You are currently viewing Lucca in Italy: Fantastic sights & our tips

Lucca in Italy: Fantastic sights & our tips

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Italy

Lucca, you Jewel of Tuscany! The enchanting old town of Lucca is a small total work of art and to be honest: We are not surprised that Lucca is, in the eyes of many, the most beautiful city in Tuscany.

The medieval townscape is well preserved and so in Lucca you can stroll through picturesque alleys, over impressive squares and past beautiful sights. In short: If you want an Italian picture book town, you will love Lucca.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just planning a day trip or if you’re staying a few days in the area around Lucca on your road trip through Tuscany: In this blog article on our travel blog we’ll tell you everything that you need to know for your trip.

Of course, this includes the most impressive sights in Lucca, the greatest views, the best spots for the sunset and – last but not least – our culinary tips and hotel recommendations. Curtain up for our very personal Lucca travel guide.

1. Lucca at a glance: First travel tips & FAQs Where is Lucca & how do I get there? Lucca is located in inland Tuscany (more precisely in the north-west), just about 20 kilometers from the sea . For your orientation: Florence, the capital of Tuscany, is about an hour’s drive from Lucca. It is only half an hour to Pisa.

Those who arrive by plane usually land in Florence or Pisa. There are the two international airports in Tuscany, which are served by different airlines and departure airports.

You can search for cheap flights here: Skyscanner

You can then simply get one locally Rent a car and explore Tuscany with it. We always book our rental car through Sunny Cars.

If you are traveling by car (be it your own or a rental car) then bear in mind that cars in the old town of Lucca are de facto are not allowed. Many accommodations in the old town offer parking facilities. Here you have to use about 30 Euro per night. (We will tell you more about staying overnight and our hotel tips for Lucca at the end of the blog article.)

What can I do in Lucca? Stroll & enjoy Italian flair: For many, Lucca is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful, city in Tuscany. A charming, almost car-free old town awaits you within the historic city wall. Winding alleyways, impressive squares, imposing churches – you can look forward to all this and much more. Compared to Florence, Lucca is also pleasantly tranquil. Admire the city from above: With the striking, tree-covered Torre Guinigi, a wonderful vantage point awaits you. The bird’s-eye view of Lucca’s terracotta-colored rooftops is really worth seeing. Of course, we will introduce you to this and other vantage points in Lucca in more detail in this article. Excursions: Pisa with its famous Leaning Tower is only half an hour away by car. Or how about a detour to the Cinque Terre, the five magical villages on the Ligurian coast? Florence is also not far and can be reached in about 1.5 hours. Our detailed excursion tips can be found further down in this blog article.
Recommended tours in Lucca Would you like to make your time in Lucca a little more active? Then take a closer look at the following tours on GetYourGuide. Maybe there is something for you.

E-bike and wine tour through the countryside of Lucca

Very comfortable and recommendable tour along the city walls of Lucca or through the surrounding small villages. Afterwards there is a wine tasting at a winery. Aperitivo and Wine Tour of Lucca

Immerse yourself in the wonderful aperitivo culture of Italy, accompanied by a local. We recommend! How many nights should I plan for Lucca? The old town of Lucca is quite manageable . Many people therefore only visit Lucca as part of a day trip – like we did on our first trip to Tuscany, for example. In any case, it is theoretically possible to visit the most important sights of Lucca in a few hours.

On our last road trip through Tuscany we stayed two nights in Lucca and didn’t regret it for a second. Lucca is incredibly charming, especially in the evenings.

2. Sights in Lucca Piazza dell’Anfiteatro Lucca’s main square , the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, is quite a curiosity: It has the shape of an ellipse, i.e. it is oval-shaped. Why is that? Originally there was a Roman amphitheater here – hence the name.

Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is really beautiful and special. The pastel-colored houses in different shades of yellow give the square its very own charm.

On the edge of the piazza there are countless cafes and restaurants, all of which are quite touristy. But well, no wonder in this situation. Nevertheless, we enjoyed an aperitivo here in the evening. What a great vibe! (Personally, we would prefer to look elsewhere for food.)

The two most important towers in Lucca: Torre Guinigi & Torre delle Ore Of the formerly around 250 medieval towers in Lucca are unfortunately only a few preserved. The two most famous are the Torre Guinigi and the Torre delle Ore. Today they serve as viewpoints and give you a fantastic bird’s-eye view of Lucca.

