Italy remains to be one of the top destinations to visit in the European continent. It’s the perfect place for those that want to experience a unique and long-lasting culture. It’s also the perfect place for those that want to taste the most delicious food that the world has to offer. Of course, the entirety of Italy is great but there are some cities that are truly worth the visit. We’re not talking about common suggestions like Rome and Venice. This time, we are going to talk about the little city of Lucca. This small comune at the heart of Tuscany is not the biggest place in Italy but you’ll be surprised at how many travelers are captivated by it.
Lucca is a walled city that is filled with great architecture, people, and of course, staple Italian dishses that you definitely must try upon getting there. While it may not be as grand as Rome or Venice, Lucca offers its own allure that no traveler shouldn’t pass up on. It’s like a little great discovery so be sure to visit Lucca while you are in Italy.
We know you’re excited to pack your bags and head to Lucca immediately but before anything else, here are some important pointers to ensure that you are going on a hassle-free trip to this great and marvelous city.
- 1 How To Get To Lucca, Italy
- 2 Getting Around Lucca, Italy
- 3 Best Time To Visit Lucca, Italy
- 4 Lucca Italy Things to Do and Attractions
How To Get To Lucca, Italy
Lucca is a rather small city so getting there may be a little complicated. Luckily, we’ve found a few easy ways to get to it so you don’t have to worry about the commute too much. These routes are the most efficient and fastest way to get to the city s be sure to keep it as one of your choices.
One of the easiest ways to get there is by renting a car. Luckily, there are many rentals in the airports Pisa or Florence. Do take note that the center of the city is closed off to traffic. Only residents can drive cars inside Lucca. Upon getting to the city, you may have to park your car outside the walls of the city.
Luca is located on the A11 Firenze – Mare highway which connects Florence with Pisa and the Versilia Coast. If you are driving from either the north or south, you will need to take A11 and exit it at the Lucca Est or Ovest. If you are coming from the coast near A12 Genova-Roma, you will need to connect at Viareggio then head to Lucca Ovest. From there, look out for a road called Bretella.
Another easy way to get to Lucca is via train. The Lucca train station is located in Piazza Ricasoli right in Porta San Pietro which is easily reachable from the town center. The train station is a stop from the train lines that connect Florence with Viareggio and Florence with Pisa. The trains run on schedules but they run fairly often. From Pisa, the trip will last for 15-20 minutes. While from Florence, it will last for over an hour at least.
From the airport in Pisa, you can catch a train headed to the Pisa Centrale Station. From there, simply look for trains to Florence/Viareggio. From the Florence Airport, you’ll need to get to the station in Florence center and then take the train headed to Lucca. Obviously, the easier route would be from Pisa.
Lastly, you can take a bus to get to Lucca as well. The bus station in Lucca is at Piazzale Verdi, inside the city walls. There are buses that go to Lucca from Florence and Pisa. Ideally, you’ll want to look for a bus company named Vaibus.
Getting Around Lucca, Italy
Lucca is a walled city which as we’ve said, does not allow cars from tourists. The best way to get around Lucca is either by walking or by cycling. We suggest doing the latter as it is free and most importantly, the top spots in the city are not too far apart so you don’t have to take long walks. As a bonus, you’ll get to enjoy all of the scenery as well. If you are not up for walking, then you can simply rent a bike from one of the shops inside Lucca.
Best Time To Visit Lucca, Italy
First off, let’s talk about the months which you should not visit in. Ideally, you may want to avoid traveling from January to March as this is the rainy season in Lucca. There is an average of 15 days of rain each month so visiting during this time might hamper your trip. If you have no other free time, then at least pack an umbrella or two.
You may also want to avoid visiting Lucca during the summer as this is the busiest season for tourism in the city. During this time, expect higher hotel and rental prices. Some of the key events during this season are Evento Lucca week from September 22 to 25, Comics week from October 30 to November 6, and Ferragosto week from August 20 to September 1. While you may be excited at the thought of participating in these events, keep in mind that the rates at hotels will be at their highest during this time.
According to many travelers, as well as based on our experience, the best time to visit Lucca would be during early fall. At this time, the temperatures are warm but are still bearable. During this season, the hotel rates are relatively cheaper than anywhere else. A nightly cost of accommodation for two is right around $110 which is almost half of what you’ll pay in August. Moreover, you can expect fewer tourists during this season.
Lucca Italy Things to Do and Attractions
Lucca is one of the most historical cities in the world and it’s a place that’s not to be missed, especially when you’re already in Italy. Located in Tuscany, it sure has a lot to offer, especially for those who want to explore a new culture. If you want to see what Lucca has in store for its visitors, you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the Lucca Italy things to do and attractions that will surely make your Italy trip amazing.
Italy has countless churches. In fact, almost every street in Italy has a church as it has approximately more than 60,000 public churches. And Lucca is one city that also has a lot of churches too. One of the notable ones is the Lucca Cathedral and visiting it is one of the Lucca Italy things to do that you should prioritize. At first, you might just pass on the idea of doing this activity because what’s in a church anyway? But the Lucca Cathedral isn’t an ordinary church as you’d think it is.
Apparently, this place is famous throughout Italy for its stunning design and façade. But it’s not just pretty on the outside. Inside, you’ll also get to see an abundant collection of beautiful artworks. In addition to that, one of its main features is the sublime shrine of the Sacred Face of Lucca.
2Piazza dell Anfiteatro
This place is exactly as what its name describes – a square of an amphitheater. And while none of the original structure is evident, it still has its elliptical shape. But why should you add this to your list of Lucca Italy things to do, you say? Although you won’t get to see the original Roman amphitheater structure, the buildings surrounding the square still has an inviting open space with their different heights and colors, mainly yellow, cream, and white. But aside from the aesthetics, that it has, it is a must-visit because of the high-quality cafes and restaurants that it houses that offers both delicious dishes and beautiful views of the square to make every dining experience a memorable one.
