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Lucca

Lucca is a city in Tuscany, northern central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plain near the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca. The first thing you will see arriving in Lucca are the town walls which are very well preserved and still today surround all the old town. Lucca is the only town in Italy entirely surrounded by walls. As the wide walls lost their military importance, they became a pedestrian promenade ringing 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.

Places to see:

  • 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 Napoleone
  • Piazza San Michele
  • Duomo di San Martino
  • 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 (“Clock Tower”)
  • Casa and Torre Guinigi
  • Museo Nazionale Guinigi
  • Museo e Pinacoteca Nazionale
  • Orto Botanico Comunale di Lucca, a botanical garden dating to 1820
  • Palazzo Pfanner

Lucca is the birthplace of composers Francesco Geminiani, Gioseffo Guami, Luigi Boccherini, Giacomo Puccini and Alfredo Catalani.

Lucca hosts the Lucca Summer Festival each year which, in July 2006, saw the likes of Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, Tracy Chapman and Santana play live in the Piazza Napolean.

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