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Places of worship

San Martino Cathedral

According to tradition the Cathedral of Lucca was built by Saint Frediano

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The foundation of the Cathedral of San Martino at Lucca is, according to tradition, attributable to Saint Frediano, the Bishop of Lucca who died in 588. Bishop Giovanni I decided, in 780, to bring the body of Saint Regolo here from Populonia, leading to the construction of a crypt and a new, sumptuous presbytery decorated in marbles and metallic gates. As early as 855 the facade boasted a porch which was destroyed in 905 and rebuilt in 928. Between 1060-1070 the church was completely rebuilt at the wish of Anselmo da Baggio, who became Pope Alessandro II (1061-1073) and who consecrated the church in the presence of 23 bishops and Matilde di Canossa.

Cathedral of Lucca
Cathedral of Lucca - Credit: Allan Parsons

In 1308 Bishop Enrico II gave 14 braccia at the east end of the church allowing them to construct the present day tribune and apse. During the 14th century it was decided to undertake a reconstruction of the entire church, work which intensified around 1374, executed by Florentine architects and finished in 1476. At that point the interior was re-embellished with works by Matteo and Vincenzo Civitali, Giambologna and Muzio Oddi. Of particular importance is the funerary monument to Ilaria del Carretto by Jacopo della Quercia (1408).

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A bastion-protected medieval city and a blast of comics, culture and colors
Many people born and bred in Tuscany consider Lucca an outlier—it’s not uncommon to hear Florentines mutter “that's not Tuscan”, probably when referring to the bread, which is salted in Lucca and strictly plain elsewhere in Tuscany; or to the Lucchese people's mode of speaking (unique, to say the least); or to the fact that Lucca is the region’s only city-state to have preserved its ...