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Places of worship

San Francesco Church, Lucca

The ancient Franciscan church dates to the thirteenth century

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Piazza S.Francesco

The San Francesco Church in Lucca, with the monastery of the same name next door, dates to the thirteenth century and was built by the Franciscan friars who were in the city as early as 1228. A monastery complex grews around the sizeable church, to which the San Franceschetto Oratory (1309), three cloisters and other buildings were added. 

The church’s façade features large white and grey limestone ashlars arranged in horizontal and parallel lines. The decoration is low key and includes a set of terracotta ornaments in the apse, where ceramic basins once stood. New presbyterian chapels were built during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries according to the wishes, tradition has it, of the lord of Lucca Paolo Guinigi.

Inside the church, visitors can admire the Florentine-style fifteenth-century frescoes and the sepulchral arches by Ricciardi, where illustrious figures like poet Giovanni Guidiccioni and the composer Luigi Boccherini are buried.

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 ...