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—  Comune  —
Comune di Lucca
Panorama of Lucca

Coat of arms
Lucca is located in Italy
Location of Lucca in Italy
Coordinates: 43°51′N 10°30′E / 43.85°N 10.5°E / 43.85; 10.5Coordinates: 43°51′N 10°30′E / 43.85°N 10.5°E / 43.85; 10.5
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Lucca (LU)
Frazioni see list
 - Mayor Mauro Favilla (since June 11, 2007)
 - Total 185.5 km2 (71.6 sq mi)
Elevation 19 m (62 ft)
Population (30 April 2009)
 - Total 84,323
 Density 454.6/km2 (1,177.3/sq mi)
 - Demonym Lucchese (Italian: Lucchesi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 55100
Dialing code 0583
Patron saint St. Paulinus
Saint day July 12
Website Official website

Lucca About this sound listen is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plain near (but not on) the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca. Among other reasons, it is famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls.




Ancient and medieval city

Lucca was founded by the Etruscans (there are traces of a pre-existing Ligurian settlement) and became a Roman colony in 180 BC. The rectangular grid of its historical centre preserves the Roman street plan, and the Piazza San Michele occupies the site of the ancient forum. Traces of the amphitheatre can still be seen in the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. Lucca was the site of a conference in 56 BC which reaffirmed the superiority of the Roman First Triumvirate.

Piazza Anfiteatro and Basilica di San Frediano.

Frediano, an Irish monk, was bishop of Lucca in the early 5th century.[1] At one point, Lucca was plundered by Odoacer, the first Germanic King of Italy. Lucca was an important city and fortress even in the 6th century, when Narses besieged it for several months in 553. Under the Lombards, it was the seat of a duke who minted his own coins. The Holy Face of Lucca (or Volto Santo), a major relic supposedly carved by Nicodemus, arrived in 742. It became prosperous through the silk trade that began in the 11th century, and came to rival the silks of Byzantium. During the 10-11th centuries Lucca was the capital of the feudal margraviate of Tuscany, more or less independent but owing nominal allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor.

After the death of Matilda of Tuscany, the city began to constitute itself an independent commune, with a charter in 1160. For almost 500 years, Lucca remained an independent republic. There were many minor provinces in the region between southern Liguria and northern Tuscany dominated by the Malaspina; Tuscany in this time was a part of feudal Europe. Dante’s Divine Comedy includes many references to the great feudal families who had huge jurisdictions with administrative and judicial rights. Dante spent some of his exile in Lucca.

In 1273 and again in 1277 Lucca was ruled by a Guelph capitano del popolo (captain of the people) named Luchetto Gattilusio. In 1314, internal discord allowed Uguccione della Faggiuola of Pisa to make himself lord of Lucca. The Lucchesi expelled him two years later, and handed over the city to another condottiere Castruccio Castracani, under whose rule it became a leading state in central Italy. Lucca rivalled Florence until Castracani's death in 1328. On 22 and 23 September 1325, in the battle of Altopascio, Castracani defeated Florence's Guelphs. For this he was nominated by Louis IV the Bavarian to become duke of Lucca. Castracani's tomb is in the church of San Francesco. His biography is Machiavelli's third famous book on political rule. In 1408, Lucca hosted the convocation intended to end the schism in the papacy. Occupied by the troops of Louis of Bavaria, the city was sold to a rich Genoese, Gherardino Spinola, then seized by John, king of Bohemia. Pawned to the Rossi of Parma, by them it was ceded to Martino della Scala of Verona, sold to the Florentines, surrendered to the Pisans, and then nominally liberated by the emperor Charles IV and governed by his vicar. Lucca managed, at first as a democracy, and after 1628 as an oligarchy, to maintain its independence alongside of Venice and Genoa, and painted the word Libertas on its banner until the French Revolution in 1789.[2]

Republic of Lucca and Napoleon's takeover

Palazzo Pfanner, garden view.

