Lucca, Inside the walls

 

A very ancient city, hospitable, easily explored on foot, with excellent gastronomy and rich in natural surroundings and history, Lucca is one of the most famous and visited sites of Tuscany.

Embraced and guarded by 4 km of the 16th century walls, within which they preserve the historic center with its narrow streets and characteristic plazas, on which overlook medieval houses and renaissance palaces, it is also known as the city of a hundred churches. Heart of the city is Piazza Napoleone, called “Big Square” by Lucca’s people, where are situated the Ducal Palace, the “Teatro del Giglio” (Lily theater) and the Art Institute; the square homes many major cultural events, including the main Lucca Comics & Games, Europe’s most important event linked to the world of comic books and games, and the Summer Festival, which brings each year the best of Italian and international pop-rock music.

Not far from here there is the sumptuous Cathedral of St. Martin, located in the homonymous square, while going back to street San Paolino, we find another square to which citizens are particularly affectionate, Piazza San Michele, where there is the homonymous church of San Michele in Foro. Here also crosses the most famous street in Lucca, via Fillungo, heart beating of Lucca’s commercial and artisan activities, where tourists gather from anywhere. From Fillungo you reach mostly every part of the historic center, a nice walk will make you discover the prettiest parts of the city, and those stages that you can’t miss, like piazza dell’Anfiteatro, a real jewel scattered with typical cozy restaurants, taverns and workshops of painters and artists. Stop here to taste typical dishes, to drink some of the best Tuscan wines or take a drink while admiring the beautiful landscapes of Lucca.

Among the restaurants that this area offers, Italian Traditions suggests Trattoria Da Giulio, authentic traditional Tuscan restaurant, simple environment that embodies the essence of local cuisine. Despite the menu proposes a wide selection of dishes, the advice is always to throw yourselves on classics: tortellini in broth, pasta with mince meat and tomato sauce, tripe, homemade ravioli, sausage and beans! Half way between Piazza Anfiteatro and Piazza Napoleone, you find instead tavern Buca di Sant’Antonio, that features, in a rustic-elegant ambience, a local cuisine enhanced by fresh local products and daily  homemade pasta, careful in revisiting the changes of alimentation needs. For lovers of refined and sophisticated atmosphere, we advise you to reach the hotel's restaurant Celide, place just below the ancient walls of the city, where you can enjoy a great food quality. Fish especially recommended!

For a snack, a whim or a dessert, stop at Pasticceria Buccellato Taddeucci, perhaps to taste the typical cake of Lucca, the Buccellato. In this pastry active since 1881, among attractive nougat packagings and assorted biscuits, scents of cinnamon, fennel or hot coffee, detach the strands or the donuts of buccellato, a mixture between bread and cake, scented with anise and light texture. For a relaxing stay, but above all a stone's throw from the historic center, make a reservation for a room at Alla Corte degli Angeli or at Locanda di San Martino. Elegance, attention to details and comfort are guaranteed!

Just outside the walls, we recommend Hotel San Marco, marked by a strong and distinctive image features contemporary architecture linked to the memory of the past.