If you are tired of the massive crowds of Florence, regenerate yourselves with a trip to Lucca and discover its beauties with my private walking tour!
Tuscany is a region which recalls to our mind of art, rolling hills, wine and excellent food. There is a town beyond , Florence, Pisa and Siena which welcomes you in its pleasant and comfortable historic center. ‘Unforgettable’ is how visitors describe Lucca, its quiet streets and its ancient citywalls that are still there after 500 years! Our walking guided tour of Lucca will start exactly from the top of those charming Renaissance walls. After an introduction to the history of Lucca, let’s go down the steep steps of the walls to enter the heart of the town and meet a few churches chosen among the ‘a hundred churches’ someone says are situated in Lucca.
First of all we will see Saint Martin’s Duomo dedicated to pilgrims. Its altarpieces have been recently restaured with brilliant colours, one of them, maybe the most famous one, was painted by the great painter Jacopo Tintoretto who used perspective with a perfect 3D effect already in the XVIth century. Inside the Duomo the Renaissance style “Cappella del Volto Santo” and the funerary monument dedicated to a famous lady, Ilaria del Carretto, will give you an idea of Lucca masterpieces. We will go on up to San Michele in Foro Church that has an awesome inlaid marble façade, looking completely different from the gilded mosaic one of San Frediano Church.
The latter is interesting for its richly decorated interior and the story of one of the most beloved Saints of Lucca: Santa Zita. Lucca is the “town of music” too. Here Luigi Boccherini first and Giancomo Puccini later, were born.In fact, still today it is possible to hear their music in the air, sometimes played by the students of the Conservatory where Puccini studied. Our guided tour of Lucca has to include Amphitheater Square (Piazza Anfiteatro), a square which is 2000 years old! The shape of this peculiar square and the huge white stones and the brics still visible, will tell you about the past Roman settlement. Strolling through via Fillungo you will be tempted by excellent local shops, seducing you with vintage signs coming from the past and lovely cafés. Turning in one of the many allyways, the smell of baked “schiacciata”, pizza and “cecina” will strike your nose and lead you to picturesque bakeries.
In their shop windows they often displaythe local pastry, the so called “buccellato”, it is a sweet bread with raisins and a little anice. After our guided tour of Lucca visitors usually have the feeling to have visited a unique place, completely different from the more famous Florence and Rome. It’s not only its history that makes Lucca a seducing place, it is the calm and regenerative atmosphere that you will find here and that will conquer your hearts!