Florence / Day Trips / Lucca (Italy)

Things to do in Lucca Italy - What to see?

Top 15 Lucca attractions, sightseeing & best places to visit in Lucca

Lucca italy

Lucca sightseeing Top 15: visit the most beautiful attractions, activities, must see and best things to do in Lucca Italy. What are the tourist attractions and places to visit in Lucca?

What to do in Lucca? - Top 15 Attractions & Sightseeing

The town of Lucca is the capital of the Lucca region and has almost 90,000 inhabitants. It is one of the richest cities in Italy, due to its convenient location between Pisa and Florence. Lucca also has a rich history. Presumably the city was founded by the Etruscans, but other theories claim that the city was founded by the Ligurians. Lucca has a rectangular street pattern that dates back to Roman times. The city walls of Lucca Italy are well preserved and are still used for city walks and bike rides.

LuccaThings to do in Lucca: visit the city walls
Lucca ItalyMust see: The cathedral in the center of Lucca (Italy)

Despite preserving the Roman street pattern, much has happened to the Tuscan city since the Roman occupation. For example, where the Roman forum once stood, the church San Michele in Foro has now been built. The forum is still the main square of the city. The Roman amphitheater that adorned the city has disappeared and has been filled with shops and restaurants. Nevertheless, Lucca Italy is well worth a visit with its many Art Nouveau shops, pleasant squares and many churches. Click on one of these highlights or must see sights for more information about these unique tourist attraction of Lucca Italy. What are the best things to do in Lucca?

15x Things to do in Lucca Italy


1. Visit Lucca's city walls

Lucca's city walls, like those of Pisa, are well preserved and allow you to make wonderful walks and bike rides. Characteristic of the city walls are the wide avenues of trees and the beautiful views over the city. The ramparts were built around 1500 and completed in 1645. At that time, the city walls were one of the most modern and advanced city walls of the time. When you are on the walls, you will certainly not have missed the open spaces in front of the walls. These open spaces are there for a purpose: at least the enemy could not hide in bushes during an attack. It was not until the nineteenth century that the walls were converted into a park.

Lucca Italy

2. Things to do: View from one of the towers

It sounds like a scene from Lord of the Rings, but in Lucca Italy you also have two well-known towers: the Torre Guinigi and the Torre delle Ore. The Guinigi tower is a 44 meter high tower, which you can climb via 230 steps (info and reservations). However, the climb is worth it, partly because of the beautiful frescoes that smile at you on your climb up. On the roof of the city's landmark built for the Guinigi family, you'll find lush flower beds and even a few holm oaks. The view is also beautiful, with a good view of Piazza Dell' Anfiteatro. The Torre delle Ore is a bell tower in the center of Lucca and is Lucca's largest tower. You can climb the tower, where you can see the mechanism of the clock. The clock tower has its own legend of a woman who sold her soul to the devil, but was captured by the devil when she tried to stop the clock's time.

Places to visit in Lucca

3. Must see: Duomo of Lucca

Lucca Cathedral is located on Piazza San Martino and is the main church of the Archdiocese of Lucca Italy. Construction began as early as 1060, but was not completed until 1241 after the richly decorated facades were completed. The west facade is by Da Como. It is striking that the cathedral was built later than the associated campanile from 1060, so that the facade often appears small and asymmetrical. On the main portals you will find statues of Nicola Pisano and Da Como. The facade is decorated with Romanesque statues and arches. Famous sights in the cathedral are: Ghirlandaio's Mary with Saints, the marble Tempietto of Civitali and the tomb of the young bride of Paolo Guinigi.

Lucca attractions

4. Piazza dell'Anfiteatro

The Piazza del Mercato is known to many tourists as Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. There used to be a Roman amphitheatre here, but most of the stones have been used to build the churches and palaces in Lucca. However, the arena-like shape has kept the square. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, the square was full of slums; now you will find shops and restaurants. The original passages in the four cardinal directions have been preserved, so you can still see through which gates the gladiators entered the battlefield.

Visit Lucca

5. San Michele in Foro

The church of San Michele in Foro was built on the main square of Lucca, where the Roman Forum used to be. The church has been here since 1070 and especially the facade attracts many tourists every year and is one of my favourite places to visit in Lucca. It took no less than two hundred years to complete it optimally, which ran out of money for the rest of the church. The consequence? The rest of the church is significantly smaller than the gigantic façade. The Archangel Michael stands outside the church and watches over this holy place. Inside, however, there are also a number of must-see sights. There are countless paintings, frescoes and sculptures to see, which deserve your attention. The highlight of the church is surely a terracotta statue of the Madonna and Child by Andrea della Robbia.

