Come and visit the beautiful walled city: here’s what to visit in Lucca!
Tuscany has a particular charm. Lucca is a real jewel of this region, a city of unique beauty that offers visitors the possibility of a stay that ranges from historical and cultural interests, artistic, naturalistic and gastronomic. What are you waiting for? Keep reading, we will explain what to see in Lucca!
What to visit in Lucca? The first stop is Piazza dell’Anfiteatro!
Lucca is a city founded by the Romans, as evidenced by the beautiful Piazza dell’Anfiteatro which preserves the ancient foundations of the Roman Amphitheater with its typical oval shape. If you don’t know what to see in Lucca, walking on the Fillungo (the main street) to do some shopping will lead you to a must-visit stop at Piazza dell’Anfiteatro: if you are wondering what to do in Lucca sip the typical liquor of Lucca called the Biadina or taste the sweet-smelling Buccellato di Luca while admiring this unique place.
What to visit in Lucca: the tree-lined walls are your second destination
The tree-lined sixteenth-century walls that protect the historic center allow you to observe on foot or by bicycle, the beautiful nineteenth-century palaces, medieval towers and marble decorated the legendary “Thousand Churches” of Lucca. If you do not know what to see in Lucca, you can walk four kilometers of shady path with a visit to the basement of the ramparts and the House of the Executioner with the museum route of the Via Francigena.
Top sights in Lucca in Lucca: do not miss the third stop, the Guinigi Tower
What to see in Lucca? Among the medieval towers of Lucca, Tower of Guinigi stands out, symbol of the city, is the famous tower with trees on top. A must visit! Climb the endless steps and, in the peace of its garden in the shade of centuries-old holm oaks, admire the panorama of the city and the peaks of the Apuan Alps, located in the nearby “Natural Park” of Garfagnana.
Find out what to see in Lucca and surroundings, visit the Garfagnana valley, an unmissable destination!
The green valley of Garfagnana, a few kilometers from Lucca, is a natural park where the beautiful peaks of the Apennines meet the rugged and bare Apuan Alps.
What to visit in Lucca? The fourth stop on our itinerary around Luca is Garfagnana!
Discover the wild nature of Garfagnana, the magic of its thousand villages, the history of the territory of Matilde di Canossa, and the poets Ariosto and Pascoli. The ideal destination for nature lovers, a true paradise for hiking, mountain biking and e-biking in the Apuan Alps and Apennines a few kilometers from the city. If you are in Lucca do not miss an excursion to Lake Vagli in whose waters is immersed a ghost town and on which lake you can “fly” with a long zipline called the Flight of the Angel.
After visiting the Lake of Vagli you can not miss an excursion to San Pellegrino in Alpe, the highest village of the Apennines enriched by the ancient hospice of Matilde di Canossa, where the “Giro del Diavolo” connects to the Path 00 on a ridge with breathtaking views.
As though this were not enough, Garfagnana shows its history with the magnificent Verrucole Castle. Visit the Verrucole Castle, perched on a rocky spur but easily reachable on foot or with a nice little rack train: inside the Castle you will find the reconstruction of the medieval environments, the possibility to see the ancient weapons in working order and even to smell the original scents of ladies and knights: an experience that will let you live that era!
Lucca itineraries: here is the historical itinerary to visit the city
If you are wondering what to see in Lucca and you are a history enthusiast, follow this splendid itinerary that will take you to discover the most characteristic views of the city, its most famous monuments and also its ancient mysteries. This route divided into 5 stages will take you to visit the Cathedral of San Frediano and its splendid mosaic, the Cathedral of San Martino with the famous Holy Face and the statue of the “sleeping beauty” Ilaria del Carretto and the enigmatic Labyrinth, the church of San Michele in Foro with the strange glitter of the statue of the Archangel, its symbols and more. A different itinerary from the usual because observed from a historical-esoteric point of view, a dive into a past all to be revealed.