Lucca was the second largest Italian city state (after Venice) with a republican constitution ("comune") to remain independent over the centuries.

In 1805, Lucca was taken over by Napoleon, who put his sister Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi in charge as "Queen of Etruria".

After 1815 it became a Bourbon-Parma duchy, then part of Tuscany in 1847 and finally part of the Italian State.


The municipal territory of Lucca includes eighty-one “Frazioni”:

  • Antraccoli
  • Aquilea
  • Arancio
  • Arliano
  • Arsina
  • Balbano
  • Capannori
  • Cappella
  • Carignano
  • Castagnori
  • Castiglioncello
  • Cerasomma
  • Chiatri
  • Ciciana
  • Deccio di Brancoli
  • Fagnano
  • Farneta
  • Gattaiola
  • Gignano di Brancoli
  • Maggiano
  • Massa Pisana
  • Mastiano
  • Meati
  • Monte San Quirico
  • Montuolo
  • Mutigliano
  • Mugnano
  • Nave
  • Nozzano
  • Nozzano San Pietro
  • Nozzano Vecchia
  • Ombreglio di Brancoli
  • Palmata
  • Piaggione
  • Piazza di Brancoli
  • Piazzano
  • Picciorana
  • Pieve di Brancoli
  • Pieve Santo Stefano
  • Ponte a Moriano
  • Ponte del Giglio
  • Ponte San Pietro
  • Pontetetto
  • Saltocchio
  • San Cassiano a Vico
  • San Cassano di Moriano
  • San Concordio di Moriano
  • San Donato
  • San Filippo
  • San Gimignano
  • San Giusto di Brancoli
  • San Lorenzo a Vaccoli
  • San Lorenzo di Moriano
  • San Macario in monte
  • San Macario in piano
  • San Michele di Moriano
  • San Michele in Escheto
  • San Pancazio
  • San Pietro a Vico
  • San Quirico in Moriano
  • San Vito
  • Sant'Alessio
  • Sant'Angelo in Campo
  • Sant'Ilario di Brancoli
  • Santa Maria a Colle
  • Santa Maria del Giudice
  • Santissima Annunziata
  • Santo Stefano di Moriano
  • Sesto di Moriano
  • Sorbano del Giudice
  • Sorbano del Vescovo
  • Stabbiano
  • Tempagnano di Lunata
  • Torre alla Maddalena
  • Torre Alta
  • Tramonte
  • Tramonte di Brancoli
  • Vallebuia
  • Vecoli
  • Vicopelago
  • Vinchiana

Main sights

Duomo di San Martino (the Cathedral).
Autumn in Lucca.

The walls around the old town remained intact as the city expanded and modernized, unusual for cities in the region. As the walls lost their military importance, they became a pedestrian promenade which encircled the old town, although they were used for a number of years in the 20th century for racing cars. They are still fully intact today; each of the four principal sides is lined with a different tree species.

The Academy of Sciences (1584) is the most famous of several academies and libraries.

The Casa di Puccini is open to the public. At nearby Torre del Lago there is a Puccini opera festival every year in July/August. Puccini had a house there.

There are many richly built medieval basilica-form churches in Lucca with rich arcaded facades and campaniles, a few as old as the 8th century.

