Discover the Tuscan beauties during your Holidays in Lucca
If you are spending your holidays in Tuscany, you should not miss the charming Lucca, a real historical gem in the Region. In Lucca you find plenty of unique architectural buildings together with the ancient walls enclosing the old town. You can admire Lucca from several perspectives: you can stroll around the narrow alleys and discover its hundred churches or cycle around it on top of the 16th century walls. If you are not afraid of heights, you can even climb up of the old towers and enjoy the view from there. During your holidays in Lucca, we recommend you to visit some of the neighbouring Tuscan beauties. Indeed, from Lucca you can easily reach Pisa and the Leaning Tower, the Renaissance Florence, the medieval Siena and San Gimignano, the beautiful marble caves of Carrara and much more.
Historical hints about Lucca
The current site of Lucca, located at the foot of the charming Apuan Alps on a plain, was presumably founded by the Etruscans. However, some older Ligurian settlements were discovered in the area as well. Around 180 BC, Lucca was assimilated in the Roman Empire. In fact, important Roman traces are still visible in Lucca today, starting from the caracteristic street plan with rectangular grid. Indeed, in the well preserved historical centre, the Square of San Michele represents the old Roman forum.
In the 11th century the town of Lucca became more and more important thanks to the silk trade, that made her a big competitor for the Byzantine market.
In 1160 Lucca turned to an independent commune and kept that status for around 500 years, what made Lucca the second largest Italian state after Venice to feature an independent constitution (commune) and maintain it over the centuries.
Napoleon conquered Lucca in 1805 and his sister Elisa Bonaparte was installed in Lucca and declared “Queen of Etruria”.
Lucca is one is today one of the most important historical towns in Tuscany and many of its attractions are connected to its ancient history.
Lucca as the perfect departure point for Tuscan Tours during your Holidays
The strategic position of Lucca allows you to reach other marvellous Tuscan destinations within a day. Indeed, Lucca is located at less than half an hour from the Versilia Coast. Moreover, it is very easy to reach from both the Pisa and Florence Airports. You can get from Pisa to Lucca in approax. 30 minutes and drive or take a train to reach Lucca from Florence Ariport in about 1 hour.
For this reason, Lucca represents the perfect departure point for both half day and full day tours to other attractions.
You can have a look at our website to discover our proposals from Lucca. In the meanwhile, we give you some hints below about the incredible tour that you could possibly join from Lucca.
Must-see attractions for your holidays in Lucca
What makes Lucca unique and immediatly reminds of its ancient past is the well preseved ring of walls.
The Roman walls features 500 years of history and constitute today one of the most evocative city parks in the Italian territory. Indeed, the walls offer to locals and travellers a green space to relax and walk around the old town. The walls are 4 km long and from the top you can enjoy the view over Lucca’s monuments and churches from another perspective.
The Romans built these walls with defensive purposes in mind, but fortunatly they never served this function. While many other Tuscan cities lost their defensive walls surrounding the old town, Lucca maintened it and features todays a very fascinating pedestrian promenade.
The heart of the town is the old Roman Amphitheatre, today Piazza dell’Anfiteatro. The rounded shape still reminds of its Roman origins and today you can find there nice restaurants.
Really peculiar in Lucca is also the presence of several old towers, from where people can also enjoy a nice view over the town. Among them, Torre Guinigi is surely a remarkable one, not only for the incredible panorama from there, but for the presence of hold oaks on its top. The tower is 45 mt high and dates back to the 14th century.
Lucca, the city of a 100 churches
Religion always played a vey important role in Lucca, that represented in the Middle Ages a key stopover for many pilgrims. Indeed, the old pilgrimage route known as Via Francigena and connecting Northern Europe (Canterbury, UK) to Rome and then Gerusalem, ran through many Tuscan cities. Many believer came to Lucca for the Holy Face relic, today preserved in the Cathedral of San Martino. Every year a religious procession still takes place in Lucca to pay homage to the patron saint. The Holy Face is a 2 and a half metre wooden crucifix that, according to an old legend, Nicodemus himself carved after the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ.
