San Michele Church at night in Lucca, Italy
Convenience and Location are two very essential ingredients when I plan my Italy Retreat for Women each year. That is why in Lucca, we live close to the city center within the walls, near San Michele Church, as seen in the photo above. We are in the heart of this enchanting Tuscan town. I have arranged for our personal tour guide to share his love and historical knowledge of Lucca–it’s medieval streets, towers and unique boutiques. We’ll visit a palazzo or two, enchanting Romanesque churches and le piazze (town squares) that reveal true Italian living.
Lucca is one of Tuscany’s most endearing cities. Small enough to walk around in and filled with big city shopping and restaurants.
Piazza San Michele is the site of the Roman forum.
You can read more about Lucca in my two previous posts.
Once upon a time there were 100 churches in Lucca. There are now 41actual churches. Another 37 that are identified as ‘former’. The remainder have been integrated into other buildings, so are unrecognizable.
One of my favorite things about Lucca is that only residents can drive within the walled city, which gives a feeling of ‘old Italy,‘ where you can safely stroll through and participate in the everyday activities of Lucca, without worrying about speeding cars.
The original Roman street layout is actually still intact. Three walls still exist: (the two older ones are mostly destroyed though). Medieval walls were built in the 1100′s and before that around 100AD the Roman walls were constructed. The third wall took 100 years to build and was completed by 1650, being 60 feet wide at the top, and now a beautiful park where people of all ages walk and ride bikes. I easily rented a bike for 3.50 Euro for an hour at one of the many bike rental shops.
It takes 20 minutes to walk through Lucca from east to west, if you just kept walking, but that is not possible. There are just way too many attractions. It has been steadily lived in for 2000 years, and it is unique in that it was not ever attacked or destroyed by war. I like that it was once the silk capital of Europe.
Lovely Lucca is a delicious serving of museums, monuments, and historical areas and old world charm. I hope you join us on my Italy Retreat for Women soon!