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Le mura di Lucca

On Lucca's city walls

Lucca still maintains the charm of a small and ancient Italian City-State

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Lucca's shrewd politics assured the city's long-standing freedom and independance. It thus remained miraculously untouched by distructive wars, still maintaining one of Tuscany's most important artistic heritages. The imposing Renaissance tree-lined walls completely surround the city, whilst Medieval streets are lined with towers and elegant shops, charming Romanesque churches alternate with open squares, offering the visitor an ever changing scenery. Lucca’s city centre is traffic free, giving it that special antique atmosphere lost in most modern cities. A visit to Lucca should begin with Piazza S.Michele in Foro with the said Romanesque church, continue towards Piazza Napoleone where Palazzo Ducale, Teatro del Giglio and the S. Martino cathedral (with the venerated “Volto Santo” also city symbol) can be admired, the latter was a fundamental point on the Medieval pilgrim’s journey. In the cathedral's vestry (with entrance fee) Ilaria del Carretto's famous tomb by Jacopo della Quercia can be seen.

Via Fillungo is one of the characteristic Medieval streets in Lucca, being particularly elegent as full of antique shops, it also leads to the charming Piazza Anfiteatro founded on the old Roman arena remains. Torre Guinigi is quite unique as it still preserves a terraced garden at the top, complete with trees. The antique Basilica of S. Frediano has a characteristic mosaic facade. The itinerary finishes with a walk along the 16th century city walls once used for protection against enemies and now a public park to be appreciated on foot, bicycle or carriage.