The heart of the Tuscan countryside hides ones of Italy’s best-kept secrets, the medieval town of Lucca. An old merchant city, Lucca is the only Tuscan town still surrounded by its original 16th-century walls and ramparts. Walking is the best way to see the city and its sights, which include a mixture of renaissance and medieval architecture. Most of the apartments and holiday homes around the area are contained with the city’s walls and if you’re staying close by to the San Martino cathedral, you’ll be right by the famous Volto Santo relic – a wooden figure of Christ. For the energetic traveller a hike up the 130-foot tower at the centre of the city will take you to the roots of an ancient oak tree that grows on the roof.
Apartments in Lucca
Visitors can choose from luxury accommodation in one of the hillside villas that lie outside of the city walls or authentic villas available in the old town.Tuscany’s sandy beaches are only an hour’s drive away from Lucca, and the town offers a slower pace of life than nearby Pisa or Florence. Self-catering accommodation is a great option when staying in Lucca. Local antique markets are a good place to head to after breakfast at your apartment, and after a long day of rummaging, you’ll be ready for pasta and sleep!
Rent a Tuscan apartment with Wimdu!
Regular visitors to Tuscany will be aware of its popularity and range of accommodation on offer. From luxury villas to comfortable self-catering holiday homes, visitors have a choice of places to stay. If you are planning a trip to Tuscany and have not yet organised your accommodation, why not rent a flat from a local Italian? With Wimdu this is exactly what you can do. Whether it’s a cheap couple of nights in a comfortable apartment or a luxury stay at a privately owned villa, Wimdu is the place to search for local apartments. You can book online, see who your host will be and get advice from previous visitors. Avoid the soggy pizza of the tourist traps and live like an Italian!
Fun Facts about Lucca
- The city of Lucca is most famous for its still beautifully preserved Renaissance-era city walls.
- Lucca was settled by the Etruscan people, who remained there until the Romans overtook in 180 BC.
- Lucca is one of the only cities in the region which kept its walls surrounding the old town in tact as the city expanded
Mauro Bolognini’s 1958 film
was set and filmed in Lucca.
- Lucca remained an independent republic for almost 500 years.
Things to See and Do
Tuscany is an Idyllic area of Italy, renowned for its authentic Roman beauty, thriving art scene, excellent wine and beautiful weather. If you want to experience Italy in the truest sense, then Lucca is the ideal place to go.
Wander the cobbled streets
Like any small town in Italy, and Tuscany in particular, Lucca is made up of a maze of beautiful stone streets, snaking their way to the town centre. Just taking the time to wander through the streets and to experience the atmosphere and architecture of an authentic Italian town, can make for a really lovely way to spend the afternoon.
Cattedrale di San Martino
The great Roman Cathedral, the Cattedrale di San Martino, is the city’s most important monument, magnificently showcasing the Lucca-Pisan style and standing proudly in town centre, looming above the villas and accommodation below. It is believed that the reliefs above the left doorway of the portico were crafted by Nicola Pisano. The church is most definitely worth a visit if you are interested in architecture from the Roman period.
Museo della Cattedrale
The Museo della Cattedrale, literally the ’Museum of the Cathedral is an understated little museum safeguarding gold and silver ornaments made to decorate the Cathedral. The collection is not huge, but very beautiful and being encased in the museum walls right next the Cathedral itself, is very poignant.
Lucca’s city wall is truly monumental. The wall was built around the old city in the early 16th Century and as a result of the long periods of peace the city has enjoyed over since, remains perfectly in tact. The wall itself is 4km long and over twelve metres tall and makes for a spectacular icon when viewed from above.
The Italians do Italian food like nobody else. The town of Lucca is home to over 10 truly great authentic Italian restaurants. The Piazza’s here are packed in the evenings, boasting a great atmosphere to accompany the delicious food and traditional decor. Tuscany is of course renowned for its excellent wines, so make sure to wash down your chestnut-flour ravioli or roast pork joint with a glass of Tuscan finest.
Getting around Lucca from your apartment is fairly straightforward - and pleasant. The town is small and can be easily navigated by foot or bicycle. Cars are banned in the city centre, which makes the level of noise pollution, well, non existent! When flying in to Lucca you will most likely fly into Florence. Lucca is on the Florence-Pisa Viareggio train line and trains run frequently in and out of Pisa.