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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 Foodies

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

Lucca and the surrounding hills of the Colline Lucchesi may not carry the foodie clout of heavy hitters like Chianti, but this corner of Tuscany has a fabulous local cuisine much beloved by in-the-know gourmands. Top-ranked wines and olive oil are produced in the countryside just outside the city, and local dishes like tordelli lucchesi (similar to meat ravioli) and rovelline lucchesi (veal cutlets in a tomato sauce) are menu staples in the heart of the old town.

When I want unfussy Tuscan fare, Lucca is where I head. The local dining scene is the perfect balance of old-school trattorias and trendy cafés, there are prize-winning boutique wineries within striking distance of the city limits, and the surrounding towns are culinary destinations in their own right. Sample the best food and drink in and around Lucca in three days with these tips.

Hot summers make outdoor dining a pleasure, while cold winters are ideal for tucking into hearty local dishes in cozy indoor restaurants.

If you only have time for one thing, visit a family-run winery in the Colline Lucchesi hills.

Day 1

Enjoy an overview of Lucca’s historic landmarks while sampling some of its sweet and savory specialties with a food tour through the old town. Discover the city’s cathedral, city walls, and lively squares as well as its most storied and popular eateries.

Lucca has one of Tuscany’s top aperitivo scenes. In the early evening, join the locals for drinks and finger food at one or two of the city’s cafés and bars. Alternatively, meet up with a local host to learn how to put together an authentic aperitivo on your own.

Day 2

Delve into the city’s traditional culinary culture this morning with a market visit and hands-on cooking class led by a passionate home cook. Browse the stands for fresh, seasonal ingredients before heading back to your host’s kitchen to prepare traditional pasta dishes like tordelli lucchesi or maccheroni tortellati.

This afternoon, visit a boutique cellar in the Colline Lucchesi hills to sample the area’s excellent vintages. You can join a wine tour with transportation included to avoid the hassle of driving or explore the gently rolling countryside by bike.

Day 3

The delightful foodie town of Pistoia is less than an hour away by car or train. Head there this morning to stroll through the local market and sample some authentic Tuscan cuisine on a food tour. Then prepare some of the traditional dishes of Pistoia—like fresh pasta tossed with duck ragù and peposo beef stew—with a local host.

Alternatively, spend the day truffle hunting in the Tuscany countryside outside San Miniato, about an hour away by car or train.

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