So you’ve been to Italy’s beautiful Florence, seen the great museums in Milan, and explored the historical structures at the capital city of Rome. You’ve already seen the ones that guide books and fellow travelers have recommended, and you’re now looking for new spots that would make you learn about the country more; places that are not usually mentioned in the first few pages of travel guides.
On the river Sercio, near the Tyrrhenian Sea lies Lucca, a city and commune in central Italy. This is a place where you would a history in the walls—quite literally. The medieval walls enclose the town centre, making it one of the most unique places in Italy one could ever visit. This place has been quite famous with many travelers, though not immediately recognized.
Situated at the foot of the Apuan Alps, The town (now a pedestrian promenade lined with trees and grass) is lined with 16th century walls, and you will still have the privilege of seeing them today. This is an ancient town of Etruria, and though many walls in different Tuscan towns have been destroyed in the past decades, the ones in Lucca have been excellently preseved, that’s why visitors of Tuscany make sure to visit this place, even for just a daytrip. If you have time to go around this smaller part of the country, we assure you that it will be worth it.
This town is also known for its impressive medieval and Renaissance architecture, and you’re sure to find them in all corners of the town. Though some parts of it are already lined with modernity, you will still see the memories of the old Lucca.
The other historical landmarks in Lucca are:
Churches - Italy has always been known for its beautiful, well-preserved churches, and Lucca has its share of these places of worship. When you’re visiting, you can devote a day to going around and admiring the churches and cathedrals, and also learn about the city as you see them. The ones that you must not miss are the San Martino cathedral (where you’ll find the relic of Sacred Countenance), the Church of San Michele at the Piazza of San Michele, and the the Romanesque church of Basilica of San Frediano.
Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro – This oval-shaped piazza used to be a grand Roman amphitheatre. It is now home to nice little cafes and restaurants, but you will still get the feel and look of the old piazza. This is also the spot for performances, so both days and nights here will guarantee a great time to all visitors.
source: by Nickbert from panoramio.com
Guinigi Tower - it is not difficult to spot this brick tower, as it stands above the structures and is topped by a trees (more of a garden, really). This important landmark belongs to the Guinigi, a family of merchants. When you visit this structure (which has been donated by the family to the government), you will learn that how Gothic nobility looked like. This is considered as the most imoportant tower in Lucca, so make sure you won’t miss this one.
Giacomo Puccini’s House – Giacomo Puccini, the famous Italian composer, lived in Lucca from 1858 to 1924. If you’re a music fan and interested in seeing the house where this talented composer grew up, you must visit this house. His home at Corte San Lorenzo at Lucca is where visitors will see some of his drafts, insrtruments, and other musical materials.
There is something about ancient walls and structures that makes people think and be amazed at the same time. Do you have your own favorite towns or cities that have the same? What smaller places in Italy would you recommend to fellow travelers? The big attractions definitely deserve a visit, but the smaller ones have something special in them, and they sure have unique qualities that make them extra special and worth visiting.