First stop of the Historical and Esoteric Itinerary in Lucca: Cathedral of San Martino
An excellent starting point is the Duomo of San Martino. Lucca was an important stop on the Via Francigena because it kept an important relic, the Holy Face, inside its cathedral. It is a wooden crucifix depicting Jesus on the cross, life-size, which would have been carved by Joseph of Arimathea, guided by the hand of the Angels, an acheropite figure. According to legend, to save him from the hands of the infidels, he was placed on an unmanned vessel and entrusted to the waters of the sea: he would have landed in Luni (between Massa and Liguria) and placed on a cart pulled by oxen to continue his sacred journey; the cart stopped in Lucca where now stands the Cathedral that was built on the site and later rebuilt larger and more spectacular by Matilda of Canossa. Today you can admire the statue of the Holy Face in the small temple of Maestro Civitali, inside the cathedral: it is simply realistic in its sad and vivid look, but you know… inside it, the legend says that 2 bottles with the blood of Christ were kept, one of which is still kept in the church of San Frediano and exposed on the night of every Good Friday: not only that! It would also have contained a book, never found. The cathedral wanted by Matilda is filled with symbolism and in the entrance porch, the famous Labyrinth, a small reproduction of the Labyrinth of Chartres, attracts thousands of tourists. In the cathedral do not miss to see the “Sleeping Beauty” that is the spectacular statue of Ilaria del Carretto and Tintoretto’s painting of the Last Supper, very particular for the presence of a woman together with 11 apostles.
Second stop of the historical itinerary in Lucca: Church of Santa Maria della Rosa
We continue our walk in the templar Lucca, whose Commenda was in Piazza della Magione. We reach in Via della Rosa the church of Santa Maria della Rosa, today seat of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, but once belonged to the Templars;
Third stop of the historical route in Lucca: Basilica of San Frediano
Finally we arrive at the Basilica of San Frediano where the marvelous mosaic on the façade shows Jesus and the Mystic Almond: noticing the window added later in the middle of the Apostles, we wonder what was removed from the original mosaic. Inside, the marble Baptismal Font is a triumph of Templar symbols.
Fourth stop of the historical esoteric itinerary in Lucca: Church of Santa Maria Forisportam
We then arrive at the church of Santa Maria Forisportam known as the church of the White Madonna, the diametrically opposed church, the church of the Black Madonna, containing in fact the copy of the Madonna of Loreto: the Black Madonnas, in Italy, France, Spain, are related to the Templars. Also in the Vicolo dell’Altopascio, near the Church of Santa Maria, one can observe symbols of the Tau of the Order of the Hospitallers, brothers of the Templars.
Fifth and last stop of the esoteric itinerary in Lucca: Church of San Michele in Foro
Finally we arrive at the Church of San Michele in Foro, protector of the Templars, splendidly rich in symbols left by the Maestri Comacini, like stone books for posterity. The statue of the Archangel sometimes shows a strange glitter: the legend speaks of an emerald. If you want to deepen the esoteric symbolism continue to read our blog, where you will find articles in search of mysteries in Garfagnana and surroundings.
Hotel in Lucca? Rent a holiday villa. Here is a suggestion on where to stay for your Holidays in Lucca!
« What if I chose a Vacation Rental near Lucca? I could enjoy relaxing in total freedom. Far from noise and in maximum privacy, immersed in nature, in the sun and possibly in a beautiful pool: maybe enjoy a nice massage in the jacuzzi after a walk in the woods…. and I could visit the beautiful city of Lucca just a few kilometers away… »
Holiday home near Lucca: come and visit us at Villa Raffaelli
Choosing a vacation home near Luca means having nature, trekking, biking, adventure, breathtaking views and much more within easy reach of the city of Lucca: where to find all this? In Garfagnana of course! Everything would be even more fascinating if your vacation home was a period villa with panoramic swimming pool and Jacuzzi pool… so take a look at Villa Raffaelli: here the dream becomes reality! Villa Raffaelli is a magical place that will offer you an unforgettable stay.
What to do in Lucca? Must-visit attractions and upcoming events in Lucca
Every year Lucca Comics is a long-awaited event that is much more than a festival: comics, games and videogames, cinema, TV, illustrations, are the protagonists of this huge show in the streets of Luca that attracts thousands of people from all over Italy and beyond. In summer the Lucca Summer Festival hosts concerts of the most famous artists. Not to mention that the nearby Gran Teatro Giacomo Puccini in Torre del Lago (Viareggio) attracts opera and show lovers.