Another thing to add to your list of Lucca Italy things to do is to tour the city walls surrounding the old center of the city. Lucca’s walls have seen countless stories throughout the history of the city. Taking a walk on the historic city walls isn’t just about getting to know the city’s rich past. It is also a place to admire its structure. It has 11 bastions at strategic intervals plus the footpath is lined with lush trees.
4San Michele in Foro
Again, Italy has countless beautiful churches and Lucca serves a home to several of them. Aside from the Lucca Cathedral, the city also has San Michele in Foro that is a must visit. It has a unique font facade that you won’t get to see anywhere else. On top of it, you’ll see rows of ornate arches and column that feature different colors and designs. Above each row of those arches are beautiful artworks that depict different wild animals. Inside, you’ll see some important works of art made by Filippno Lippi and Luca della Robbia as well. The level of every detail of San Michele in Foro, both on the inside and outside is really impressive that it would be such a waste to not see it in person.
5Orto Botanico Comunale di Lucca
Another activity to add to your Lucca Italy things to do is strolling the Orto Botanico Comunale di Lucca. Here, you can get to see several greenhouses, a herbarium, an arboretum, plus several water features and ponds. Established by the Duchess of Parma in 1820, this spot, until today, is beautifully maintained. The variety of species and colors is definitely a sight to behold. It’s also a place to escape from the city’s busy streets and just relax and admire nature more.
6Torre delle Ore
Back in the old days, Torre delle Ore served as both a defensive fortification and a clock tower. As time progressed, it was turned into a historical clock tower because the need for defense has already lessened. And today, it is now one of the city’s top attractions. Here, you can climb the stairs to reach the top of the tower and get to see the unrivalled views that the city has to offer. For that reason, getting here is also one of the top-rated Lucca Italy things to do that you shouldn’t forget when travelling to the region.
7Acquedotto del Nottolini
Aside from churches, another architectural structure that is a must-see is the Acquedetto del Nottolini. Initially built to carry water from the mountains into the city in the past and is designed with 400 arches made from stone and stretches for 3km, this place is now considered as one of the architectural wonders that you need to see in Lucca because of the surrounding landscape that will leave you in awe. And, of course, the wonderful structure is a sight to behold as well.
Aside from cathedrals, Lucca also has several historical towers and they are all interesting in their own ways. But among the many historical towers that the city has, the Guinigi Tower stands out more not just because of the stories that it has witnessed in the past but also because of its rooftop garden and design making it worthy of that spot in your Lucca Italy things to do list.
Created in the 14th century, this place boasts of a fantastic Gothic/Romanesque architecture featuring an expose brick design with series of arched windows. It also has a height of 45 meters that makes it able to dominate the skyline. In fact, it can be seen from many places within the city center.
In spite of its impressive height and design, what makes it notable, however, is its garden. Sitting at the very top of the tower, the garden has beautiful Holm Oak trees that has become an icon of the city and an atmosphere that is great if you want to escape from the hustle and bustle in the city even just for a while.
Just a short distance from the Piazza dell Anfiteatro, you’ll see Piazza Napoleone (also known as The Square of Napoleon) that is also worthy of that spot in your Lucca Italy things to do list. At first glance, it just look slike a mere park but take a look at the left hand side of the square and you can find the Ducale Palace that has an impressive front façade that is Instagram-worthy. In front of the palace, you’ll see an ornate statue of Maria Luisa framed by luscious trees. The place is also a stone throw away from the Giglio Theater, Prefettura Di Lucca, and Museo del Risorgimento. Visiting the Piazza Napoleone is like hitting multiple birds with one stone!
10Museum of Villa Mansi
Constructed during the 16th century by the wealthy Benedetti family, visiting the Museum of Villa Mansi is also one of the best Lucca Italy things to do that we can recommend. This is because, apart from what’s inside the museum, the villa alone has an interesting front façade that’s complete with an ornate staircase plus an arched portico. Its grounds are impressive as well. Here, you can get to see gorgeous flower arrangements, a series of marble statues, and a pond that are Instagram-worthy too. Totally a great way to spend an afternoon under the gorgeous Italian sun, right?
There are a lot of high-quality restaurants in Lucca too. Piazza dell Anfitetro alone has countless good restaurants. But there is one that stands out among many others and that is the Da Pasquale that is very popular among locals and tourists alike. While this place also serve delicious Italian dishes, the restaurant specializes in seafood dishes that are worth the buzz too. But what makes it frequented by many is not just the quality of the food and excellent selection of wines and other drinks that they serve. Their atmosphere and service makes people come back too. Definitely a nice place for an evening of fine dining after a long day of exploring the city, right?
Da Pasquale may have a wide selection of good wines but Vinni Liquori is worth talking about too. Vinni Liquori, like Da Pasquale, is a restaurant too. However, unlike the former, Vinni Liquori specializes in wines though its food is high-quality too. In fact, it has its own cellar beneath its dining area that is filled with different vintages. And if you’re lucky, you can have a few samples and even partake in a wine tasting session.
Of course, a trip to Lucca will not be complete without a visit to Pisa. It has a lot of beautiful structures and, of course, it is the home of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. Strike a pose for that Instagram photo and don’t miss a chance to add this to your Lucca Italy things to do list.
Also, you can enjoy visiting a series of interesting galleries and museums. In addition to that, you can explore magnificent cathedrals, the monumental cemetery, and the unfinished baptistery.