Imagine a beautiful little Tuscan town protected by massively thick 16th-century walls, featuring some of Italy’s finest medieval and Renaissance architecture, superb dining, antique markets, classical and rock music festivals, easy access to stunning nearby villas in the surrounding hills and with endless beaches less than half an hour away. Lucca is one of Tuscany’s best-kept secrets.
A wealthy and colorful town that draws a more discerning tourist than Florence or Pisa, it is sufficiently off the beaten track to have kept its civility and reserve. Lucca is a city of merchants who know how to woo the visitor and the shopper, but the pace of life varies between slow and slower.
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!