walking the Renaissance Walls is one of the best things to do in Lucca. The walls were built in the 16th century and are still standing strong today. They are a symbol of Lucca’s history and architecture, and walking along them is a great way to get a sense of the city. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the city and its surroundings from the walls. The walls are wide and flat, making them easy to walk on. You can take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery while walking the walls.
Visit the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro
The Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is a unique and charming square in the heart of Lucca. It’s a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The square was built on the site of an ancient Roman amphitheater and still retains its elliptical shape. The square is surrounded by colorful buildings, restaurants, and cafes, making it a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere of Lucca. There are often street performers and musicians in the square, adding to its vibrant ambiance. The Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Lucca.
Climb the Guinigi Tower
Climbing the Guinigi Tower is one of the most iconic things to do in Lucca. The tower is a medieval tower that dates back to the 14th century and is known for its unique rooftop garden filled with oak trees. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside. The climb to the top is not for the faint of heart, but the views from the top are definitely worth the effort. The rooftop garden is a beautiful oasis in the heart of the city and is a unique feature that sets the Guinigi Tower apart from other towers in Italy.
Explore the Basilica di San Frediano
The Basilica di San Frediano is a beautiful Romanesque church located in the heart of Lucca. It dates back to the 6th century and is known for its stunning facade and intricate mosaics. Visitors can explore the interior of the church and admire its stunning architecture. The church is home to many impressive works of art, including a beautiful mosaic of Christ and the Apostles. The Basilica di San Frediano is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in religious art and architecture.
Visit the Cathedral of San Martino
The Cathedral of San Martino is another impressive church located in Lucca. It dates back to the 11th century and is known for its beautiful marble facade and impressive sculptures. Visitors can explore the interior of the church and admire its stunning artwork. The cathedral is home to many impressive works of art, including a beautiful painting of the Last Supper. The Cathedral of San Martino is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in religious art and architecture.
Take a Stroll through the Botanical Gardens
The Botanical Gardens in Lucca are a peaceful and tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. The Orto Botanico di Lucca is home to many beautiful plants and flowers, and visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The gardens are a great place to relax and unwind, and they are particularly beautiful in the spring and summer months when the flowers are in bloom.
Enjoy a Leisurely Bike Ride
Lucca is a great city for cycling, thanks to its flat terrain and numerous bike paths. Visitors can rent bikes and explore the city at their own pace. It’s a great way to get some exercise and see the sights. There are many bike rental shops in Lucca, and the city is very bike-friendly, with plenty of bike lanes and paths. You can cycle through the streets of Lucca, along the city walls, or through the countryside surrounding the city. It’s a fun and unique way to experience Lucca.
Visit the Palazzo Pfanner
The Palazzo Pfanner is a beautiful Baroque palace located in the heart of Lucca. It dates back to the 17th century and is known for its stunning gardens and beautiful frescoes. Visitors can explore the interior of the palace and admire its impressive artwork. The gardens are particularly impressive, with their fountains, statues, and colorful flowers. The Palazzo Pfanner is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Baroque art and architecture.
Sample the Local Cuisine
Lucca is known for its delicious Tuscan cuisine, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the city where visitors can sample the local food. Some of the must-try dishes include ribollita, a hearty vegetable soup, and pasta with ragù sauce. Be sure to try the famous “buccellato” pastry, a sweet bread made with anise and raisins. There are also many wine bars in Lucca where you can sample some of the local wines, such as Chianti or Montepulciano.
Take a Cooking Class
If you’re interested in learning more about Tuscan cuisine, why not take a cooking class in Lucca? There are plenty of cooking schools in the city that offer hands-on classes where you can learn how to make traditional Tuscan dishes. You’ll learn about the local ingredients, techniques, and flavors, and you’ll get to enjoy the fruits of your labor at the end of the class. It’s a great way to take a piece of Italy home with you.
Visit the Villa Reale di Marlia
The Villa Reale di Marlia is a stunning 17th-century villa located just outside of Lucca. It’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and fountains and is a great place to spend an afternoon. Visitors can explore the villa’s interior and admire its impressive artwork and furnishings. The gardens are particularly impressive, with their water features, sculptures, and beautiful flowers. The Villa Reale di Marlia is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Italian art and architecture.
Attend a Concert at the Teatro del Giglio
The Teatro del Giglio is a historic theater located in the heart of Lucca. It dates back to the 17th century and is known for its stunning architecture and impressive acoustics. Visitors can attend a concert or opera performance and experience the theater’s unique atmosphere. The theater is beautifully decorated, with its ornate ceiling and intricate details. Attending a concert at the Teatro del Giglio is a must-do experience for anyone interested in the performing arts.
Take a Day Trip to Pisa
Pisa is located just a short train ride from Lucca and is known for its famous leaning tower. Visitors can take a day trip to Pisa and explore the city’s historic center, which is home to many beautiful churches and palaces. The highlight of any trip to Pisa is, of course, the Leaning Tower, which is located in the Piazza dei Miracoli. Visitors can climb the tower and enjoy stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Visit the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi
The Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi is a beautiful museum located in a historic palace in the heart of Lucca. It’s home to a collection of art and decorative objects from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Visitors can explore the museum’s galleries and admire its stunning artwork. The palace itself is also worth visiting, with its beautiful frescoes and intricate details. The Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in art and history.
Attend the Lucca Summer Festival
The Lucca Summer Festival is a popular music festival that takes place in Lucca every summer. It attracts a variety of international and Italian musicians and is a great way to experience the city’s vibrant cultural scene. The festival takes place in the Piazza Napoleone, a large square in the center of Lucca. The atmosphere is electric, with thousands of music fans coming together to enjoy the music and the beautiful surroundings. Attending the Lucca Summer Festival is a must-do experience for anyone interested in music and culture.
In conclusion, Lucca is a beautiful city that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or simply taking a leisurely stroll, Lucca has plenty to offer. From its impressive Renaissance walls to its stunning churches and museums, Lucca is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Italy. So pack your bags, and head to Lucca for an unforgettable Italian adventure.
What is the best time of year to visit Lucca?
The best time to visit Lucca is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild, and the crowds are smaller.
Can I climb the Guinigi Tower with children?
Yes, children are allowed to climb the Guinigi Tower, but they must be accompanied by an adult.
What is the local cuisine like in Lucca?
Lucca is known for its delicious Tuscan cuisine, particularly its hearty soups and pasta dishes. Be sure to try the famous “buccellato” pastry.
How do I get to Lucca from Florence?
Lucca is located about an hour’s drive from Florence. Visitors can also take a train or bus from Florence to Lucca.
Is it possible to visit Lucca on a day trip from Rome?
Yes, it’s possible to visit Lucca on a day trip from Rome, but it’s a long journey. It’s recommended to stay in Lucca for at least one night to fully experience the city.