  • Piazza dell'Anfiteatro
  • Piazzale Verdi
  • Piazza Napoleone
  • Piazza San Michele
A close up of the front facade of the San Michele in Foro.
  • Duomo di San Martino (St Martin's Cathedral)
  • The Ducal Palace (The original project was begun by Bartolomeo Ammannati in 1577–1582, and continued by Filippo Juvarra in the 18th century.)
  • The ancient Roman amphitheatre
  • Church of San Michele in Foro
  • Basilica di San Frediano
  • Torre delle ore ("The Clock Tower")
  • Casa and Torre Guinigi
  • Museo Nazionale Guinigi
  • Museo e Pinacoteca Nazionale
  • Orto Botanico Comunale di Lucca, a botanical garden dating from 1820
  • Palazzo Pfanner
  • Villa Garzoni, noted for its water gardens.
  • Church of San Giorgio in the locality of Brancoli, built in the late 12th century. It has a nave and two aisles with a single apse, and a bell tower in Lombard-Romanesque style ranked amongst the most beautiful in northern Italy. The interior houses a massive ambo (1194) with four columns mounted on notable sculptures of lions. Also having notable medieval decoration is the octagonal baptismal font. The altar is supported by six small columns with human figures
  • Passeggiata Mura Urbane (which is a street all over the city on the bastions, and which pass from these balconies: Santa Croce, San Frediano, San Martino, San Pietro/Battisti, San Salvatore, La Libertà/Cairoli, San Regolo, San Colombano, Santa Maria, San Paolino/Catalani, and San Donato; also pass over these gates: Porta San Donato, Porta Santa Maria, Porta San Jocopo, Porta Elisa, Porta San Pietro, and Porta Sant' Anna.)
  • The fortified city is surround by the streets of: Piazzale Boccherini, Viale Lazzaro Papi, Viale Carlo Del Prete, Piazzale Martiri della Libertà, Via Batoni, Viale Agostino Marti, Viale G. Marconi, Piazza Don A. Mei, Viale Pacini, Viale Giusti, Piazza Curtatone, Piazzale Ricasoli, Viale Ricasoli, Piazza Risorgimento and Viale Giosuè Carducci.


Lucca is the birthplace of composers Giacomo Puccini (La Bohème and Madama Butterfly), Nicalao Dorati, Francesco Geminiani, Gioseffo Guami, Luigi Boccherini, and Alfredo Catalani. It is also the birthplace of Bruno Menconi and artist Benedetto Brandimarte.

Lucca annually hosts the Lucca Summer Festival. The 2006 edition saw Eric Clapton, Placebo, Massive Attack, Roger Waters, Tracy Chapman and Santana play live in the Piazza Napoleone.

Lucca also hosts the annual Lucca Comics and Games festival, Italy's largest festival for comics and related subjects.

Lucca, Piazza Anfiteatro

See also

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Lucca is twinned with:

Notable people


  1. ^ See article on Basilica di San Frediano.
  2. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911)

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

St Martin's Cathedral, Lucca
St Martin's Cathedral, Lucca

Lucca is a city of some 90,000 people in Tuscany. Its long history goes back to Etruscan and Ancient Roman times, and the city retains pieces of Ancient architecture. Lucca's great era was in the Gothic era just before the Renaissance, and the city contains much marvelous architecture from that era. Lucca remained an independent city state until the end of the 18th century. Giacomo Puccini, one of italian worldwide known opera composers, was born in Lucca.

The area of most interest to visitors is still enclosed within the old city defensive wall. The top of these broad walls is a ring park, a pleasant place for walking.

Get in

Rail and road links provide easy access from nearby Pisa and Florence.

By plane

Pisa International Airport has a rail station attached, and is only a 20 minute train ride from Lucca.

Flights from most large cities are available daily, and from Hub airports (such as Stansted) as many as three times a day. Two terminals exist, with the latest being added late 2008.

Car hire is available from all the major providers. You can find the airports site here [1].

By train

The railroad station is just outside the old town walls. Luggage lockers are available, from the tourist information office just across the road from the station at the price of €1.50 per hour. There are no direct trains from Pisa airport to Lucca, so a transfer is required in Pisa central station.

By bus

There is a bus that travels directly from Pisa Airport to Piazzale Verdi in Lucca.

You get the bus just outside the arrivals hall of the airport (buy your tickets beforehand at the ticket kiosk within the arrivals hall). The fare is cheap at about €4.

The bus ride is a scenic, pleasant fifty minute ride to Piazzale Verdi, which is inside the walls.

