Things to do in Lucca

Things to do in  Lucca

History behind the walls

Lucca is the quintessential Tuscan town, from its Renaissance city walls encircling a cityscape of medieval churches, towers, and palazzi to its cobbled, shop-lined squares and streets. The compact old town is easily explored on foot or by bike and doubles as a base for visiting Pisa and its famed leaning tower, the historic marble quarries of Carrara, the Cinque Terre’s technicolor fishing villages, and the hill towns and wineries of nearby Chianti. Gourmands also flock to Lucca, known for its Colline Lucchesi wines and rustic Tuscan cuisine.

Top 14 attractions in Lucca

Lucca Cathedral (Duomo di Lucca)

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Art enthusiasts are drawn to the Lucca Cathedral for its paintings by masters like Ghirlandaio and Tintoretto; architecture aficionados appreciate the church’s unique mix of Gothic and Romanesque styles. But the Duomo di Lucca is revered by locals primarily as home to the city’s most precious relic: the Holy Face of Lucca (Volto Santo.More

Piazza dell'Anfiteatro

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One of the most important squares in Lucca’s medieval center, Piazza dell'Anfiteatro was built on the site of a Roman amphitheater, from which it got its unique oval shape. Today, the piazza is the vibrant heart of the city’s historic center, and the perfect spot to enjoy the friendly vibe of this picturesque Tuscan town.More

Guinigi Tower (Torre Guinigi)

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The red-brick Guinigi Tower (Torre Guinigi) pierces the sky above Lucca’s medieval center, and is particularly notable for its impressive rooftop garden shaded by several ancient holm oaks that date from the early 17th century. Climb the 230 steps inside the tower for views across the historic rooftops of Lucca.More

Via Fillungo

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No visit to Lucca’s medieval center is complete without a passeggiata (stroll along Via Fillungo, the main thoroughfare stretching through the heart of the old town from the ancient city gate of Porta dei Borghi to Canto d'Arco. Lined with bustling shops and cafés, this street is ideal for experiencing Lucca’s lively atmosphere.More

Brolio Castle (Castello di Brolio)

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Perched high above Chianti wine country, Brolio Castle (Castello di Brolio) is one of the most impressive defensive castles that once guarded Gaiole in Chianti, a sleepy hilltown with an important medieval past. The castle has been owned since the 12th century by the Ricasoli family, which has a long and prestigious history of winemaking.More

Church of San Michele in Foro (Chiesa di San Michele in Foro)

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With one of the most magnificent facades in Tuscany, Lucca’s Church of San Michele in Foro is a stellar example of the Pisan Romanesque style and the crown jewel of this pretty town’s medieval center. A tour of this architectural masterpiece is a must for art and architecture enthusiasts while visiting Lucca.More

Castle of Meleto (Castello di Meleto)

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Set in the heart of Chianti’s wine country, the 12th-century Castle of Meleto is one of a string of defensive castles that once guarded Gaiole in Chianti. The fortress was originally the property of the powerful Florentine Ricasoli family, and today you can tour its frescoed halls and taste Chianti Classico produced in the estate’s vineyards.More

Puccini Museum

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One of Italy’s most famous composers, Giacomo Puccini, was born in Lucca, and his childhood home has been converted into a museum dedicated to his life and work. Music lovers enjoy perusing the collection of photographs, librettos, awards, correspondence, and costumes displayed among the home’s original furnishings.More

Devil's Bridge (Ponte del Diavolo or Ponte della Maddalena)

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Located on the Serchio River some 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Lucca, the Devil's Bridge (Ponte del Diavolo or Ponte della Maddalena) is one of the region’s most striking landmarks. The stone, pedestrian-only bridge dates to the 11th century and was used by religious pilgrims. It’s recognizable for its irregularly shaped arches.More

Lucca Clock Tower (Torre delle Ore)

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The 13th-century Torre delle Ore is Lucca’s tallest clock tower, soaring above the historic center and marking the time each quarter hour. Originally a medieval tower house, or private defensive residence, the structure was later acquired by the city and you can now climb its 200 steps for views across the rooftops of Lucca.More

Cathedral Museum Complex (Complesso Museale e Archeologico della Cattedrale di Lucca)

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Just opposite Lucca’s Cattedrale di San Martino, the Cathedral Museum Complex is home to some of the church’s most precious works of art, from early Renaissance paintings to jewel-encrusted crowns. A must for art enthusiasts, this dazzling collection is testimony to the history and wealth of Lucca’s most important church.More

Pinocchio Park (Parco di Pinocchio)

