The stunning city of Lucca, also known as the ‘city of one hundred churches’ is often an overlooked destination, with visitors favouring the neighbouring tourist traps of Pisa and Florence but, for an authentic and immersive trip to Italy, it should be top of your bucket list. One of the many draws to Italy is the rich history and preserved culture, and in Lucca, this is in abundance. As you stroll the historic streets, discovering the jewels of the city, sampling the cultural delights and browsing for your souvenirs, while the sun beams on your skin and the warm air plays with your hair, it’s likely you’ll fall head over heels in love with one of Tuscany’s best-kept secrets.
Day 1: Arrival
After a day’s travelling, there’s nothing better or more exciting than arriving at your villa. Opening the front door for the first time marks the beginning of your relaxing holiday in Italy. Explore your new home for the week, unpack your bags, pour yourself a drink and find somewhere comfortable to enjoy it, preferably outdoors where you can make the most of those fantastic views.
After you’ve acclimatised yourself, book yourself into an authentic Italian restaurant, where you can make the most of the local cuisine during an evening meal with your loved ones. A delicious meal and an early night will leave you feeling fresh and ready for what the rest of the week brings.
Day 2: Guinigi Tower
Sightseeing is one of the best past times in Lucca, and you will not be short of incredible places to visit during your time here. Start your tour of the area in the city centre. Located here is the Guinigi Tower, built by a wealthy merchant family, the 14th-century structure is one of the few remaining of its kind in Lucca. The Romanesque-Gothic architecture reflects the affluence of the family who it belonged to all those years ago. What makes the Guinigi Tower so unique and fascinating is hidden at the top. There is a small garden of Holm oaks, which is said to represent rebirth and renewal, the views from here are outstanding and give you a fantastic aerial of the city below and beyond.
Day 3: Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro
As the heart and soul of Lucca, watching the world go by at the Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro is essential during your holiday to the city. Built on the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre, the central plaza follows the distinctive oval shape and what was once a battlefield for gladiators, is now a hub of action, with eateries, shops, markets and more.
Day 4: St Martin’s Cathedral
Located in the quieter, old city centre, is Lucca Cathedral. The structure is nothing short of impressive, and the significance of the building is apparent upon approach. The fascination of the surrounding square and cathedral are on par with those found in Florence and Pisa, with the intricate Gothic and Romanesque architecture requiring you to truly look and admire to make the most of its beauty and detail. The cathedral is home to the Holy Face of Lucca, or Sacred Countenance, and the wooden crucifix is a hugely significant protagonist of the Holy Cross celebrations which take place in September. During the event, the streets are lit with candles and lamps, making a wonder of the streets even more enchanting.
Day 5: San Michele in Foro
With documents dating the Church of San Michele in Foro to 1795, the ancient structure is one of Tuscany’s best-preserved historical gems. The central position of the Romanesque-style church and the detail of the architecture, including the archangel Michael slaying a dragon at the crown, contribute to what is a jaw-droppingly beautiful place within the city to enjoy. Surrounding the central square, there are coffee shops and eateries, as well as a selection of shops.
Day 6: Walls of Lucca
As one of Lucca’s most recognisable landmarks, exploring the city walls either by foot or bicycle is a great way to spend your last full day in the area. The walkway offers panoramic views over the city, and much of the path is lined with ancient trees, offering shade and an abundance of picture-perfect picnic spots. Alongside this, there is a botanical garden, playgrounds for children, restaurants and bars.
Day 7: Departure
If you’re departing late in the day, we recommend heading back to your favourite place in Lucca and making the most of your final few hours in the city. Revisit the site you found most magical, go back to the shop you saw a beautiful souvenir and indulge one last time in the fine Italian food and drink!
If you’re yet to find your dream accommodation in the area, why not take a look at our luxury holiday villas in Tuscany and begin your search for your dream home away from home.
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