Lucca - charming jewel in Tuscany
Lucca is a city of quiet pleasures with the charm of the Tuscan countryside. This is a city where the shady streets open into tree lined squares and the waiters at the cafes recognise their frequent visitors. Noteworthy is the fact that the shops tend to sell less commercial goods and focus more on the symbolic nature of handmade crafts, unless you stumble upon Via Fillungo.
The location is perfect as Lucca is in the middle of Tuscany, Italy; full of art and history, with a strong personality and original character compared with the rest of the Tuscan region. The city downtown is surrounded by walls and full of medieval churches, ancient palaces, museums, towers. The surroundings are dotted with Renaissance and Baroque villas, small enchanting villages, hamlets, parks and evergreen paths.
Its maze of little streets and alleys brings many surprises from the wonderful artisan shops, galleries and stores to stunning architectural marvels to adore. The Via Fillungo is the major street through town, therefore useful in keeping track of where you are in the city. The Torre delle Ore happens to be on this street, where you can have priceless views of the city from the top of the tower. Also, not too far from there you can identify the Guinigi tower, with its large oak tree on the top. You can find the Case del Guinigi there, a complex of 14th century towers and brick houses. Spot the lovely buildings with vines serenading around them.
Walking around the city on the roman walls you will find the elderly playing a lively game of dominoes. Old-fashioned bicycles are the main mode of transportation in environmentally friendly Lucca. The path is flourished with countryside on the outskirts and small city life on the inside. It's a great way to stay in touch with nature whilst enjoying the beautiful sights, smells and sounds. The walls around Lucca are approximately 30 feet wide, complete with running and bike paths. For around 5€ an hour, you can rent a bike at any given point in the old city.
Given the size and dimension of Lucca, you will have time to visit the main sites in a day: Giacomo Puccini, Palazzo Pfanner and Piazza Anfiteatro are not to be missed. We love our food in Lucca and would recommend eating at 1) Antica Osteria at Via Santa Croce, 55 2) Osteria Da Rosolo at Corte Campana, 3 and 3) Dante Osteria Wine_Bar at Corte Campana as well. Order a lasagna with truffles at Antica Osteria, you will be glad you did! For night time, we recommend Antica Drogheria, it is perfect for an evening aperitif. When you stumble in, it's a classic sweet shop with candy and a selection of pastries. But find your self in the back where there is a bigger room, that is full of lively people enjoying a glass of wine or a cocktail in the evening.
For a unique sweet of the region, try buccellato which is the typical cake of Lucca. Also you cannot miss the focaccia, olive oil, the regional wine...and do not leave out the experience of getting to know Lucca with a ride around the city walls on a bike.