Back on a frosty morning at the end of December 2019, we spend a few hours wandering through the narrow streets of Lucca in Tuscany. In stark contrast to Florence, apart from a local running race taking place, it felt like we had the whole city to ourselves.
Lucca is famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls which encircle the old town. Initially built as a defensive rampart, they are now a pedestrian promenade.
The highlight of the day was climbing the 45-meter high Guinigi Tower. The views from the top were simply breathtaking and we found ourselves daydreaming of living in medieval times. It’s astounding that so much has survived.
The tower dates from the 1300s when a number of wealthy families were building bell towers within the walls of Lucca as status symbols. It is known for the holm oaks growing on top of the tower – a kitchen was originally on the floor below with the rooftop serving as a kitchen garden.
We only had a couple of hours to explore Lucca but undoubtedly you could spend a whole day or more here. If I have another chance to visit Tuscany, I would stick to places like this rather than the big tourist traps.
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Lucca is a hidden gem. We’ve spent two full days in this little marvelous city. Got some excellent photos there..
Great photos. In Lucca at night, you face time itself. Amazing experience.
About other features of Lucca:
While there are monthly antique fairs, on one weekend in September the town fills its squares with antiques from dealers across Italy.
Also, at the end of October, there is a week long comic convention throughout the city. This is the largest in Europe and second largest in the world. People flock to the city from across Europe to wear their role-playing costumes of wizards and elves, assassins and zombies with many role play exhibitions and top cosplay stars.