Lucca is such a beautiful town that it almost breaks my heart to call it typically Italian. The word typical does not describe the history and culture of Lucca but if you love Italy the way I do I hope you forgive me for the use of this word. Lucca is passionate, historical, stunning and romantic. Typical Italian. Here are five things to do in Lucca Italy that will have you as lost for words with this beautiful Tuscan town as I am.
The Torre Guinigi is one of the few remaining towers inside the city walls. This towering example of the local Romanesque-Gothic architecture has stood since the 1300’s when it was built by the Guinigi family. It stands out in the city with unique trees topping the rooftop.
The holm oaks symbolise rebirth and renewal, a great symbol of Lucca. The tower should definitely be on your list of things to do in Lucca.
The Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is one of the most captivating Piazza’s outside of big city Italy. The Piazza stands around the former second century Roman Amphitheater of Lucca. Dating back to first or second century BC you’ll see some amazing architectural features including the four gates of the Piazza and the cross carved into the centre tile pointing to each entrance.
The Lucca Cathedral, like many in Italy, has been rebuilt more than once in its lifetime. Most recently in the fourteenth century although remnants of sections from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries remain. Look closely on the right pier of the portico for a carving of a labyrinth dating back to the twelfth century.
The labyrinth has pagan origins with an interesting historical inscription: “This is the labyrinth built by Dedalus of Crete; all who entered therein were lost, save Theseus, thanks to Ariadne’s thread”.
San Michele in Foro
This beautiful Roman Catholic Basilica should be on your list of thing to do in Lucca Italy. Built originally in the seventh century and dedicated to the Archangel Michael it was rebuilt at the turn of the first millennia A.D.
The church has very intricate inlay’s and carving around the outside which make it a unique piece of Roman architecture. Keep an eye out for the four metre tall statue of St. Michael the Archangel.
16th Century Walls
Lucca’s old city walls are some of the most accessible and easy to explore in Italy. The fortress of Lucca was a core defence for the Roman empire from northern invaders and there are kilometres of the city walls that are walk-able.
Shaded by trees they take in views of the city and are a great place for a quiet, relaxing stroll. You’ll find secret passage ways and ramparts as you explore.
Want to read more about things to do in Italy?
Check out our guide to the best small town’s in Italy to see some of the other amazing places in this beautiful country.
Want to explore Lucca further with a local Lucca Tour Guide?
There is so much to see in Lucca and the best way to experience the local culture is with a Lucca Tour Guide. Travel like a local!