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Things to do in Lucca

Itineraries for Your Trip to Lucca

Lucca locals share their perfect days.
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3 Days in Lucca for Families

Curated by Rebecca WinkeItalophile and travel enthusiast who’s lived in Italy for 20-plus years.

Lucca is a singularly kid-friendly city, with a compact old town filled with car-free squares, plenty of medieval towers and city walls to explore, and easy access to the surrounding mountains and hills for outdoor adventure. We visited with our toddlers when we craved a shot of Tuscan charm without the crush of tourists. As they became teens, we were drawn to the superstar bands that headline the Lucca Summer Festival and Lucca Games and Comics, Italy’s largest comic-con held each fall.

No matter how old your kids are, they’ll find something engaging and entertaining to do Lucca. Here’s how to spend three days in this attractive Tuscan town with young travelers.

In summer, temperatures soar in the old town—head to the hills or coast when midday hits.

If you only have time for one thing, make it renting bikes and taking a turn around the greenway atop the old city walls.

Day 1

Delve into Lucca’s history with a kid-friendly old town tour led by a guide who knows how to captivate youngsters. Climb the Guinigi Tower, pick out animals and griffins carved into the city’s church facades, and stroll the oval confines of the former Roman amphitheater.

Reward a morning of culture with an afternoon of gelato. After lunch, head to a top gelateria to meet a master gelato maker and learn how to craft this sweet icy treat and then taste your creation.

End with a leisurely bike ride atop of Lucca’s Renaissance-era city walls, now home to a greenway park where locals gather.

Day 2

Head towards the coast today to marvel at the spectacular marble quarries in Carrara. This is where Michelangelo and other masters chose marble to create masterpieces like David. Guided four-wheel drive tours take visitors deep into the huge caverns underground excavated under the mountain slopes over the centuries.

In the afternoon, turn south to visit the perennial crowd-pleaser: the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Crowds are a bit less overwhelming in the afternoon (be sure to book your ticket to climb the tower in advance, however), so the timing is perfect for a family-friendly stop at this A-list destination.

Day 3

The Colline Lucchesi hills surrounding Lucca are ideal for outdoor adventures from canyoning to cycling, especially when the town’s city center boils in summer heat. In the cooler countryside, join a family-friendly rafting or stand-up paddleboard excursion down the Serchio River before lunch at one of the many agriturismo farm restaurants in the outlying hills.

Take the kids to Pinocchio Park this afternoon, located in Collodi, a 20-minute drive from Lucca. Older kids can explore the tiny hill town of San Miniato, a fairy tale-like hamlet with an old town and fortress about an hour’s drive away.

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