Lucca is one of the most charming cities in Tuscany but it is often overlooked by tourists attracted by more famous destinations, such as Florence or Pisa. However, this medieval walled city is a true gem that deserves to be discovered as soon as possible before everyone else finds out how gorgeous it is. A day in Lucca is long enough to visit its most popular spots and fall in love.
Start your day with a cup of cappuccino and a typical Italian pastry in one of the bars located in the city centre of Lucca. Spend time lingering over your Italian breakfast and then get ready to walk in the town to find out what Lucca has to offer.
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The best way to visit Lucca, which is a small town, is to rent a bike. The city has plenty of bike rental shops, so don’t be afraid to park your car outside the walls or get to Lucca by train and then rent a bike to discover its beautiful centre. The price for bikes varies, from 3€ per hour to 15€ per day.
There is no better place to admire the town than from its old city walls, which were built between the 16th and 17th centuries to protect the city. These are Lucca’s most distinctive element since they are the only ones in Italy to be completely accessible on foot or bike (once cars were admitted, but luckily today things are changed). You can ride your bike for over four kilometers and admire the best panorama of the city centre, as well as secret corners that you won’t be able to discover by walking through the tiny streets of the town. Every first week of November, Lucca is home to Lucca Comics and Games, the most important fairs dedicated to comics in Italy. During this event the entire city becomes a cartoon-land where famous characters and cartoons come to life. If you are a comic addict be sure not to miss this festival during your visit to Lucca!
The best place to eat a quick lunch is to go to Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, the Amphitheatre Square, the most charming spot of Lucca. Here you’ll find a lot of restaurants – choose one and order some Italian delicacies and a glass of Tuscan red wine.
After lunch take some time to admire the oval square and its colorful buildings constructed around a structure typical of Roman amphitheaters. While it no longer exists, the square has maintained its particular shape and become one of the most beautiful places in Italy. If you want to buy some gifts there are some great shops here where you can find craft soaps, Tuscan gastronomy and so on.
It’s time to visit the two most important religious buildings of Lucca. Did you know that the Tuscan town is also called the city of 100 churches? Well, since you’ll hardly be able to visit them all in one day, you can’t miss the Cathedral of St. Martin, home to some of the most important art masterpieces of the town, and St. Michael’s Church, near the most famous street of Lucca, called Il Filungo. If you have extra time, and you are lucky to visit Lucca on a sunny day, go visit the Lucca Botanical Garden, a public garden home to a rich variety of plants and flowers which also includes a library and a laboratory-museum.
To admire the beautiful sunsets you have to reach Torre Guinigi, famous because of the trees located at the top. This tower is one of the highlights of Lucca – climb to the top for stunning views of the town. The roof garden is a popular attraction and was built by the Guinigi family, one of the richest families in Lucca who controlled the town for centuries.
End your day in Lucca with a typical Tuscan dinner. One of the best restaurants in town is Buca di Sant’Antonio, a place located between Piazza Anfiteatro and Piazza Napoleone, inside the medieval walls. This restaurant offers excellent traditional Tuscan wine and food such as crostini, bistecca alla fiorentina, and pappa al Pomodoro. It’s a lovely place that dates back to the 19th century, is beautifully decorated, and is a perfect place to spend your last moments in this amazing town.
After your day in Lucca, why not explore the rest of Tuscany? Book the best hotels in the region now via Culture Trip.
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