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Church and Baptistery of Santi Giovanni e Reparata

Places of worship

Ruins of places of worship inside the centuries-old cathedral in Lucca

The Museum and Archaeological Complex of SS. Giovanni e Reparata preserves some of the most important traces of the history of Lucca, from the Roman era to the present day. The excavation and restoration campaign began in the late seventies, ending in the nineties with the transformation of the entire complex into a museum.

With a single entrance ticket, you can visit the Church and Baptistery of Santi Giovanni e Reparata, the adjacent baptistery, the bell tower and the archaeological excavations plus the Cathedral of Lucca and its bell tower.

Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Reparata
Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Reparata - Credit: C. D'Aliasi

The visit begins by entering the Romanesque basilica through a monumental portal, the only element of the church that remained intact in the reconstruction of the facade in 1622. The interior space, used as a museum and a stage for cultural events, allows you to appreciate the medieval volumes, to which frescoes and sacred furnishings were added in the following centuries, mainly from the seventeenth century and modern-day.

The adjacent Baptistery, which has always been connected to the church and enriched with modern furnishings and surviving frescoes, documents an evolution parallel to the church, which ended with the construction of the monumental late-14th century vault.

Inside the church, you can also admire the Chapel of Sant'Ignazio, a late seventeenth-century Baroque masterpiece designed by Domenico Martinelli, and a Roman sarcophagus dating from the second century AD.

The archaeological area located in the foundations of the church and the Baptistery is one of the most important archaeological sites in the city. A metal walkway path crosses the structures of the historic city cathedral, formerly dedicated to Santa Reparata, and the Baptistery, which has always been connected to the church. The evolution of Lucca from its foundation in Roman times to the Middle Ages is documented through the stratigraphic succession of the structures. The oldest part is the remains of a late-republican domus (2nd century BC), of which part of the mosaic flooring is still visible in the Baptistery area.