Lucca, Italy: Top Sights and Attractions

Lucca, a top city to visit in Tuscany, holds many attractions for tourists. Its historic center, with medieval towers and nearly 100 churches, is completely enclosed by its walls and it's a good city for walking, biking, and shopping. Find a beautiful place to stay and explore all that Lucca, Italy has to offer.

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Lucca's Walls

Sunny daytime view of walls enmeshed with trees and grass enclosing the outskirts of Lucca, Italy.
Ian McKellar / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Via delle Mura Urbane, ., 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
+39 081 867 5234

The walls enclosing Lucca's historic center are some of the best preserved ramparts in Italy. You can walk clear around Lucca on top of the wall. In the 1800's, the top of the thick wall was planted with trees and grass turning it into a huge park and a pleasant place to walk or ride a bike. There are more than four kilometers of walls with six gates and eleven bastions.

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San Michele in Foro Church

Daytime exterior of San Michele in Foro Church, Lucca, Italy. Intricately carved white marble church with bell tower and angelic statues on its roof in the middle of a town square.

Peter Unger/Getty Images

Piazza San Michele, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
+39 0583 583150

San Michele Church is in the large square that was originally the Roman Forum in the center of Lucca. Today, it's still a lively square lined with medieval buildings housing cafes, shops, and homes. The square is a favorite place in Lucca to sit and have a coffee. The beautiful marble church, built from the 11th through 14th centuries, has a large Romanesque facade—larger, in fact, than the actual church. It's topped with a large statue of the archangel San Michele, or Saint Michael.

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San Martino Cathedral

Exterior of San Martino Cathedral, Lucca, Italy, within Piazza San Martino among medieval buildings. Large white marble cathedral with grand archways and a very tall bell tower.

Guido Tresoldi/Flickr/Public Domain

San Martino, Cathedral Rd, Gurranabraher, Cork, Ireland

Lucca's cathedral, dedicated to San Martino or Saint Martin, sits on Piazza San Martino surrounded by impressive medieval buildings. Originally built in the 12th to 13th centuries, it's Romanesque in style and has an intricately decorated marble facade. Next to the cathedral is its tall 13th-century bell tower and Casa dell'Opera del Duomo, a typical medieval house of Lucca. The interior is Gothic and holds many artworks, including the Volto Santo and the 15th-century tomb Ilaria del Carretto, a masterpiece by Jacopo della Quercia.

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Church and Baptistery of San Giovanni and Reparata

Daytime exterior of San Giovanni Church, Lucca, Italy. Large white marble church set within a town square with visitors milling around the entrance.

Gerry Labrijn/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Piazza San Giovanni, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
+39 0583 490530

San Giovanni Church was built in the 12th century and partially remodeled in the 17th, but still has some Romanesque features. Inside the church, you can go underground for a fascinating look at archaeological excavations dating from the first century BC through the 11th century AD including Roman remains, part of an early Christian church, and a medieval crypt. It's open daily from mid-March through November 2nd, and on weekends and holidays the rest of the year. Each evening at 7 PM the church holds a music performance.

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Piazza dell'Anfiteatro

Daytime in Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, Lucca, Italy. Large oval piazza with tables and chairs from surrounding restaurants, encircled with yellow buildings with green shutters.

Kevin Poh/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
Urban Parks

Piazza dell' Anfiteatro, an oval shaped piazza, was the site of a Roman amphitheater. Parts of the original oval ground-plan and outer ring of second-century construction can still be seen. Buildings and houses were built around the arena during the middle ages. The lively piazza is ringed with shops, cafes, and restaurants both inside and out. In July, it's the venue for open-air music performances.

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Guinigi Tower

View from above of Guinigi Tower in Lucca, Italy, surrounded by buildings with red terracotta roofs. The tower has a large oak tree growing on its very top.

pedrocaetano/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Torre Guinigi, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy

Climb the 130 stairs to the top of Guinigi Tower, one of Lucca's 14th-century towers, for fantastic views of Lucca. Guinigi Tower is on Via Guinigi, a well-preserved medieval street where you'll also find the Case dei Guinigi, a complex of 14th-century towers and brick houses. The Guinigi Tower can be identified from a distance by the large oak tree growing out of its top.

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Via Fillungo and Torre delle Ore

View from above of Torre delle Ore clock tower in Lucca, Italy, surrounded by buildings with red terracotta roofs. Trees and hills in the distance.

pedrocaetano/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Via Fillungo, 20, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
+39 0583 48090

Via Fillungo is a main shopping street in the historic center. Here you'll find all kinds of shops, from food and wine to clothing and household items. The street is mainly pedestrian and almost always full of people walking and shopping. Also on Via Fillungo is the Torre delle Ore, or clock tower—another medieval tower that you can climb.

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Historic and Artisan Shops

Outside of a shop in Lucca, Italy. Yellow building with a mannequin in the doorway displaying a yellow patterned dress, several terracotta pots and plants on the doorstep, with shelf and mirror out front.

Irene Grassi/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Lucca is a good city for shopping. There are many enticing shops for delicious foods, jewelry, and fashion, and several artisan workshops to visit in the historic center.

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Villa Guinigi National Museum

Exterior brick and marble archways of National Museum of Villa Guinigi, Lucca, Italy.

I, Sailko/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0

Via della Quarquonia, 4, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
+39 0583 496033

Villa Guinigi's museum, in a 15th-century villa near the east walls, has local artifacts and artworks from prehistoric times through the 17th century. There's a large collection of local Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance art including 15th-century wood inlays. Combination tickets are available for Villa Guinigi and the National Museum in Palazzo Mansi, near the west walls. Palazzo Mansi has paintings as well as the tapestries and frescoes of the 16th- through 19th-century palazzo itself. Palazzo Pfanner, with a costume collection and lovely gardens, is another palazzo that can be visited.

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Botanic Garden

Lush greenery and ponds at Lucca Botanic Garden, Lucca, Italy.

Olga Sytykh/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Lucca's botanic garden has a small lake with water plants, a collection of mountain plants, succulent display, greenhouses, and medicinal plants and herbs. It's a peaceful place to get away from the crowds. In summer, there are evening concerts scheduled, too.

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San Frediano Church

Daytime exterior of white marble San Frediano Church in Lucca, Italy, with large Byzantine religious mosaic at the top of its facade.

Richard Barrett-Small/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Piazza S. Frediano, 16, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy
+39 0583 430940

San Frediano's facade is decorated with a stunning 13th-century Byzantine-style mosaic. Made mostly with gold leaf mosaic that glow beautifully in the sunlight, there's also a little color to make the apostles and Christ stand out. The church was originally built in the 6th century, but remodeled in the 12th. Inside is a Romanesque baptismal font. There are also several art works and frescoes and the mummified body of The Incorruptible Santa Zita.

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Puccini House Museum

Interior of Puccini Museum in Lucca, Italy with piano, wooden and leather furniture, opulent wall drapings, and marble and gold leaf detailing on archways.

De Agostini/Archivio J. Lange/Getty Images

Viale Giacomo Puccini, 266, 55049 Torre del Lago Puccini LU, Italy
+39 0584 341445

Puccini, the famous opera composer, was born in Lucca and his home is now a museum with his piano, musical scores, and more Puccini memorabilia. You'll see a bronze statue of Puccini in the piazza bearing his name, a pleasant square with a few cafes and a restaurant.

Villas and Gardens in the Countryside of Lucca

Visiting the villas and gardens near Lucca is a good day trip that can be done either by bicycle or car.

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12 Reasons to Visit Lucca, Italy