Silk, Wealth, and Liberty
Hidden behind imposing Renaissance walls, Lucca is one the most charming cities in Northern Tuscany.
Founded by the Romans in 180 B. C. , Lucca had already acquired an enormous wealth by the late Middle Ages thanks to silk manufacturing and trade with the whole of Europe. An independent city state for centuries, it offers perfectly preserved Romanesque churches and historic buildings, narrow lanes, large and minute squares, ideal for a coffee break.
Today Lucca wears its past lightly and is a busy, reserved, and elegant town where everybody rides a bicycle -owned or rented- everywhere.
An open-air museum and a little shopping paradise!
The standard half-day tour is either a walking or a bike tour. Bikes can be rented everywhere. As Lucca is totally flat, the walking tour is suitable for people of all ages, including people in wheelchairs.
The tour includes an introduction covering Lucca's history, past and present economy. The main sites are: the city wall, San Paolino street, Puccini's birth place (exterior only), the dazzling church of San Michele with its wedding-cake façade, the imposing Piazza Napoleone and nearby Piazza del Giglio, the Romanesque cathedral housing the famous Volto Santo, a wooden crucifix supposedly made on the night when Jesus died.
We walk along the busy Via Fillungo, the poshest street in town flanked by stunning medieval buildings and towers, including the tree-topped Torre Guinigi. The tour ends at Piazza Anfiteatro, the miniature Coliseum converted centuries ago into a condominium. Seeing is believing
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: A favourite meeting place is in front of the Tourist Office at Piazzale Verdi but I can meet you at your hotel if you are staying in town, or at the railway station if you are arriving by train. I will have a sign, don't worry.
Meeting time to be agreed a few days prior to the tour.
End location: I normally finish my half-day tour at Piazza Anfiteatro where clients love to rest their tired feet at one of the many open-air cafès. The tempting shops are just round the corner from there. Museums aren't far either.
p.s. You will be given a map of Lucca on arrival.
Duration: 3 hours
Tours take place rain or shine!
This is either a walking or a cycling tour
Estimated Local Cash Needed
50 euros - It is always a good idea to carry some local cash with you that you should buy in your own country. Let's say 50 euros per person is reasonable. Bank fees and bureaucracy in Italy are ridiculous. Most shops and restaurants accept credit cards, but smaller shops, cafès and very often taxis are cash only
I do not have a commercial driver's licence, so I cannot drive during tours. Lucca is totally flat, so we normally walk or rent a bike when in town, but we can have a professional driver to take us around to the different destinations
A Recent Review of this tour
Read More Reviews For This Tour
Wanda gives a great tour of the art, architecture, and soul of Lucca. She can explain all the historical nuances of this charming Tuscan town and point out the best gelato places. We did not have time in our three hour tour to do villas, gardens, olive oil or wine which we will do next time.