Lucca is known as the city of 100 churches for the big number of religious builting constructed over the centuries. In fact, even many of the noble palaces in town included a small private chapel. Aside from the above mentioned Cathedral of San Martino with its Bell Tower, you find other wortseeing churches. Among these, the Basilica of San Frediano. The legend tells that the Holy Face was brought here at first. However, it disappeared during the night and was refound in the actual Duomo. This Romanesque church features a unique golden mosaique on the facade. Additionally, the Church of San Michele in Foro stands out for its marble facade and the Archangel Gabriel statue on top of it. It was the former Roman forum and seat of the Major Council,
The city of Lucca between modern and lively events
Aside from its rich history, Lucca also offers a wide range of musical and cultural events during the year.
One of the most importants events related to national and international music is the Lucca Summer Festival. It takes place between June and July. Many international artists exibited on this stage since 1998: Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ennio Morricone, the Rolling Stones, etc.
Another important event taking place in Lucca between October and November is the Lucca Comics&Games attracting many cartoons, videogames and comics lovers every year. Indeed, it is one of the most important events of the sector in all Europe.
Discover the medieval Siena and San Gimignano from Lucca
If you like history, you should not miss the medieval Siena and San Gimignano. They are located at about 1 and a half hour driving from Lucca. On our Small Group Tour for example, you can combine the visit to Siena and San Gimignano to a unique wine tasting in the Chianti area. In Siena you will admire the characteristic shell-shaped square of Piazza del Campo. Here, the world wide famous horse competion called Palio takes place twice a year. Additionally, you can visit the marvellous white and dark green striped marble Duomo. The Cathedral was the set for some of the movie scene Quantum of Solas (2006) from the James Bond saga. Like Siena, San Gimignano belongs to the World Heritage List for the well-preserved monuments and buildings. The socalled Mahattan of the Middle Ages with its many stone towers can be visited also on our Private Tour to San Gimignano and Volterra, another historical town in the heart of Tuscany.
Visit Florence and the Uffizi Gallery from Lucca
It goes without saying that you must pay a visit to the capital city of Tuscany during your holidays. Our Private Tour to Florence from Lucca brings you to the Cradle of Renaissance, where you will have the chance to walk around the odl town and visit the famous Uffizi Galleries. You will enjoy an incredible view over te city from the panoramic terrace of Piazzale Michelangelo. Moreover, you wil discover the lovely artesans boutique on Ponte Vecchio, the Old Bridge.
Explore the Alpuan Alps National Park from Lucca
If you prefere spending a day in a more natural environment, we recommend you to go on Private Tour to the Apuan Alps and the Garfagnana Region. Lucca is the ideal starting point to get there. In fact, it is localed on a plain at the foot of these very scenographic mountains. There, you will have the chance to admire the beautiful landscape and discover old villages like Isola Santa and Barga. In the neighbouring districts you also find the famous white marble caves of Carrara, that you can visit with a private guide on board a 4×4 vehicle. Do not miss this adventurous opportunity!
Taste good Wines and enjoy the best truffles on our tours
From Lucca you can easily reach the heart of Tuscany and the Chianti. This is one of the most beautiful wine districts in the world. You can combine a delicious wine tasting to the visit of an historical town like San Gimignano and Volterra, or dedicate a full day to taste and learn about good wine on our Private Chianti and Supertuscan Wine Tour from Lucca. An expert will lead you to the special wineries we selected for you. There, you will join the best wine tastings with some good local products.
For fine food lovers, it is also possible to go on a Private Truffle Tour from Lucca and reach the villages of San Miniato, in the province of Pisa, less than one hour far away. In addition, you will visit the village of Vinci, hometown of the world wide famous Italian artist Leonardo.
Enjoy the Cinque Terre National Park
During your stay in Lucca, you can even cross the region borders and get to the nearby Liguria. There, the Cinque Terre National Park is located. This area is worth a visit for the beautiful environment and the lovely tiny villages along the coast. On our Small Group Tour to the Cinque Terre from Lucca, you will discover some of the romantic villages belonging to the Unesco’s Heritage List. From the city of Lucca, it takes approax. 1 and a half hour to reach Monterosso, the northernmost of the Five Lands. You can even book a Private Boat Tour and discover the area from a different perspective.
Cooking classes and Chef at Home Experiences from Lucca
Furthermore, we offer you the possibility to learn more about our culture and especially about food. You know this is one of our biggest passions. Indeed, you can learn how to make our most famous recipes through our Cooking Class. If you prefere, you can even hire a private chef and have him/her cook for you your favourite Italian dishes. You can choose the same service from other Tuscan areas like Pisa and the Versilia Coast.