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Via Fillungo in Lucca

Districts, streets and squares

The city's most captivating street, bisecting the historic centre

Via Fillungo is the main street that runs right through Lucca's historic centre, within the bounds of her walls. It takes its name from Fillongo castle in the Garfagnana, which was home to a rich family who exercised their feudal rights over the surrounding area; today it is a crooked, irregular street, typically medieval in its aspect, and following it is the best way to see the whole city. While walking, you can admire the charming windows of the old Lucchese shops and cafés, picking up local products like Buccellato or stopping for lunch in a classic trattoria. 

Houses rub shoulder with palazzi along via Fillungo, developed more upwards than outwards. An example is Palazzo Mansi, a patrician residence from the 16th century, or the church of San Cristoforo, a fine example of the Pisan influence on Lucchese architecture, with its austere, white marble facade, decorated, arched and columned.

The clock tower in Lucca
The clock tower in Lucca - Credit: Herbert Frank

Continuing down the street you come to the celebrated clock tower, or Torre delle Ore: the highest building in the city with 50 metres and 207 steps to the top, where you have an unparalleled view over all of Lucca and the surrounding hills. There is a legend connected with this tower, the legend of Lucida Mansi, who sold her soul to the devil in order to remain young and beautiful for thirty years more. When the devil came to exact his payment, on the night of 14 August 1623, Lucida climbed to the top of the tower in an attempt to stop the hands of the clock. But she did not succeed, and Satan got her soul.

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