By car

Driving inside the walls is mostly reserved to residents, so park your car (there are car parks outside the walls and a couple inside, accessible by non-residents) and rent a bike. Several bicycle rental locations can be found near the North entrance to the city, Porta Santa Maria, near Porta San Pietro and walking from Porta Elisa towards the center. It is not a large city within the walls, so you may find it more enjoyable to simply walk around.

The city has many car parks located outside the wall, the largest two are on the North and South side. The A11 (E76) Runs from the coastal A12(E80) Autostrada across towards Firenze.

  • Roman amphitheater - To be found off the Via Fillungo, main entrance by Piazza Scarpellini.
  • Old city walls
  • Ilaria del Carretto's Sarcophagus - By Jacopo della Quercia
  • Torre Guinigi - this is a tower with trees atop it, a very dramatic sight, with good views of the city. No lift, many stairs.
  • Torre delle Ore - ancient clock tower with original clock still working; is it possible to go upstairs on this tower too (beautiful view on the city, good perspective of Fillungo street).
  • Saint Michael's Church - Located in center of the Roman Forum
  • Saint Frediano's Church
  • Via Fillungo Main street full of shops and bars.
  • Duomo di San Martino, Piazza di San Martino. Romanesque cathedral dating to 14th century. Includes a sculpture of the crucifixion attributed to an eyewitness, Nicodemus. Some interesting carvings in the marble exterior, including a labyrinth.  edit
  • Palazzo Pfanner, Via degli Asili, 340 923 30 85. Preserved rooms formerly inhabited by the Pfanner family, as well as a pleasant garden. Also on display, some 19th century medical equipment. 4 €.  edit


Lucca has many old churches, some of which now house art galleries. See art museum. This was the hometown of Puccini, and operas are held regularly. Be sure to come by during the summer months, as the area is regularly dotted with Puccini festivals, hosting a variety of young opera singers from across Europe and North America.

  • City Walls. One can walk or cycle on top of the ancient city walls. The entire perimeter is approximately 4 km. This gives a good introduction to the city layout. Expect crowds in the summer months.  edit

Compared to Florence or Siena, there is relatively little late night activity on the streets of old Lucca. The San Colombano, on top of the walls, overlooking the train station, the Betty Blue (near piazza Santa Maria), the Rewine near San Michele and the Cupido and McCulloughs, outside the walls near the station are some of the bars open late, especially in the summer.

Most locals tend to make the short trip to Viareggio on the coast, which offers a far better selection of clubs, such as 7 Apples and La Canniccia

During the summer festival (usually around July) you can expect big name artists to performing on a stage set up in one of the main squares.


For those wishing to learn Italian in an immersive setting, Koinè Centro offers 2-week sessions for beginners and advanced alike. See: [2] for more information.


The main shopping street is Via Fillungo which runs roughly north/south through the centre of the city. It has a mix of high to mid-range shops selling a range of Italian designer labels such as Missoni, Armani, Max Mara, etc.

  • Enoteca Vanni, Piazza del Salvatore 7, 039 0583 491902 (), [3]. closed Sundays?. A decent wine and liquor store. One could spend some time poking around the four cellar rooms.  edit


Only in Lucca you can find a special Sweet-bread in shape of a small baguette or a bun. It's called "Buccellato" and it has raisins inside and has a unique taste of anise. You can find it in a small shop called Taddeucci, behind Saint Michael's church in the main square of Lucca

