Lucca is a city of some 90,000 people in Tuscany. Its long history goes back to Etruscan and Ancient Roman times, and the city retains pieces of Ancient architecture. Lucca's great era was in the Gothic era just before the Renaissance, and the city contains much marvelous architecture from that era. Lucca remained an independent city state until the end of the 18th century. Giacomo Puccini, one of italian worldwide known opera composers, was born in Lucca.
The area of most interest to visitors is still enclosed within the old city defensive wall. The top of these broad walls is a ring park, a pleasant place for walking.
Rail and road links provide easy access from nearby Pisa and Florence.
Pisa International Airport has a rail station attached, and is only a 20 minute train ride from Lucca.
Flights from most large cities are available daily, and from Hub airports (such as Stansted) as many as three times a day. Two terminals exist, with the latest being added late 2008.
The railroad station is just outside the old town walls. Luggage lockers are available, from the tourist information office just across the road from the station at the price of €1.50 per hour. There are no direct trains from Pisa airport to Lucca, so a transfer is required in Pisa central station.
There is a bus that travels directly from Pisa Airport to Piazzale Verdi in Lucca.
You get the bus just outside the arrivals hall of the airport (buy your tickets beforehand at the ticket kiosk within the arrivals hall). The fare is cheap at about €4.
The bus ride is a scenic, pleasant fifty minute ride to Piazzale Verdi, which is inside the walls.
Driving inside the walls is mostly reserved to residents, so park your car (there are car parks outside the walls and a couple inside, accessible by non-residents) and rent a bike. Several bicycle rental locations can be found near the North entrance to the city, Porta Santa Maria, near Porta San Pietro and walking from Porta Elisa towards the center. It is not a large city within the walls, so you may find it more enjoyable to simply walk around.
The city has many car parks located outside the wall, the largest two are on the North and South side. The A11 (E76) Runs from the coastal A12(E80) Autostrada across towards Firenze.
Roman amphitheater - To be found off the Via Fillungo, main entrance by Piazza Scarpellini.
Old city walls
Ilaria del Carretto's Sarcophagus - By Jacopo della Quercia
Torre Guinigi - this is a tower with trees atop it, a very dramatic sight, with good views of the city. No lift, many stairs.
Torre delle Ore - ancient clock tower with original clock still working; is it possible to go upstairs on this tower too (beautiful view on the city, good perspective of Fillungo street).
Saint Michael's Church - Located in center of the Roman Forum
Saint Frediano's Church
Via Fillungo Main street full of shops and bars.
Duomo di San Martino, Piazza di San Martino, Romanesque cathedral dating to 14th century. Includes a sculpture of the crucifixion attributed to an eyewitness, Nicodemus. Some interesting carvings in the marble exterior, including a labyrinth.
Palazzo Pfanner, 340 923 30 85, Via degli Asili, Preserved rooms formerly inhabited by the Pfanner family, as well as a pleasant garden. Also on display, some 19th century medical equipment.
Lucca has many old churches, some of which now house art galleries. See art museum. This was the hometown of Puccini, and operas are held regularly. Be sure to come by during the summer months, as the area is regularly dotted with Puccini festivals, hosting a variety of young opera singers from across Europe and North America.
Compared to Florence or Siena, there is relatively little late night activity on the streets of old Lucca. The San Colombano, on top of the walls, overlooking the train station, the Betty Blue (near piazza Santa Maria), the Rewine near San Michele and the Cupido and McCulloughs, outside the walls near the station are some of the bars open late, especially in the summer.
Most locals tend to make the short trip to Viareggio on the coast, which offers a far better selection of clubs, such as 7 Apples and La Canniccia
During the summer festival (usually around July) you can expect big name artists to performing on a stage set up in one of the main squares.
Only in Lucca you can find a special Sweet-bread in shape of a small baguette or a bun. It's called "Buccellato" and it has raisins inside and has a unique taste of anise. You can find it in a small shop called Taddeucci, behind Saint Michael's church in the main square of Lucca.
Trattoria da Leo, 0583 492236, Via Tegrimi 1, Fairly typical Tuscan cuisine with some Luccan touches (e.g. pine nuts). The menu is only in Italian (a good sign). Vegetarian friendly. Reservations are a good idea or arrive around 7:00. An excellent meal for the price.
Pizzeria La Bersagliera, 0583510758, Via Pisana 2136, If you happen to have a car, do check out this pizzeria, just ten minutes drive outside of town, it's worth. The owners come from Calabria, so you are likely to find all kinds of spicy salami, olives, mushrooms on top of your pizza. A different meal, served by distracted waitresses. Beware: You can't have your espresso coffee there. Being asked for coffees, the old owner – I don't think she's still around – used to reply:
Forno a vapore Amedeo Giusti, 0583 496285, Via Santa Lucia 18/20, Strolling along the Torre Guinigi (the one with trees on top), you'll probably sniff some irresistible oily and flory smell. It's called focaccia, the Lucchese idea of a snack.
Locanda Eremo del Gusto Via Gelli 35/37 - 55012 - Petrognano - Capannori - LU - +39.0583.978012 email@example.com http://www.eremodelgusto.com. The restaurant of the Locanda eremo del Gusto lies at the ground floor of typical stone countryhouse, in a long a narrow long room painted with relaxing colours. A nice Veranda-bright during the day, green and fascinating in the evening- with large windows overlooking the countryside of Lucca. It accomodates 40 people.There is a small privè at the first floor which can be used for romantic or business dinners up to 6 people. The wonderful and panoramic terrace is now under preparation. It will host up to 40 people and it will be provided with a large area for smoker people. The terrace looks as the ancient medieval spotting towers which can bee seen all around Lucca area, in order to enjoy and discover villages, woods and paths.. At night, you will just have to look up at the stars in order to relax and feel like you are in most beautiful place in the world.
