A ring of green surrounds Lucca, made of trees and green lining the imposing and still intact city walls. At the heart was the Roman Forum, which in the present day is where the Church of San Michele sits regally in the piazza that shares its name. The old centre is a mixture of medieval buildings and Renaissance architecture, which emanate charm as they look down upon the visitor in the shaded, narrow alleyways that conform to the Roman plans from antiquity. The great composer Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, and his house, with a statue of the man outside, is now a museum where you can explore his life and works.
Location: Easy access to the coast
Lucca sits just off the A11 motorway that connects Pisa and the Italian coastline, only 17 kilometres to the west, whilst Florence with a bustling city centre and fine boutiques is 70 kilometres east. The old city is surrounded by a tree-lined promenade and public gardens that sit atop the old defensive walls. Unlike many fortifications in other towns, these have remained intact and are employed for purposes that are more peaceful today.
Business: A luxury choice for business events
There are not many facilities for business travellers in Lucca, but one location that truly stands out is the Residenza d'Epoca Palazzo Tucci. A medieval building that was renovated in the 1700's, it offers meeting and conference facilities for up to 250 people in a building that is part of the city's history.
Culture: Explore the home of Puccini
One of the 20th Century's greatest composers, Puccini, was born in Lucca in 1858. The city has turned his modest home into a museum, where you can see the day-to-day details of his life as if he had just stepped out for a moment. A pair of spectacles and a pen sit atop an unfinished musical score next to a Steinway piano. The same piano he used to compose the last of his operas, Turandot, which was unfinished when he died in 1924, and only completed in 1926 by Franco Alfano.
Activities: Take your walking shoes
Get lost among the shaded, narrow streets and discover the history of the city at your own pace. As the saying goes, 'All roads lead to Rome,' and more specifically, the forum. The same is true in Lucca. As you walk between the 800-year old buildings, occasionally catching glimpses of the sun through the narrow gaps in the rooftops, you will almost always find yourself in the Piazza San Michele. If you keep your eyes to the skies however, you may sight the tower of Lucca Cathedral or the Basilica di San Frediano, and attempt to wind your way through the lovely, shaded streets to these impressive landmarks. It is a given that you will be tempted in to one of the cafes or small trattorias along the way. Take your time, grab a coffee, and enjoy the pace of life in one of Tuscany's finest medieval cities.