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.