If you look at Lucca from above it would appear as an island in the
fertile plain, surrounded by green trees. What you would also see
are the 16th century powerful walls (so immense they have a road running
along the top), which for centuries have protected Lucca's independence.
It is a large city with approximately 93,000 residents.
origins are Roman (Caesar, Pompey and Crassus met here to form the
First Triumvirate). During the 12th and 13th centuries, which mark
the height of the prosperity and political power of Lucca, there
was an intense architectonic activity. The main religious buildings
of the city, namely St Martin's Cathedral (founded in the
6th century and rebuilt between 1060 and 1070), San Giovanni, San
Michele in Foro and San Frediano, were built or completely restored
during this period. During the 15th and 16th centuries various monumental
palaces were built after the Florentine Renaissance patterns. A
good example of a 15th century townhouse is Casa Natale Di Puccini
One of the most interesting sights is the Roman
amphitheatre. The Botanical Garden, founded in 1820 is delightful.
Palazzo Pfanner houses a major collection of 17th & 18th century
costume. Palazzo Ducale is one of the liveliest places in Lucca
with the Teatro Giglio next door.
Lucca has barred all traffic from entering within
the city walls, instead the Lucchese have adopted cycling as their
preferred mode of transport. Visitors can hire bicycles at the tourist
The Feast of San Paolino is held in July in honour
of the city's patron saint. A crossbow contest in held in
the evening. A torchlight procession is held on September 13th to
honour the Feast of Santa Croce and a fair is held the following