Torre Guinigi If you see a terracotta tree-covered tower catches your eye, then you are correct! Seven centuries-old holm oaks are enthroned on the roof of the Torre Guinigi and give the tower its striking appearance. What an eye catcher.

Around the roof of 45 meters high Torre Guinigi must 230 Levels to be conquered. Once at the top, a fantastic, completely unobstructed view over Lucca in all directions awaits you. In addition, the ambience surrounded by trees is great here.

Our tip: If possible, we would recommend you to come before sunset. Unfortunately, this was not possible during our visit in October, as the tower closes again in the afternoon.

Price: 5 euros (combined ticket with Torre delle Ore 9 euros)

Opening times & further information: Torre Guinigi

Torre delle Ore The second well-known tower in Lucca that you can climb is the Torre delle Ore, i.e. the clock or bell tower. You can recognize it by the huge dial. He is with round 20 meters the tallest tower in Lucca. Here, too, you can look forward to a fantastic panoramic view.

Price: 5 euros (combined ticket with Torre Guinigi 9 euros)

Opening times & further information: Torre delle Ore

Cathedral of Lucca (Cathedral of San Martino) One of the must see in Lucca is the gigantic Cathedral of San Martino. With its asymmetrical, richly decorated facade and the gigantic bell tower, an architectural masterpiece awaits you here.

Of course you can also visit the Cathedral of Lucca from the inside. Inside it is kept rather simple and less opulent than one might expect from the outside.

Our personal highlight, however, is the view from the bell tower of the cathedral. What a lot of people don’t know is that it can be climbed. Because the two well-known observation towers in Lucca close early in the low season, we have found a more than worthy sunset spot up here at the bell tower. Woohoo!

It is important to know that photographs are unfortunately only possible to a limited extent due to the grid – before especially if you’re on the road with a single-lens reflex camera like we are. Nonetheless, we really enjoyed it.

Information on visiting the cathedral at a glance Price: Cathedral 3 euros, bell tower 3 euros
Opening times & more info: Lucca Cathedral (official website in English)

San Michele in Foro The second famous church Luc ca after the Cathedral is San Michele in Foro, which is located in the heart of Lucca’s old town. It comes from the 03. Century and is simply impressive to look at with its white, richly decorated facade.

The Church of San Michele in Foro stands on the square where the Roman forum once stood. Today are here at the eponymous Piazza San Michele some cafes and restaurants settled. In general, the piazza is well frequented at any time of the day and a meeting place for young and old.

You can also visit the inside of the church. (The entrance fee is free.) It’s fairly plain on the inside and definitely more imposing on the outside, in our opinion.

City walls of Lucca Quite impressive: The old town of Lucca is still completely surrounded by the historic city wall. It circles the center over a length of 4 kilometers. The origins of the city wall date back to the Middle Ages and was built in 16. and 17. Expanded in the 19th century as it is today.

What is special about the city walls, apart from their integrity? It is walkable. Or even more: To be more precise, you are almost in a kind of long park here. Locals use the tree-lined path for jogging or walking.

There are regular ascents and descents on the up to 12 meter high city wall, so that you can start the tour from practically any point in the old town. If you would like to move faster, you can also rent a bicycle.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy any real long-distance views of Lucca’s rooftop landscape from the city wall (It’s not high enough for that), but there are always nice views.

Palazzo Pfanner A somewhat hidden and not so well-known attraction in Lucca is located in the north of the old town. The Palazzo Pfanner and the associated gardens are a oasis of calm and quite an insider tip.

You can expect a beautifully landscaped garden, consisting of gravel paths, citrus trees, statues, benches to relax and a beautiful fountain in the center. However, the garden is not very spacious.

With the combination ticket you can also visit the associated palazzo and get a little insight into the historical premises.

Price: Garden and Palazzo 6,88 Euro, only garden or only palazzo 4 euros

Opening times and further information: Palazzo Pfanner

3. Excursions around Lucca Pisa The classic excursion destination around Lucca is Pisa. The famous Leaning Tower and thus one of the symbols of Tuscany is enthroned there.

You probably already guess what that means: The rush around the Leaning Tower is huge, especially in midsummer. During the day, thousands of people bustle about on the spacious Piazza dei Miracoli.

Pisa is of course much more than just the Leaning Tower. There are many other sights waiting for you in the university town, such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta or the Baptistery. Pisa is located on the banks of the Arno, so a walk along the riverbank should not be missed either.

Our conclusion: Personally, we find Pisa a little overrated , but of course it is impressive to see this world-famous building with your own eyes.

