Lucca Journals

Sleeping Beauty, the Tuscany Version

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A May 2004 trip to Lucca by Tolik

Apartment at Via Guicciardini Photo, Florence, Italy More Photos
Quote: The typical Italian city of Lucca is the most charming of Tuscany’s provincial capitals, set inside a circle of Renaissance walls fronted by gardens and mighty bastions.
Apartment at Via Guicciardini Photo, Florence, Italy
Quote:
Lucca was a part of the day trip from Florence where we stayed a week. The apartment which we booked through the InterHome, is in historic old town, in a wonderful position to explore Florence on foot. Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Pitti and the Boboli Gardens are approx. 100m away. It takes 5 to 7 minutes walk to reach Piazza della Signoria or Galleria degli Uffizi. Access to the apartment from Via Guicciardini is through a courtyard which has one of the best ceramic shops in Florence. Here also you will find a memorial plate informing that Niccolo Machiavelli lived here. In the building there is a small lift. The one-bedroom apartment has been renovated and furnished in Tuscany country s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 7, 2004

Apartment at Via Guicciardini
18 Via Guicciardini
Florence, Italy

Lucca Walking Tour

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Attraction | "Lovely Lucca Walking Tour"

Lucca Walking Tour Photo, Lucca, Italy
Quote:
The Lucca's old city center is small and surrounded by the battlements. From the train station steps you will immediately see the flowerbeds of Piazzale Risacoli and behind it the mighty medieval bastions. The footpath leads across the lawn at the foot of the walls, through the underground tunnel under the bastion of S. Colombano to the Piazzle Arrigoni besides the apse of the Duomo. Alternatively (if you pprefer more theatrical entrance), after crossing Piazzale Risacoli can turn left at Viale Regina Margherita and enter the old town through the Porta San Pietro (St Peter gate), then turn right on Corso Garibaldi. The street brings you shortly to the green lawn of Piazzle Arrigoni. Y...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 7, 2004

Lucca Walking Tour
Old Town
Lucca, Italy

Lucca Walking Tour

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Attraction | "Lucca Walking Tour – Part Two"

Lucca Walking Tour Photo, Lucca, Italy
Quote:
After recharging your batteries cross Piazza Napoleone and visit a courtyard of the Palazzo Pubblico (it used to be Ducal and now the Provincial headquarters). Inside you will find small but friendly information office and a free WC. Return back to the Piazza Napoleone and turn left at Via Veneto. A few minutes late you arrive at Piazza San Michele where third famous Lucca’s church stands. Casa di Puccini, Giacomo Puccini birthplace is nearby. On the Via Fillungo, you’ll find the café di Simo, famous for its beautiful interior (early 20th C). After visit to the St Michael Church you have to make a decision. If you have another hour or so then continue to walk northbound along Via...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 7, 2004

Lucca Walking Tour
Old Town
Lucca, Italy

Duomo di San Martino

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Attraction

Duomo di San Martino Photo, Lucca, Italy
Quote:
This is the place of very ancient origin. San Giovanny e Reparata, originally Lucca’s cathedral, now part of the Duomo, is on the site of a pagan temple and also rests on Roman thermal baths – isn’t that amazing? Duomo di San Martino (the St Martin Cathedral) open Mon through Fri from 9am to 6pm, Sat 9am until 7pm. It is free like the other churches in Lucca. (This is not the case for many other churches in Italy, unfortunately). The cathedral was consecrated in 1070 by Pope Alexander II, previously the bishop in the city. The façade of the church was designed to accommodate the pre-existing bell tower. The reliefs over the left doorway of the portico are believed to be by Nicola Pisano. ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 7, 2004

Duomo di San Martino
Near the Baluardo San Colombano / Old Town
Lucca, Italy

Guingi Tower and Villa Guingi

Attraction | "The Guingi Tower and Villa Guingi"

Guingi Tower and Villa Guingi Photo, Lucca, Italy
Quote:
From Piazza San Salvadore Via Sant’ Andrea leads to the Torre Guingi (Guingi Tower). The Guingi family ruled Lucca in the 14 – 15th centuries. The tower was constructed in the 14th century. This 41m high structure is the only completely surviving tower of many that were a character feature of Lucca. It is also famous because of 7 ilex trees which grow on the summit (staircase to the top). The view offers a panorama of the city, its tree-planted ramparts, and the hills beyond. The tower is open 9 – 7:30PM. Nearby, at Via del Quarquonia is the Villa Guingi where you will find the Arts Museum, housing Etruscan and Roman artifacts, Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance sculpture a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 7, 2004

Guingi Tower and Villa Guingi
Old Town
Lucca, Italy

Piazza San Michele

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Attraction

Piazza San Michele Photo, Lucca, Italy
Quote:
Piazza San Michele in Foro is on the site of the Roman Forum (hence the suffix). It is the medieval heart of the old city. San Michele in Foro, built in white limestone, is one of the most beautiful of the Tuscany churches. It was 1st mentioned in 795, but the present church was largely constructed in the 11th & 12th C. The church is richly decorated with colored marbles and columns (closed 12:30 - 3pm). What makes the church unique? A figure of the Archangel Michael slaying a dragon on the top. Nearby you can see the statue of Francesco Burlamachhi (1863). He led the unsuccessful rebellion against Medici rule in 1546. From the Piazza San Michele find a small street, Via di Poggio, whi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 7, 2004

Piazza San Michele
Old Town
Lucca, Italy

Ramparts

Attraction | "The Ramparts"

Ramparts Photo, Lucca, Italy
Quote:
No visit to Lucca is complete without a walk around the city walls. But do not expect to see the mighty towers, drawbridge, cannons etc. The battlements are in fact elevated grounds with reinforced slopes. The ramparts consist of 11 curtain walls, 10 bastions and one platform (San Frediano). The walls are 12 m high and 30m wide at the base. The shaded 4km path passes grassy parks and cool fountains as it progresses along the baluardi (battlements). The earliest of the walls date from the Roman period. New walls were built in 1198, the present fortifications were carried out in 1544 and 1650. The trees on the ramparts have been planted since the 16th century. Why was this quiet, lovely...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 7, 2004

Ramparts
Old Town
Lucca, Italy

History of Lucca

Story/Tip

Lucca  Photo, Lucca, Italy
Quote:
The place was inhabited 50,000 years ago. Millennia later it was certainly located within Etruscan territory. The town was a prosperous Roman colony, in 89BC became a ‘municipum’ and by 56BC was important enough to provide the meeting place for Caesar, Pompey and Crassus. Later Lucca became Tuscany’s first Christian town – the city’s 1st bishop, Paulinus, was a disciple of St. Peter. Lucca became the capital of Tuscia e.g. Tuscany under the Lombards. Later it was ruled by the Margraves, who eventually moved to Florence. From the mid 16th century Lucca became an independent aristocratic Republic. The Republic came to the end with the French occupation in 1799. Those of you who read "W...Read More