Come to Lucca in October to Lucca Comics!
If you are looking for what to visit in Lucca you should know that Lucca Comics is much more than a Festival; Lucca Comics is an International Multidisciplinary Fair with the participation of the most important players in the field of video games, comics, cinema and much more with events, shows, concerts, exhibitions, tournaments, meetings with authors, which take place along the streets and inside the ancient buildings in the suggestive frame of the city. The streets are packed with young people, often in the spectacular costumes of their heroes of the cinema or comics, in a very special atmosphere. Lucca Comics is actually a meeting point for all cosplay fans in Italy (and much more).
If you are looking for a holiday house to rent with friends to attend Luca Comics, a few kilometers from the city, in Garfagnana, Villa Raffaelli is waiting for you.
Temperature and weather in Lucca: what to expect?
Lucca’s Mediterranean climate has mild and rainy winters, with snowfall on the highest peaks of the Apuan Alps and Apennines, and warm and sunny summers, with cooler nights in the nearby Garfagnana valley. If you’re wondering what to bring in your suitcase to visit Lucca Comics, know that autumn days are usually warm and beautiful (especially under tree-lined paths) but sometimes showers and rains can occur.
Unique things to do in Lucca! Here are some ideas out of the box
Are you an adrenaline lover? A paragliding flight over the plain of Lucca or a hang gliding flight over the peaks of the Apuan Alps and the green valley of Garfagnana could satisfy your need for adventure. Simpler, but very funny is the Volo dell’Angelo (Angel’s Flight) over the Lake of Vagli, a long and exciting zipline. But if you want more, on the Pania Forata in Garfagnana, you can fly into the void, in total safety with proper harnesses, with a crazy rope swing that “swings” from the natural rock arch of Monte Forato.
Visit to the Pinocchio park, near Lucca
Did you know that Pinocchio was born in Lucca? The author of the famous children’s book, Carlo Collodi, took this artistic name from the town of Collodi where he lived. His father was a gardener and his mother was a maid at the wonderful Villa Garzoni in Collodi; now this majestic building and its spectacular park can be visited by both kids and adults, in a fairy-tale atmosphere.
Lucca Florence, visit the famous city of art
If you are wondering what to see in Lucca, it will seem strange to hear the answer “visit Florence!”, but only 77 kilometers (an hour and a half by car) connect Lucca to the city of Florence. If you want to visit the city of the Medici and of the Renaissance along the way you will encounter other possibilities of interesting stops, for example Altopascio, with the Piazza degli Ospitalieri and the medieval gate-towers. The town of Altopascio reminds us of the Knights of Tau, brothers of the Templars, who operated here. Pistoia is worth a visit for its works of art and for the underground tour of the city.
Have an awesome meal in Lucca: here are the typical products of Lucca and what to buy in Lucca
Knowing what to see in Lucca is important for your holyday, but equally important for your stay in Luca is enogastronomy. You will never know a region completely if you do not taste its typical flavors and local products. The cuisine of Lucca is very different from the nearby Garfagnana cuisine, but both are a celebration of Tuscan flavors. The tasty soups of Lucca, the frantoiana and gamurgia, compete with the soups of spelt and ancient grains with the scent of mountain Garfagnana: the struggle continues between the flavors of peasant Torta d’Erbi and rabbit stew and Rovelline Lucchesi, and the flavors of the forest Garfagnana with porcini mushrooms, truffles, Necci and Castagnaccio, and many other delicacies.
At the end of your vacation, you can take home a souvenir of these flavors by buying local products: the classic Buccellato di Lucca, the typical flour of chestnuts, formentone 8 file, spelt, mountain legumes, olive oil etc.. But excellent are also the wines of Colline Lucchesi that you can taste in wine shops in the city or in the farms in the surroundings. Even in Garfagnana the tasting of precious “mountain” wines, born from the passion of young viticulturists, can be done in many local farms and wineries. Are you in Lucca and want to discover which are the best restaurants in Garfagnana? We wrote an article about it.