How to fall in Love with Lucca, Italy's gem
Hi, I'm young man fallen in love with Lucca and I personally suggest Lucca to all people who desire to visit Tuscany.
Lucca is one of Tuscany's best-kept secrets. Sheltered by Medieval city walls, Lucca offers an ideal location to visit Tuscany. Its 99 churches within the walls and the Roman Amphitheatre are only a part of the aristic heritage of the town.
Lucca has one particularly stunning feature - ancient ramparts that ring the old city. The inhabitants built these brick walls in the 16th century for defense. Today, walk (or bike) around the city on the wide shaded walkways atop the walls. If that doesn't tire you out, climb up the Torre Guinigi - the 130 ft. tower has an ancient oak tree on top!
Worth seeing are the churches San Michele in Foro and San Frediano, the cathedral San Martino, the shopping street via Fillungo, Palazzo and Torre Guinigi (14th c.), the latter is one of the few still existing, plant with stone oaks, clan towers (at the heyday of Lucca in the city there were, inclusive church towers, about 170 towers) and the Piazza Anfiteatro. On the ruins of the Roman amphitheater, churches and houses were built, which now form a beautiful oval square. The best ice, by the way, you can buy at the Gelateria Pinguino in Piazza Napoleone.
What to see in Lucca
The Renaissance Walls, the most significant monument of the city, is an intact circle of about 4 km in length, with a series of ramparts. These walls have allowed the historic center to maintain its homogeneous and balanced appearance. The impressive complex was begun in 1544 to take the place of the medieval walls, which were already insufficient for defending the city in light of the expansionist intentions of Florence. The undertaking required so many resources that it was completed only in 1650. An imposing complex of defensive works, ditches, gun outposts, barriers, large underground chambers, and ten spurred ramparts, which formerly held guard-posts, characterizes the twelve-meter high walls. Under the Bourbons the walls had lost their military value and were transformed into a beautiful public walkway. Even today, being forbidden to cars, the walls constitute a daily destination for the Lucchese, offering visitors numerous scenic paths.