The Guinigi Tower was built in the second half of the fourteenth century by the Guinigis, a rich merchant family. It’s one of the few remaining towers in Lucca, a city which in the fourteenth century was crammed with these ancient skyscrapers.
A tower’s height reflected the prestige and importance of the family that it belonged to and in fact, families competed to have the tallest tower. The Guinigi tower is typical with its Romanesque-Gothic architecture in the local style, and decorative cornices and coats of arms.
What makes this tower unique is the small garden at its summit. The Guinigi family planned this garden to represent rebirth and renewal. The garden is divided into three flowerbeds where Holm oaks are planted. There is a wonderful view of the city and surrounding mountains from the garden.
There is also an ancient legend surrounding the tower: the tallest tree was planted by Paolo Guinigi who was captured and imprisoned in the castle by Francesco Sforza. It is said that before his execution, all the leaves fell off the tree.