Lucca tourist attractions

6. Puccini Museum & Birthplace

The birthplace of the famous composer Puccini is also located in Lucca Italy. The fifteenth-century house is now a museum dedicated to Giacomo Puccini, who is known for his famous operas such as La Bohème. In the museum you will find portraits of the composer, but also things like the piano on which Puccini composed his last opera or the costume designs of his many operas. Also don't forget to take a picture at the statue of Puccini outside the house (website Puccini museum).

Tip for Puccini lovers: Would you rather listen to Puccini's operas? During high season there are daily performances in the San Giovanni Church (info and bookings).

what to do in lucca

7. Via Fillungo

Via Fillungo is Lucca's most famous shopping street, ending in Piazza Dell'Anfiteatro. In the north of the medieval shopping street you will find all kinds of art nouveau hardware stores. Halfway up the street you will also find a famous church: the San Cristoforo from the thirteenth century. In this church you can clearly see the influence that the Pisan architectural style had on the architectural style in Lucca with the serious, white facades and the many decorations, arcades and columns. On Via Fillungo you will also find old shops, where you can buy local products, and many cafes. You will also find a number of Palazzos on Via Fillungo, such as the Palazzo Mansi, a patrician house from the sixteenth century.

Attractions in Lucca Italy

8. Palazzo Pfanner

The Palazzo Pfanner is a palace with palace gardens in Lucca, Italy. Today, the palace has been converted into a museum with works of art and artifacts. The building dates from 1667 and is best known for the associated gardens dedicated to Juvarra, which were laid out in the eighteenth century. Characteristic of the gardens are the many baroque statues of the Roman gods and goddesses. Also famous is the beautiful staircase on the outside of the palace. The most famous salon contains frescoes by Scorsini and De Santi. You will also find a large collection of surgical instruments, collected by Dr. Pietro Pfanner (official website).

Lucca must see

9. San Frediano Basilica

The church of San Frediano is characterized by a very striking facade with a colorful thirteenth-century mosaic. The facade already gives you a warning of what you will find inside. In the church you will find a Romanesque, relief-rich baptismal font, frescoes by Aspertini, the altarpiece by Della Quercia and the Volto Santo. This relic of Lucca, translated as the Holy Face, is a dark image of a clothed man with a crown, nailed to the cross. According to Lucca's legend, the statue was made by Nicodemus, a Jewish leader.

Things to do in Lucca

10. Thing to do in Lucca: sightseeing by bike

If you come to Lucca by bike or if you want to rent a bike, you can't beat your luck. There are plenty of bicycle tours through Lucca and its surroundings: both organized and unorganized. Cycling in Lucca is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing ways to discover both the city and the surrounding area. There are more than twenty cycling routes that you can follow. One of the easiest things to do in Lucca, for example, is the bike ride over Lucca's city walls. However, you can also take your bike and cycle to the beach or to Pisa. Would you like a bike tour with a guide? Then have a look at this bike tour.

What to do in Lucca

11. What to see: Botanical Garden of Lucca

Lucca's botanical gardens are also a must-see highlight. It is an urban park managed by the municipality of Lucca. The garden was created in 1820 by the Duchess of Parma, Marie Louise. You will find a number of interesting plant species and the terrain is roughly divided into two parts. Part consists of the gardens with an orchard, pond and smaller plants. The second part consists of greenhouses, a botanical school and laboratories.

Lucca Italy

12. Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi

In the central 'shopping street' Via Fillungo you will find a number of Palazzos, such as the Palazzo Mansi, a patrician house from the sixteenth century. This Palazzo Mansi houses the Pinacoteca Nazionale, a national art museum that focuses on painters from the 14th to 18th centuries. Originally this was the noble residence of the Mansi family; relatively sober on the outside and a beautiful interior on the inside (website museum).

Lucca sightseeing

13. Piazza Napoleone

Also known as Piazza Napoleone, Piazza Grande is Lucca's largest square. It is the political center of the city. On the site of a medieval fortress called Fortezza Augusta, the Piazza Grande was built by order of Napoleon's sister Elisa Bonaparte. She wanted to do justice to the family name. There is no statue of Napoleon to be found, although this was intended. You will find a statue of Maria Luisa van Bourbon, the woman who had the parks built on the city walls. On the Piazza Grande you will find the Palazzo Ducale, which today has all kinds of functions and houses all kinds of organizations.

