Lucca is one of Tuscany's prime attractions. The intact 16th century wall that surrounds the historic center has kept out the modern industrial scourge that has made other towns rather ugly in parts.
Lucca is located in northern Tuscany in the historic Garfagnana territory.
The blue markers on our Lucca map show Lucca attractions found on our Italy Travel Video: A Morning in Lucca with a few recent additions. Mouse over the markers (or tap them on your mobile device) to see what they represent and get more information.
The video starts you off climbing to the top of an ancient tower to get the layout of medieval Lucca, then downing a special coffee drink from the evocative cafe, then having lunch at a great restaurant serving traditional food. And the restaurant is just down the street from Lucca's botanical gardens, if you fancy a stroll through some exotic plants.
Our Lucca Map shows the basics that the traveler needs when he or she first enters a city: a place to get an overview of the territory, a cafe and a restaurant, as well as a few of the attractions you might miss. In Lucca, after you've had your introduction, you'll be ready for the rest of the itinerary you've planned, or you get from the larger attractions already featured on the map that don't need a marker.
If you're arriving by train, note that Lucca's train station is just outside the walls on the south side of the city oval. It's an easy walk through the gates and into the city of Lucca.
Recommended Places to Stay in Lucca
Our Lucca hotel recommendations are based on the location to the attractions we've outlined in our video and the ratings of folks who've stayed at them.
Hotel Ilaria & Residenza dell'Alba is a highly rated hotel in the heart of Lucca.
B&B Antica Corte dei Principi is an inexpensive alternative in central Lucca.
Lucca is in the midst of a compelling rural area called the Garfagnana. Food is still produced by artisan food producers here, and the quality of it might astound you. So, a week spent discovering this hidden bit of Italy could make foodies and country folks very, very happy. VRBO lists over 1000 vacation rentals in the Lucca area, from the Garfagnana to the Serchio valley, cottages to villas.
If you have a car, drive north out of Lucca to Antica Locanda di Sesto dal 1368 and feast on chef Aurelio Barattini's dishes reflecting the Tuscan culinary tradition. Don't miss the Cinta Senese chop, simply grilled. If you have time after lunch, take a little drive out to stroll the gardens of Villa Oliva.
If you rent a place, don't want to cook, and would like to spend an evening talking with the natives, check out eating with home chefs in and around Lucca.
When you're in Lucca, be sure to try the area's favorite ravioli made from the leftover Sunday roast, Tordelli Lucchese.
Under the church of Saints Giovanni and Reparato you'll find rooms, a kiln and mosaics from the Roman and Paleochristian era to the high medieval.
Archaeological buffs will also like the Domus Romana, a Roman house in the center of Lucca discovered when the owner tried to dig a wine cellar. Address: Via Cesare Battisti 15, Lucca, Italy, marked on the map.
This is not the cathedral or Duomo of Lucca, but a basilica built in 795 over the ancient Roman Forum. It is the heart of the City of Lucca. This picture was taken during an evening festival. It's quite spectacular isn't it?
For another map of Lucca showing a walk around the historic center, see: Lucca Walking Tour Map.
If you happen to be in Lucca in mid-September, you will want to see the Luminiaria di Santa Croce di Lucca--our short video will give you the flavor of this medieval festival that lights Lucca in candlelight.
Where to go from Lucca? North to explore the Lunigiana and the town of Fivizzano, or west to Montecatini Terme. Close is Bagni di Lucca, the spa town. The walled town of Montecarlo is Lucca's wine supplier. Just outside of Lucca one can visit the Lucca historic villas.
You can make Lucca your hub for these fine Lucca Day Trips from Martha's Italy.