One of my best holidays ever was to the charming town of Lucca, Italy. This small Italian town is located on the northwest side of Italy, and serviced by the Pisa airport. It’s officially located in Tuscany, near the base of the Apuan Alps. I’d added in the side trip at the last minute, and am glad that I did so, as no trip would be complete without a visit to this historic town. I decided to visit for a weekend trip, though there ended up being a lot to interest me for an entire week.

lucca_church

The first item on my agenda was to sign up for an English-speaking tour. I learned how Lucca has a rich history. The town is still surrounded by its Renaissance-era walls, that remain well-preserved. This town is perfect for the Roman history buff. Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is an ancient Roman amphitheater. While much of it was in ruins, I could still see the basic shape of the theater. I also saw 12th century church ruins on my tour. The Saints Giovanni and Reparata cathedral was one of the first to be built in town. It’s amazing that there is still anything left to see today.

I also walked past several towers and villas from the 12th to 16th centuries that still remain today.

I saw many spectacular modern buildings. The San Martino Cathedral contains the sacred relic of Santo di Lucca, or Sacred Countenance. It’s worth a trip to see the architecture of this church, whether you’re Catholic, or not. There are plenty of other churches in town to see, including the Church of San Michele in Foro, and the Basilica of San Frediano.

My second day in town was spent resting, then heading out for a stroll. I decided to rent a car for one restful Sunday morning, and headed off to the beach. It’s only a half an hour’s drive away, so one can enjoy the beach every day, if they so chose.

LuccaOne great aspect of the town is that you can actually walk along Lucca’s walls. A pedestrian promenade has been well-maintained through the centuries. I spent a couple of hours checking out the sites from above, and taking a few photographs. The town used to have a parking lot surrounding the area, but that has since been removed. They encourage public transit here.
I found it easy to get to Lucca. Besides flying into the Pisa airport, you can take the train in from Pisa or Florence. The train station is so close that I decided to take a day trip to Florence, before returning to the Pisa airport for my flight home.

My trip to Lucca was my best holiday ever. I’m glad that I had the chance to add extra cities onto my Italian visit. There’s a lot of history in this town, and the architecture was amazing. For me, Lucca was a peaceful respite away from busy western cities, with its greenery amongst the ancient ruins.