Places to Visit in Lucca

14. Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi

The Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi is housed in the fifteenth-century Renaissance villa built by Paolo Guinigi, the patriarch of the Guinigi family who ruled Lucca in the fifteenth century. In the gardens at the house you will find Romanesque statues of lions and Roman mosaics. On the first floor of the villa you will find architectural finds and statues. The ground floor contains paintings by local artists. In the museum you will also find church vestments, furniture and choir stalls from the Duomo (website museum).


15. Places to visit: Aqueduct

Just outside Lucca Italy you will find the famous Aqueduct of Nottolini in neoclassical style. The building was made in the nineteenth century and brought water from the mountains on the south side of the city to Lucca. The aqueduct consists of a stone canal about three kilometers long and consists of more than four hundred arches. The aqueduct is currently interrupted by the construction of the autostrada A11 from Florence to Pisa. The aqueduct is named after its architect Lorenzo Nottolini, who commissioned the construction of Maria Luisa of Spain, the Duchess of Lucca.

More things to do in Lucca Italy

In addition to the above tourist attractions ands must sees, you can take many fun Lucca activities, tours and excursions along highlights. A selection of the best activities and things to do in Lucca Italy:

Best hotels in Lucca

In and around the city of Lucca you have a wide choice of fantastic hotels and bed & breakfasts. Among the B&Bs in particular, there are some stunning locations that have received fantastic reviews. If you come by car, it may be cheaper to choose a stay just outside the city walls, so that you can park your car more easily (and often for free). However, in the old city center you will find some fantastic locations and historic buildings to spend the night. Our favorite hotels in Lucca Italy:

  • Palazzo Rocchi: This is a luxury guest house really in the heart of Lucca city centre. The hotel Palazzo Rocchi has large rooms which are absolutely furnished with great style.
  • La Bohème: Again an authentic B&B in a stylish building in the old city center. It has excellent reviews, is rated as very hospitable and has parking facilities.
  • Al Porto Di Lucca B&B: Just outside the city walls and close to the train station is this typical Tuscan house with a lovely garden. Also ideal if you come to Lucca by car or if you are looking for a base to discover the area.
  • Villa Lucrezia: This much loved B&B is also located just outside the city walls of Lucca. Private parking spaces, free bicycles to borrow and a beautiful authentic building make this one of the best places to stay in Lucca.
  • Palazzo Dipinto: This hotel is located in a beautifully renovated building, but with a modern decor. The luxury hotel has a perfect location in the old town and has received fantastic reviews.
  • Villa San Donato B&B: This villa is surrounded by a garden, just a 10-minute walk from the old town. The B&B is appreciated for its hospitable staff, good parking facilities and tastefully decorated rooms.
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Palazzo Rocchi
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La Bohème
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Best Hotels Lucca Italia
Al Porto Di Lucca B&B
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Hotels Lucca Italy
Lucca in Villa Lucrezia
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Lucca hotels
Palazzo Dipinto
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best hotel Lucca
Villa San Donato B&B
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Where are the sights in Lucca?

FAQ What to do in Lucca Italia - sights and attractions

What are the best things to do in Lucca?

In Lucca you will find many historical sights of which the city walls are the most striking appearance. In the skyline of the city, several towers stand out, such as the Torre Guinigi and the Torre delle Ore. The cathedral of Lucca in Piazza San Martino should not be missed during your visit, as well as the facade of the San Michele in Foro. Other attractions include the Puccini museum and Palazzo Pfanner. In this article you can read all about the places to visit and the Lucca tourist attractions.

What are the sights in Tuscany?

In Tuscany you will find a number of beautiful cities with a medieval character such as Siena, San Gimignano and Lucca. In addition, the Tuscan capital Florence should not be missed with its beautiful Duomo and the Uffizi museum. Furthermore, the Tower of Pisa will appeal to the imagination of many tourists. More info about Tuscany and the Florence area.

What are the sights in Florence?

Major attractions are the Duomo or Florence Cathedral, and the Uffizi Museum. Other places of interest are the Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria square, Palazzo Pitti with the Boboli Gardens, the Medici Chapels, the Galleria dell'Accademia, Piazzale Michelangelo and the Basilica di Santa Croce. In this article you can read all about the Top 25 Florence sights.

Where is Lucca located in Italy?

Lucca is located in the Italian region of Tuscany and in the province of the same name. The city is located 25 kilometers northeast of Pisa and 80 kilometers west of Florence.

Lucca attractions
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