Lucca, often addressed as the “Tuscan Open air museum”, has managed to remain a typical Italian town. Still in our days it is the local people who mark the picture of the city and to convey the impression of a peaceful and at the same time happy bustle. Motor cars have been almost completely banned from inside the city walls making it a real pleasure to stroll around.
- Lucca does not offer a great number of ”monumental” pieces of art;
Lucca is the pice of art; if you ask a local he will describe this in detail.
The “Volto Santo” (holy face) in the S. Martino cathedral, for many centuries an important stopover for pilgrims on their way to Rome. In any case Lucca has world fame for her city walls which already at the time of their construction in the 16th century must have been more impressive than any other. Today they have become a very well kept promenade of more than 4 km length, sidelined by huge plane trees thus making it an unforgettable experience to view down from there on the old palaces and churches, the charming gardens and hidden corners.
- Also unique are the old holly oaks sitting enthroned almost 50 m up high on top of one of the last typical Tuscan family towers.
From up here you can explore Lucca again with your eyes. Now a completely new perspective will be experienced: going beyond the roofs and uncountable church towers you will have a view on the charming hills of the Lucchesia and, in the distance, the rising mountains of the Garfagnana in the North and the Monte Pisano in the South – a truly unique panorama.
- One should not forget to mention the famous Lucchesian Villas with their beautiful gardens one can visit during summer.
Lucca is not just a charming town but at the same time an ideal starting point to explore all of Tuscany and to spend unforgettable holidays in the surrounding country houses or down town apartments.
LUCCA IS THE IDEAL POINT TO VISIT TUSCANY
Within 30 minutes by car you can reach the seaside or the outskirts of Florence, the pending tower at Pisa (Piazza dei Miracoli) as well as a number of renowned golf courses.
Pisa is the closest by airport used by many air lines now including Ryanair. A number of well known companies offer rental cars.
There are railway connections to Florence, Pisa, Viareggio and to the Garfagnana. The railway station is located in the south of the town, just outside the walls close to Porta S.Pietro. Busses (LAZZI) start from Piazzale Verdi (inside the walls, just passing through the Western gate Porta S.Anna) for example to Florence, Viareggio, Montecatini, Pistoia, Bagni di Lucca (Garfagnana).
Other busses (CLAP) go to the smaller places in the vicinity of Lucca. There are parking lots just outside the walls – electric busses (navette) starting from here to the centre. There is very limited parking area inside the walls next to the various gates.
INTERESTING EVENTS ARE FOR EXAMPLE
- Third weekend of any month huge antique market around S. Martino and adjacent streets.
- July/August Open Air Festivals with Puccini operas at Torre di Lago.
- In March world-renowned Camellia exposition. At the village of S.Andrea di Compito the private gardens of the villas are opened for visitors over the week ends. They all show camellia of different kinds; some of them are over a hundred years old.
- Market (only some food) every Wednesday and Saturday nowadays outside the walls close to the hospital. A busy place, the offer is of high variety and inexpensive – covering the spectrum from a button to domestic animals.
- Food market every morning (except Sunday) at a covered former cloister in Piazza del Carmine, in close vicinity of the Roman amphitheater.
DIFFERENT SEASONS IN LUCCA AREA
Lucca enjoys a rather maritime climate; summers are not too hot, winters relatively mild. In general terms Lucca is of interest at any season: charming already at springtime starting with the blossoming of the many mimosa trees in March marking the starting point of a luxuriant vegetation of flowers, bushes and trees.
- April often offers really warm days already. May shows off with its intensity of colors; now also the evenings start to be warm and agreeable giving way to the real terrace life.
- June is the peak: it is beautifully warm without getting too hot, the vegetation is still luxuriant, a month of abundance in any aspect.
- Now “full” summer starts – from July through August the time for the “siesta” has its right; the evenings are charmingly warm and one can enjoy late nights.
- September continues to offer all of that, but now people start again to be more active and enterprising.
- In October you can still go for a swim, but in the evening you might already prefer to sit in front of a friendly open fire place.
- November invites to museums.
- Over Christmas and New Year in many years you could have luncheon on a sunny terrace.