Travel - One day in Lucca, Tuscany.

By Gem - 11:02:00

I can't believe my trip to Italy with my mates was over 4 months ago! You can read my first post about Italy which focussed on Pisa here - Pisa Photo Diary, but today I'll be sharing my experience of visiting Lucca.

It's easy to see why Lucca endears itself to pretty much everyone who stops to visit. It's hidden behind defensive walls and has charming cobbled streets and bustling piazzas. The city hasn't been involved in major conflict since 1430 so the walls are very well preserved, as are the many Romanesque churches in the city. It was also the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini.

It would be a great place to visit for the day if you are staying in near by Florence as the rail links to the city are excellent and pretty cheap. The city was a short 20 minute train ride from our base of Pisa which is served by budget airlines form the UK - this is a really easy to reach destination but feels much more relaxed and has a lot less tourists compared to Pisa and Florence.

The city is compact enough to be explored by foot and I highly recommend hiring a bike to cycle around the city walls for the best views of the city and the surrounding area - hiring a bike and speeding around the walls was my favourite part of the day.

a picture of the facade of Church of St. Michele in Foro

picture of the facade of Church of St. Michele in Foro

Lucca seems to have Romanesque churches on every corner constructed from white and grey marble in a similar style to Pisa’s duomo. The beautiful Church of St. Michele in Foro was built on the site of the Roman forum in the 11th and 12th centuries.

a picture of the cobbled streets of lucca

The anfiteatro is another of Lucca’s attractions and was built in the second century AD. Between 1830 and 1839 the buildings occupying the ancient arena were pulled down and the inner area became a piazza which is now filled with cafes and shops. We made a pit stop here for a huge gelato and coffee.

This is a picture of the anfiteatro in Lucca

Most of our day was spent wandering the pretty streets, sipping cocktails on the terrace of Caffetteria San Colombano (great salads and wine selection too) and racing around the wall on bikes. After a couple of days of walking for miles and cramming in the sights Lucca was a pleasant and tranquil retreat. I would love to return to Lucca for a long weekend foodie break. I didn't have time to try the local speciality - tortelli lucchese which is bright yellow pasta, stuffed with seasoned meat and topped with a ragù and a weekend sipping Aperol spritz in a sunny piazza sounds like my idea of heaven. 

this is a photo of the botanical garden in lucca

I think most people want to see want to see the “real, untouristy” side of Europe when they travel and I felt like Lucca got pretty close to that. 

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  1. Ah I've got Lucca on my list of places to visit. Can't wait to finally visit!
    A Story of a Girl

  2. What beautiful buildings, so ornate, this is somewhere I would definitely like to go and visit.

  3. My gosh the view is absolutely amazing! I have always wanted to visit and explore Tuscany ... I hope to be able to do so very soon. Thank you for this fab share.

  4. You've got some lovely photos of your visit, I've never heard of Lucca, but it sure does look pretty! x

    Liv //

  5. That gelato almost was enough for the cheetah and I to buy a airline ticket. Italy is such a wonderful looking country.

  6. Thanks - have now added Luca to my list of places to go.

  7. This place is beautiful and you captured beautiful pictures. I'm sure you enjoyed your trip. Spending it with good friends made it extra special.

  8. Wow I love all of your photos. This looks like such a nice place to visit. I'd love to go to Italy one day.

    Ami xxx

  9. This looks and sounds fabulous. How awesome. I have never been to Tuscany but it is on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing.


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