A lovely city hidden from the attention of the throngs who travel to better known cities in Tuscany, Lucca offers a long history, stunning views and amazing food. Considered by many to be one of the most picturesque cities in all of Italy, Lucca is a popular day trip from Florence however, as a stand-alone destination, it has long been underestimated. From its rich historic sites to its unique foods and wines, this is one destination which should not be missed. Island Trader Vacations invites you to come with us as we take a closer look at this growing destination for travel in the popular and picturesque Tuscany region.
Accessible by car or by train from popular cities such as Florence and Pisa, Lucca is located on an alluvial plateau near the lovely Serchio River in Northern Tuscany. First settled by the Etruscans, Lucca began to flourish when it became a Roman colony over 2000 years ago. Today, many of the most famous sites in the city help to tell the story of this long history including its well preserved fortress walls, its ancient Roman ruins and its historic and beautiful architecture. From beginning to end, Lucca has fantastic sites to and areas to explore.
What to Taste
Lucca is known for its rustic and charming foods and wines both locally created. While there are plenty of restaurants featuring international cuisines, the best ones to visit are the ones that feature these local taste specialties including the local vinos, breads and of course, the olive oil. From the hearty Farro soup, a local favorite to the risotto’s and truffle specialties, Lucca is a gastronomic hub. One of the most popular restaurants is the Ristorante Buca di Sant Antonio. Established in 1782 this lovely and historic eatery has been offering the finest Lucchese dishes in the area using local precuts since it first began.
From music to history to culture, there are many places worth your time in and around Lucca including one of the most popular sites, the Guinigi Tower. A 15th century structure, it was once home to the leading family in the region. Visitors who choose to make the trek up the 230 steps to the top will be privy to a stunning aerial view of this lovely historic city.
Another highlight of the city are its walls. Built in the 16th and 17th centuries to keep out invaders, they now appeal for their history and their views. A popular place to take a walk, visitors can walk the entire 3 mile loop.
Casa di Puccini is another highlight of the city. A museum devoted to Giacomo Puccini who was born here in Lucca, it is a great place to spend some time learning about the history of the region and this influential composer.
Just a taste of the many amazing sites, make sure to spend time exploring the countryside as well as plenty of hiking and biking trails offer hours of great recreational destinations. Plan to plenty of walking both in town and outside as the region is best explored on foot.
Where to Sleep
Like other quaint Tuscany cities, there are plenty of places to choose from when it comes to accommodations. In terms of boutique hotels, Lucca does not disappoint. One of the best rated and most popular is the Hotel Alla Corte degli Angeli. Located in the heart of Lucca, this lovely boutique hotel is located in a building dating back to the 1500s. 4 star accommodations and amenities abound and lovely and comfortable decorations and furnishings add to its charm. Pet friendly, multi -ingual and highly rated, you are sure to enjoy your stay.
Whether you choose to go in late summer for the most popular Puccini festival or during a quieter time of the year, Lucca will certainly not disappoint.