  • Trattoria da Leo, Via Tegrimi 1, 0583 492236. Fairly typical Tuscan cuisine with some Luccan touches (e.g. pine nuts). The menu is only in Italian (a good sign). Vegetarian friendly. Reservations are a good idea or arrive around 7:00. An excellent meal for the price.  edit
  • Pizzeria La Bersagliera, Via Pisana 2136, 0583510758. If you happen to have a car, do check out this pizzeria, just ten minutes drive outside of town, it's worth. The owners come from Calabria, so you are likely to find all kinds of spicy salami, olives, mushrooms on top of your pizza. A different meal, served by distracted waitresses. Beware: You can't have your espresso coffee there. Being asked for coffees, the old owner – I don't think she's still around – used to reply: "Yeah, go get that at La Cubana", which is a bar downtown. Oh, and you can't make reservations: Be there by 7PM.  edit
  • Forno a vapore Amedeo Giusti, Via Santa Lucia 18/20, 0583 496285. Strolling along the Torre Guinigi (the one with trees on top), you'll probably sniff some irresistible oily and flory smell. It's called focaccia, the Lucchese idea of a snack.  edit
  • Locanda Eremo del Gusto Via Gelli 35/37 - 55012 - Petrognano - Capannori - LU - +39.0583.978012 The restaurant of the Locanda eremo del Gusto lies at the ground floor of typical stone countryhouse, in a long a narrow long room painted with relaxing colours. A nice Veranda-bright during the day, green and fascinating in the evening- with large windows overlooking the countryside of Lucca. It accomodates 40 people.There is a small privè at the first floor which can be used for romantic or business dinners up to 6 people. The wonderful and panoramic terrace is now under preparation. It will host up to 40 people and it will be provided with a large area for smoker people. The terrace looks as the ancient medieval spotting towers which can bee seen all around Lucca area, in order to enjoy and discover villages, woods and paths.. At night, you will just have to look up at the stars in order to relax and feel like you are in most beautiful place in the world.


It is safe to drink the water that comes out of the public fountains. Many locals fill gallon jugs and it is their primary source of drinking water. It is delicious and quite refreshing. In fact, it taste better than most bottled water.

The digestive tonic China Massagli ( is produced at the Farmacia Massagli in Lucca. This is an eminent example of the "china" style of amaro (Italian potable bitters). If you ask for an "amaro locale" at a restaurant, this is likely what you will receive.

"Biadina" is another local style of bitters, bottled by Massagli and other producers; this drink is often sold with a small pack of pine nuts.


Accommodations are plentiful, and cheaper than in Florence or Siena. The best stay is at San Giuliano Terme (health giving waters are still offered to an international clientele) on the road which runs along the foot of the hills from Pisa to Lucca.

  • Youth Hostel, Via della Cavallerizza, 55100, Lucca, +39 0583 469957 (), [4]. The Youth Hostel is located inside the city walls.  edit
  • Casa Alba, Via Fillungo 142, 0583 495361, [5]. Only 5 rooms, and on the second floor with no lift, this place is charming nonetheless. Owner speaks English, clerk does not. Located in historical center of town. 60-85 euro/night, October 2007.  edit
  • Hotel Hambros il Parco, Via Pesciatina 197 55012, +39.0583.935355 (, fax: +39.0583.935356), [6]. Hotel Hambros Il Parco lies in the park of the eighteenth century "Villa Banchieri" which assures a relaxing atmosphere. The hotel is in the closest countryside, a few kilometers outside the historical center of Lucca.  edit
  • Locanda Eremo del Gusto Via Gelli 35/37 - 55012 - Petrognano - Capannori - LU - +39.0583.978012 Located in one of the most exclusive and marvellous area surrounding Lucca, “Locanda Eremo del Gusto B&b” allows you to have a wonderful stay in one of the charming bedroom of the ancient “Casa Colonica” (provided with parking). You will enjoy relaxing walks through the wood as well as visits to medieval “Borgo”, such as S. Gennaro and Petrognano. The property is located not far from Lucca and its perfectly preserved Walls and monuments, the suggestive Ville Lucchesi and “Il Parco Pinocchio” -Pinocchio’s Park- in Collodi. Pisa, Firenze and the Versilian beaches (with the well-known city of Forte dei Marmi) are about 1 hour away. “Eremo del Gusto” can also offer interesting solutions for your stay in Petrognano and in its surrondings.
  • La Cappella - 7 km from Lucca, Villa La Cappella was constructed on the walls of a former monastery, dating back to the 17th century. Private swimming pool, garden furniture, parking by the house.
  • Grand Hotel Guinigi, [7]The Grand Hotel Guinigi is located at about one mile from the historical center of Lucca.

