Lucca, a small city resting alongside a green valley in Italy’s Tuscany region, is a medieval jewel of past kingdoms and fascinating culture. Every corner of its narrow winding cobblestone streets showcases the architecture of the unforgotten Renaissance era.
There is no denying that the scent here is filled with a touch of the past with visuals of the modern world.
The name ‘Lucca’ was derived from the word ‘Luk’ which means marsh. This name was traced back as early as the third century BC when Etruscans first found the place.
Today, the walls encasing the city of Lucca are dated back to the 17th century for military defense. The walls stayed intact as the city modernized which was unusual for cities in the region. Once the walls lost their military importance they became a parkland with a pedestrian walkway, the Passeggiata delle Mura Urbane, a street atop the walls linking the bastions.
One of the other main historical buildings that have mostly stayed intact, and of great importance, is the ancient Roman amphitheater located in the heart of the city.
This amphitheater is where gladiator fights would be held to entertain the spectators. The building was constructed during the first century and its use changed with leaps of time. It was once fortified for military purposes and today its remains are incorporated into the new buildings bordering the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro where the current citizens accompanied by their close ones come to spend a lively evening of drinks and tasty treats.
Several other historical developments and buildings that gave fame to Lucca were the Palazzo Pfanner, Church of San Michelle in Foro and the Piazza Napoleon, created during the French Revolution by Napoleon’s sister, who was given the title of ‘Princess of Lucca’ by Napoleon Bonaparte himself.
The province of Lucca is stretched across several different areas that give breathtaking views of landscapes and nature. One of these is the famous area of Versilia, along the northwest province of Lucca, that gives a bedazzling view of the blue Tyrrhenian Sea.
There is no doubt that Lucca is a city of rich history and unbelievable medieval architecture. But its true triumph lies in the city’s ability to adapt itself to modern needs without cutting out its historic heritage or vintage style.
Standing in the middle of Lucca’s walls is an experience that will let you believe you have traveled back in time to a world where the Renaissance era once thrived.