Lucca is a charming Tuscan town located near the Serchio river. While it’s known within Italy as a hub for music, food and art, Lucca is most well-known for the uniquely preserved Medieval walls that encircle the town’s historic center. Compared to other towns in the region, Lucca is relatively flat and the top sights are within walking distance of each other. Quaint, picturesque and typically free from hoards of tourists, Lucca is one of my top spots for a Tuscan day trip.
The broad, tree-lined pathways along the top of the enormous 16th-century walls are the perfect for a scenic stroll or bike ride. Take your time exploring this unique feature of the city before heading into the historic center. The 40 ft walls are totally paved and completely safe, and the total distance around the city is 2.5 miles, so make sure to leave enough time in your schedule to explore. This is also a great area for a quick picnic or glass of vino!
It is impossible to miss the Church of San Michele il Foro, as it is one of Lucca’s top tourist attractions. The Romansque church dates back to 795, and it is well worth it to take a few minutes to appreciate the stunning 13th-century facade.
Head to Piazza San Frediano to see the Basilica of San Frediano. This 6th-century marvel is a must-see during any visit to Lucca. Don’t forget to spend time exploring the piazza around the Bastilica as well.
When you’re ready to grab a bite to eat and maybe a glass (or two) of vino, head to a classic Luccan spot. Luccan food is different than the traditional Tuscan cuisine that the region is famous for. Some stand-out dishes include Soup of Farro, and Tordelli Lucchese, a meat-stuffed pasta flavored with nutmeg. Though Luccan food is notoriously rich and hearty, make sure to save room for dessert and try Pasimata, a sweet treat unique to the area.
Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is an elliptical shaped plaza. Built as a Roman amphitheater, Piazza Dell’Anfiteatro is currently the most well-recognized spot in town. The piazza can be reached through four gateways located around the eliptical. As you stroll through, make sure to take in the surrounding mediaeval houses.
While there are lots of sights to see in and around Lucca, one of the town’s main draws is its peaceful atmosphere. Lucca’s laid-back vibe makes it a great spot to step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get in touch with your creative side. Take time to appreciate a quiet moment on a park bench where you can read, write, draw or just bask in Dolce far Niente, or the sweetness of doing nothing.
Have you been to Lucca? Share your adventure in the comments below!