One of the best restaurants is practically hidden on via San Giorgio - called Vecchia Trattoria Buralli. With a constantly changing menu and an extensive wine list.
Buca di San Antonio is situated just off the Piazza San Michele and enjoys a high reputation for local dishes prepared in the traditional Lucchesi style. Ristorante Giglio in the Piazza Giglio is excellent - offering wonderful Lucchesi cuisine, attentive staff and a delightful terrace overlooking the square.
It is safe to drink the water that comes out of the public fountains. Many locals fill gallon jugs and it is their primary source of drinking water. It is delicious and quite refreshing. In fact, it taste better than most bottled water.
The digestive tonic China Massagli (http://www.massagli.com/ithome.html) is produced at the Farmacia Massagli in Lucca. This is an eminent example of the "china" style of amaro (Italian potable bitters). If you ask for an "amaro locale" at a restaurant, this is likely what you will receive.
"Biadina" is another local style of bitters, bottled by Massagli and other producers; this drink is often sold with a small pack of pine nuts.
Accommodations are plentiful, and cheaper than in Florence or Siena. The best stay is at San Giuliano Terme (health giving waters are still offered to an international clientele) on the road which runs along the foot of the hills from Pisa to Lucca.
Casa Alba , 0583 495361, Via Fillungo 142, Only 5 rooms, and on the second floor with no lift, this place is charming nonetheless. Owner speaks English, clerk does not. Located in historical center of town. 60-85 euro/night, October 2007.
Hotel Eur Lido di Camaiore – Viale le Colombo, 175 - Cap: 55043, Lido di Camaiore (LU), Italy. . Telephone +39 0584 618251 • Fax +39 0584 618253. The Eur Lido is a three star hotel located next to the Tuscany town of Lucca, a few hundreds metres away from the sea and the cost line of Versilia, which presents 75 bedrooms with private bath, shower and a large swimming pool. The rates change according to the season, as well as the minimum stay.
Locanda Eremo del Gusto Via Gelli 35/37 - 55012 - Petrognano - Capannori - LU - +39.0583.978012 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.eremodelgusto.com. Located in one of the most exclusive and marvellous area surrounding Lucca, “Locanda Eremo del Gusto B&b” allows you to have a wonderful stay in one of the charming bedroom of the ancient “Casa Colonica” (provided with parking). You will enjoy relaxing walks through the wood as well as visits to medieval “Borgo”, such as S. Gennaro and Petrognano. The property is located not far from Lucca and its perfectly preserved Walls and monuments, the suggestive Ville Lucchesi and “Il Parco Pinocchio” -Pinocchio’s Park- in Collodi. Pisa, Firenze and the Versilian beaches (with the well-known city of Forte dei Marmi) are about 1 hour away. “Eremo del Gusto” can also offer interesting solutions for your stay in Petrognano and in its surrondings.
Agriturismo Corte BenedettoVia Pollinelle 19 San Martino in colle Capannori - LU - Tel.+39 0583 975088 email@example.com fax +39 0583975730 url="http://www.cortebenedetto.it"The Holiday House Corte Benedetto, or holiday farm, is situated in the middle of six hectors of land where grapes and olives are cultivated. It comprises two suites, five rooms and three apartments all stylishly and originally furnished. The restaurant has a main kitchen with a wood oven and barbeque and two spacious dining areas, which are also open to the public. The Holiday House Corte Benedetto also has a large swimming pool and equestrian centre. http://www.cortebenedetto.it/index.php?language=en
Hotel Alla Corte degli Angeli, Via degli Angeli 23 Lucca, 55100 +390583469204 firstname.lastname@example.org
This small family run hotel is in the heart of the walled town, a few steps from the Piazza Anfiteatro and the main shopping street. Each room is decorated with a fresco on a floral theme, which continues into the bathroom. The rooms are spacious, comfortable and well-equipped. The breakfasts are excellent – as are the quirky egg-cups and ceramic coffee beakers. The staff are very friendly, helpful and professional.
La Cappella - 7 km from Lucca, Villa La Cappella was constructed on the walls of a former monastery, dating back to the 17th century. Private swimming pool, garden furniture, parking by the house.
Grand Hotel Guinigi, The Grand Hotel Guinigi is located at about one mile from the historical center of Lucca. San Martino Cathedral, Chiesa di San Frediano, Anfiteatro, the House of Giacomo Puccini and the ancient City Walls are one and a half kilometres from the hotel.
Palazzo Tucci", Via Cesare Battisti, 13 55100 Lucca +39 0583 464279. Boutique hotel and historical residence located in the heart of Lucca city center.
The main shopping street is Via Fillungo which runs roughly north/south through the centre of the city. It has a mix of high to mid-range shops selling a range of Italian designer labels such as Missoni, Armani, Max Mara, etc.
'''APT Lucca Tourist Information Office Piazza Santa Maria, 35 Tel: 0039 0583 919931 - Fax: 0039 0583469964 email@example.com - www.luccaturismo.it-Bagni di Lucca's spa''' : Bagni di Lucca is laying between the Appenine Mountains giving a semblance of a climatic mountain resort in spite of it’s 152 meters above sea level, prefectly intergrated by the River Lima and Serchio, from which the Valley takes it name, it can be considered an oasis of peace and serenity.Decentralized from the traffic which reaches the nearby Lucca(27kms) and Versilia(48kms).
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