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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 First Timers

Curated by Rebecca WinkeItalophile and travel enthusiast who’s lived in and written about Italy for more than two decades.

Of all the Tuscan towns—and there are dozens of contenders—Lucca is my favorite. Just far enough from the well-trodden paths of Chianti and the Val d’Orcia (but with enough culture and cuisine to make it worth the trip), this handsome city pairs historic charm with contemporary verve. The cobblestone squares and lanes buzz with many more locals than visitors, and the old town offers a rare glimpse into an authentic Italian city largely untouched by tourism.

That’s not to say that there aren't any attractions in Lucca. Take in its landmark churches, medieval towers, and a Renaissance town wall that doubles as a greenway encircling the historic center. Here’s how to soak in the best of Lucca in three days.

Lucca has four distinct seasons, with cold winters and hot summers.

If you only have time for one thing, make it a bike trip around the top of the city’s historic walls.

Day 1

Orient yourself with a walking tour. Learn about Lucca’s history that stretches back millennia to the Etruscan civilization, and take in sights like Guinigi Tower, San Michele in Foro, and the cathedral. Then, browse the shops lining the Via Fillungo and Via del Battistero or relax over a Spritz in Piazza dell’Anfiteatro.

As evening falls, join the locals at the city’s defensive walls for a traditional stroll (passeggiata). The best-preserved Renaissance-era fortifications in Italy, Lucca’s town walls today serve as a panoramic greenway encircling the old town. Walk or pedal a rented bike around the circumference of the walls.

Day 2

Lucca is surrounded by picturesque hills where top-quality olive oil and wine are produced. Set out from the city to visit local winemakers and enjoy guided tastings of the region’s top varietals this morning with an excursion by car or bike through the rolling Colline Lucchesi wine zone.

Freshen up in the afternoon and take advantage of Lucca’s picturesque old town for a private photo session. Selfies are fun, but you may want a few professional shots of your time in Italy. Lucca offers postcard-perfect backdrops without the crowds found in more famous cities, making it ideal for a photoshoot.

Day 3

Lucca sits within striking distance of a number of blockbuster destinations, but none more famous than Pisa. Make the most of your time in the area with a quick jaunt to the home of the Leaning Tower. You can drive or take the train for a stress-free and scenic trip.

Spend your final evening back in Lucca connecting with a local over a Spritz and nibbles in their home with a class that teaches you how to prepare and present your own genuine Italian aperitivo to your friends and family once you leave this Tuscan city.

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