Lucca, one Toscana's most enchanting small towns, is surrounded entirely by 16th century walls (baluardi) of ancient stone, enclosing one of Italy's finest medieval treasures. Entering the city through St. Peter's Gate, is as heavenly as its name implies. Here you'll find well-preserved Romanesque churches and medieval towers, old grocery and pastry shops with delicious local specialties, bike paths to pedal down and tree-lined pathways to stroll.
Lucca is a city for walking. Unlike many cities where climbing hills is required, Lucca's flat landscape and narrow winding lanes create the perfect conditions for commuting by bicycle as many locals do, or to explore on foot. Its solid ramparts, once used for fortification and patrolled by soldiers, minimize traffic and are today landscaped encouraging people to walk or ride their bikes around the perimeter of the city, admiring the view.
A medieval treasure, it is home to chamber music, Romanesque churches, museums, monuments and the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini (in 1858), one of Italy's most famous operatic composers whose 15th century house which is now a museum, at Corte S. Lorenzo, 9 (via di Poggio) in Piazza della Cittadella, features a bronze statue of Puccini in the center. Medieval houses frame the square and low archways provide the gateways through which Roman gladiators would have emerged.
It is a city sprinkled with palazzi, towers and countless splendid churches like the churches of San Michele and the Duomo of San Martino, the Basilica of San Frediano, and the Museo Nazionale Guinigi. There's the Piazza Anfiteatro, built on the site of the Roman amphitheater where parts of the original can still be seen between the bustling pavement cafes. Torre Guinigi offers a magnificent view and is also a city symbol because of the tree planted at the top.
Lucca is a city rich in charm and history -- a city of yesterday to be enjoyed today.