Arrival from Lucca From Lucca you can reach Pisa by car in just 30 minutes. Parking is possible in the paid parking lots outside the historic center. Alternatively, you can travel by train from Lucca to Pisa.

Cinque Terre
Hello Postcard motif! The Cinque Terre, i.e. those five colorful villages along the rugged Ligurian coast, are a very popular destination around Lucca. They are called (ordered from north to south):

Monterosso al MareVernazzaCornigliaManarolaRiomaggiore Because the villages are really tiny and very close together, you can theoretically visit all five villages on a day trip. Our personal favorite was Manarola, closely followed by Vernazza.

Important to know: Even if the photos sometimes suggest otherwise, the villages are incredibly well visited and anything but lonely. In any case, you should be prepared for many, many people.

Arrival from Lucca & local transport We recommend that you first drive to La Spezia (about 1 hour by car from Lucca) and from there to explore the Cinque Terre by train. Trains run regularly between the five villages. The travel time between the villages is only a few minutes.

You can find more information in our detailed blog article: Cinque Terre

4. Culinary tips for Lucca: Great cafés & restaurants Caffè Santa Zita: Art Nouveau flair in the middle of the old town. For a coffee break we can highly recommend this small, chic café. Inside, the ambiance is classic (hello time travel!), outside, in the square in front of the Basilica di San Frediano, the seating is very nice. Of particular note are the delicious dolci – each a small work of art.

Pizzeria da Felice: If you get hungry during the day and want to do the same as the locals, we can highly recommend this small pizzeria. The ambience is reminiscent of a fast food restaurant. (There are no real tables, you eat standing up or on the small benches.) Perfect for a slice of pizza in between!

Pizzeria Sud: We can recommend this great, very cozy pizzeria for the evening. It is located in the northern part of the old town and is always well attended. No wonder, because really delicious Neapolitan pizza is prepared here from the wood-fired oven. A reservation is advisable.

Osteria Nova: There is a touch of fine dining in this young, hip osteria. The quality of the food is high, but we found the vegetarian selection to be improved. Inside, the ambience with the high rooms is very elegant and special. When the weather is nice, you can also sit on the tables outside in front of the restaurant. Reservations recommended!

Caffè Santa ZitaCaffè Santa Zita Osteria NovaOsteria Nova 5. Staying the night in Lucca: Our accommodation tips Because we have been to Lucca several times and relatives even own a house there, we would like to introduce you to several accommodations. Depending on what you are looking for, you will find the right accommodation for you in our tips.

Option 1 : In a traditional agriturismo A so-called agriturismo describes a special type of accommodation in Italy. You spend the night here on a kind of estate or farm, so mostly more traditional or at least very personal.

The Agriturismo Al Podere Di Rosa is located about 5 minutes by car from the old town of Lucca – perfect if you are planning one or the other trip.

The rooms are traditional, but very comfortable. A disadvantage is the extreme clairaudience of the house, due to the historical walls. But the family is incredibly hospitable, the breakfast is very good and last but not least the price-performance ratio is great.

You can book accommodation here: Agriturismo Al Podere Di Rosa

Option 2: For families & larger groups You are looking for a special accommodation for the whole family? Then we can recommend the Casa San Quirico to you. Our relatives bought this historic house and renovated it with a lot of love and an incredible sense of aesthetics.

You stay here outside the center of Lucca, more specifically in the quiet district of Monte San Quirico with a distant view towards Lucca. So it’s perfect if you’re planning a few trips by car.

Here you can book the accommodation: Casa San Quirico

Option 3: In the old town of Lucca Would you like to go straight in in the historic center of Lucca? Then we recommend the small boutique hotel Il Pozzo di Santa Zita. It is just a stone’s throw away from the famous Piazza dell’Anfiteatro and therefore very central, but still quiet.

The entire house is incredibly tastefully furnished with an incredible love of detail. There’s every one Lots of extras such as a coffee machine in the room and last but not least very comfortable beds.

Our conclusion: A very special place to stay! If you want to stay in the center, you’ve come to the right place.

Here you can book the hotel: Il Pozzo di Santa Zita

6. Interactive map: All sights & tips at a glance Finally, we would like to show you all the sights and highlights in Lucca on this map. This allows you to navigate easily from A to B on site in Lucca. Our tip: Just click on the rectangle at the top right to open the map on your smartphone in the Google Maps app.

Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

Have you ever been to Lucca? Did you like this little town in Tuscany so much? Perhaps you have had special experiences that you would like to share with us? We look forward to your additional tips.