Lucca, Italy

Lucca Italy, located just 39 miles from the beautiful city of Florence, visitors approaching the Roman era city are greeted by the massive original stone walls that surround it. The walls were built in the 16th century to defend the inhabitants of Lucca. Although no longer used for defense, the walls are still very much a part of Lucca. Now, rather than armed soldiers watching over the city, cyclists, tourists and locals alike enjoy the lovely view.

The Tuscany region of Italy is well known for its fine wines, art, and delectable cuisine. The rich history and culture of the region is apparent nearly everywhere you look, but nowhere else in Tuscany offers visitors the opportunity to stroll through a more authentic Medieval setting than Lucca.

Inside the city walls there are a number of sites that should not be missed such as the Guinigi Tower. This impressive 130 foot tower was built in the 13th century by the Guinigi family as a symbol of their status as one of the wealthiest merchant families in the area. Even today, the tower retains its original Medieval architecture, adorned with the family coat of arms, decorative plaques and cornices. Atop the tower visitors will have a magnificent view of the city that can be enjoyed in the shade of the mighty oak trees growing there.

The Lucca Cathedral traces its origins to the 6th century, but the structure seen today was completed in 1204, replacing the cathedral of Santa Reparata. Inside the cathedral are many beautiful paintings and the famous sculpture of St. Martin with the Poor Man dating back to the late 15th century.

The Piazza del Anfiteatro is a symbol of Lucca’s past and present, having been the hub of activity in this picturesque Roman town for two millennia. Construction of the Lucca Ampitheatre began under Emperor Claudius in the 1st century AD, and was completed in the Flavian period. Although most of the original amphitheatre is now two meters below ground, some of the original vaults and arches remain visible around the square that is now the central shopping area of Lucca.

While in Lucca, be sure to try the local gastronomical fare. Visitors can sample traditional peasant dishes such as cheese, tomato and herb stuffed pasta, simple but delicious soups made with locally grown ingredients and for the adventurous, exotic favorites such as roasted kid and cold rabbit salad are also available.



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