San Martino Cathedral, Chiesa di San Frediano, Anfiteatro, the House of Giacomo Puccini and the ancient City Walls are one and a half kilometres from the hotel.

  • Palazzo Tucci", Via Cesare Battisti, 13 55100 Lucca +39 0583 464279. Boutique hotel and historical residence located in the heart of Lucca city center.


APT Lucca Tourist Information Office Piazza Santa Maria, 35 Tel: 0039 0583 919931 - Fax: 0039 0583469964 -

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Proper noun


  1. Province of Tuscany, Italy.
  2. City and capital of Lucca.


Related terms


Italian Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia it

Proper noun

Lucca f.

  1. Lucca (province)
  2. Lucca (town)

Derived terms

See also

Simple English

File:Palazzo Pfanner -
The garden view at Palazzo Pfanner in Lucca.

Lucca is a city in the Italian region of Tuscany. The city is located on the river Serchio in a very fertile plain near the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca.



Lucca was founded by the Etruscans. It later became a Roman village in 180 BC. The Romans built an amphitheatre that is still seen in the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. Lucca was an important city and fortress even in the 6th century, when Narses attacked it over and over again for several months in 553. During the 10th and 11th centuries, Lucca was the capital of the feudal territories of Tuscany, with more power about the Roman Emperor.

After the death of Matilda of Tuscany, the city began an independent commune. For almost 500 years, Lucca remained an independent republic. There were many minor communes in the region between southern Liguria and northern Tuscany (which was filled by the Malaspina). Tuscany in this time was part of feudal Europe. Dante’s Divine Comedy was written to remember the days spent in his exile in Lucca.

In 1273 and again in 1277, Lucca was ruled by a Guelph (captain of the people) named Luchetto Gattilusio. In 1314, after internal problems Uguccione della Faggiuola of Pisa make himself lord of Lucca. The people of the city made him leave two years later and condottiere gain the leadership. In 1325, in the battle of Altopascio, Lucca soldiers defeated Florence's Guelphs with the help of Castracani, a leader of the city in time of war. After they won, Castracani was named "Duke of Lucca" by Louis IV the Bavarian. Until the French Revolution in 1789, Lucca was independent from Venice and Genoa. It was a city controlled by democracy or sometimes by oligarchy.

Republic of Lucca

Lucca was the second largest Italian city-state (after Venice) with a republican constitution ("comune"). In 1805 Lucca was taken over by Napoleon, who put his sister Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi in the place reserved for the "Queen of Etruria". The city became a part of Tuscany in 1847 and later a part of Italy.

Lucca, Piazza dell'Anfiteatro

Important monuments

File:San Michele
San Michele.
File:Lucca cattedrale san martino
Duomo di San Martino (the Cathedral).

The walls around the old town are intact as the city grew and became more modern. This is unusual for cities in the region. A famous place is the house where Puccini was born. The house is open to the public.

There are many churches in Lucca:

  • Piazza dell'Anfiteatro
  • Piazza Napoleone
  • Piazza San Michele
  • Duomo di San Martino (St Martin's Cathedral)
  • Church of San Michele in Foro
  • Basilica di San Frediano
  • Church of San Giorgio in the locality of Brancoli, built in the late 12th century

Other sights include:

  • The ancient Roman amphitheatre
  • The Ducal Palace (The original project was begun by Bartolomeo Ammannati in 1577-1582, and continued by Filippo Juvarra in the 18th century.)
  • Torre delle ore ("The Clock Tower")
  • Casa and Torre Guinigi
  • Museo Nazionale Guinigi
  • Museo e Pinacoteca Nazionale
  • Orto Botanico Comunale di Lucca, a botanical garden dating from 1820
  • Palazzo Pfanner


Every year in Lucca there are two important festivals. The Lucca Summer Festival is a rock music festival. "Lucca Comics and Games" is the largest meeting about comics and games of Italy.

Twin towns

Famous People born in Lucca

Other websites


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