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The Tuscan town of Collodi was the birthplace of Carlo Lorenzini, the writer who dreamed up the world’s most beloved wooden boy. The town is also home to an old-school theme park dedicated to the adventurous hero Pinocchio, which welcomes younger tots with vintage rides and other gentle pleasures from the bygone days of fairy tales.More
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Puccini e la sua Lucca International Permanent Festival

Puccini e la sua Lucca International Permanent Festival

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Born in Lucca, Giacomo Puccini was one of Italy’s foremost composers. Now his native city celebrates him with near-daily performances, as part of the permanent Puccini e la sua Lucca International Festival. Enjoy evening concerts featuring Puccini’s arias performed by international musicians in historic churches across the city.More

Villa Garzoni Garden (Storico Giardino Garzoni)

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The majestic gardens at the Garzoni Villa, in the town of Collodi, are considered some of the most beautiful in Italy. Their design blends Renaissance geometry with baroque elegance, and highlights include water features, lush flower beds, a hedge maze, and a butterfly pavilion.More

Top activities in Lucca

Cinque Terre Tour Small Group Tour from Lucca
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Cesarine: Small group Pasta and Tiramisu with Mamma in Lucca
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Private wine tour - Lucca hills and Montecarlo (2 wineries)
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Private wine tour - Lucca hills and Montecarlo (2 wineries)

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From
$178.64
$188.04  $9.40 savings
Food Walking Tour 2Italia

Food Walking Tour 2Italia

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$105.08
Cesarine: Fresh Pasta Class & Meal at Local's Home in Lucca
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Cinque Terre Private Tour from Lucca

Cinque Terre Private Tour from Lucca

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$1,078.49
per group
Cesarine: Pizza & Tiramisu Class at local's home in Lucca
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Cesarine: Typical Dining & Cooking Demo at Local's Home in Lucca
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Cesarine: Home Cooking Class & Meal with a Local in Lucca
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Complete tour of the city and walls

Complete tour of the city and walls

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$213.30
per group
Cesarine: Pasta & Tiramisu Class at a Local's Home in Lucca
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All about Lucca

When to visit

Lucca’s street life is one of its appeals, and the first warm days of spring bring the locals out in droves. Sidewalk cafés and al fresco restaurant tables overflow, while walkers and cyclists flock to the pretty ring walk atop the Renaissance city walls. In July, Lucca’s squares host performances by top pop and rock musicians for the Lucca Summer Festival; the end of the season is marked by Lucca Comics and Games in late October.

Getting around

It only takes a few minutes in Lucca to realize that it’s a cyclist’s city. Locals and visitors alike get around on two wheels here—there are numerous bike rental shops to kit out those just passing through—and the flat historic center with limited traffic makes pedaling through town a breeze. Lucca’s compact size is also pleasantly walkable. Even the train station is a short stroll from the main sights for easy day-trip logistics.

Traveler tips

The massive city walls that encircle the entire historic center of Lucca are the town’s most distinctive feature and its most beloved. The city has converted the wide top of the wall into a circular park, and the town turns out on fine days to walk and cycle along its circumference above the rooftops. Rent a bike and join the locals for a passeggiata (ride), pausing at the shaded benches for the view.

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People Also Ask

What is Lucca known for?

One of Tuscany’s most attractive towns, Lucca is known for its intact medieval center completely enclosed by Renaissance-era town walls and filled with lively squares. A greenway runs along the top of the walls, creating a circular park around the old town where locals walk, cycle, and relax.

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How do I spend a day in Lucca?

Visit the main sights in the old town, stopping to admire the Lucca Cathedral and Guinigi Tower. Then, relax with a glass of local Colline Lucchesi wine in Piazza dell’Anfiteatro or Piazza Napoleone before a turn around the top of the city walls to see the old town from above.

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What’s the best way to explore Lucca?

With its flat and compact old town, Lucca is ideal for getting around on foot or by bike. The city is thick with cyclists, and the greenway on top of the old city walls is a popular place for a scenic bike ride far from traffic.

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How far is Lucca from the beach?

Set inland from Tuscany’s coastline, Lucca is about 16 miles (27 kilometers) from the nearest beach to the west. You can reach the popular resort town of Viareggio by train, while other seaside destinations like Marina di Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi are less than an hour away by car.

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Is Lucca worth a day trip?

Yes, Lucca is among the prettiest towns in Tuscany and largely devoid of tourists, so it retains an authentic atmosphere. There is a smattering of historic landmarks to visit, but much of the town’s charm is simply in exploring the warren of lanes and squares on foot or by bike.

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What province is Lucca in?

Lucca is the capital city of the province of Lucca, set in the northwest corner of the region of Tuscany. The province of Lucca borders four important Tuscan provinces: Pisa to the south, Pistoia and Florence to the east, and Carrara to the north.

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