Lucca: The Complete Guide

Lucca, considered one of Europe’s most delightful towns, captivates visitors with its walled centre, ranking it among Tuscany’s top attractions. The town boasts magnificent churches, many featuring the distinctive striped facades characteristic of Tuscan architecture, and they house a trove of precious art treasures. While strolling through its narrow streets and spacious piazzas, you can relish the serene ambiance and take in the alluring buildings. Unlike the bustling crowds of Florence and Pisa, Lucca offers a more relaxed atmosphere, making it a sought-after destination for a peaceful retreat.

The charming churches you see today were primarily constructed in the 12th century, partly using ancient materials, and now stand as some of Tuscany’s most exquisite architectural marvels. Begin your exploration with a walk along the encircling walls, offering a comprehensive overview of the city, before immersing yourself in the captivating ambiance of this endearing Italian gem. For a curated list of Lucca’s top tourist attractions and activities, be sure to consult our guide.

Visiting Lucca for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Lucca on the first visit. Top help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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24 Best places to See in Lucca

This complete guide to Lucca not only tells you about the very best sights and tourist attractions for first-time visitors to the city but also provide insights into a few of our personal favorite things to do.

This is a practical guide to visiting the best places to see in Lucca and is filled with tips and info that should answer all your questions!

Church of San Michele in Foro

Church Of San Michele In Foro
CC BY-SA 4.0 / VolleySteff
San Michele in Foro, located in the historic centre of Lucca, is an ancient church with roots dating back to the Roman era. Its existence has been recorded as early as 795, but the present-day building was commissioned by Pope Alexander II in 1070. For almost three centuries, until 1370, it served as the seat […]
Location: Church of San Michele in Foro, Piazza San Michele, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Distance: 0.00km
Visiting Church of San Michele in Foro

Puccini Museum in Lucca

Casa Natale Di Giacomo Puccini Lucca
CC BY-SA 3.0 / kajikawa
The Puccini Museum is centered around the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini in Lucca, which has been converted into a museum. This exhibition route takes visitors on a captivating journey through the life and legacy of the great composer, offering insights into his personality, genius, and passion for creating extraordinary operas known worldwide. Located in the […]
Location: Puccini Museum Corte S. Lorenzo, 9 55100 Lucca LU Italy | Hours: March Mon – Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Closed on Tuesdays (except on holidays)1st April – 30th September 10:00 am – 7:00 pm Open every day1st October – 1st November Mon – Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Closed on Tuesdays (except on holidays)2nd November – 7th December Mon – Fry 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Sat – Sun 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Closed on Tuesdays (except on holidays and 29th november) and from 7th to 18th November8th December – 8th January 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Closed 25th December9th January – 28th February Mon – Sun 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Closed on Tuesdays (except on holidays)Last admission 30 minutes before closing | Price: Adults € 9,00 | Website | Distance: 0.10km
Visiting Puccini Museum in Lucca

Torre delle Ore in Lucca

Lucca, Torre Delle Ore
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Gianni Careddu
The Torre delle Ore in Lucca stands tall at 50 meters, making it the tallest among the 130 towers built in the city since Medieval times. Located centrally on via Fillungo, at the corner with via dell’Arancio, it remains one of the only two surviving towers, the other being Torre Guinigi. Visitors can explore the […]
Location: Torre delle Ore, Via Fillungo, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Price: A combination ticket covering the nearby Torre Guinigi or the Orto Botanico costs €6/4 (or €9/6 for all three sights). | Distance: 0.10km
Visiting Torre delle Ore in Lucca

Domus Romana in Lucca

Domus Romana Lucca
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Deizenov
The “Casa del fanciullo sul delfino” Domus Romana in Lucca represents an archaeological site unveiled in 2010 at the heart of the city. Its name is derived from the exquisite terracotta frieze portraying two “putti” joyfully riding dolphins. Within this site, visitors have the opportunity to explore remnants and artifacts dating back to various historical […]
Location: Domus Romana Lucca Via Cesare Battisti, 15 55100 Lucca LU Italy | Hours: Open every day 10.00 - 18.00 Closed on Tuesdays | Price: €5.00 | Website | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Domus Romana in Lucca

Piazza Napoleone, Lucca

Piazza Napoleone Lucca
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Chabe01
Piazza Napoleone, also known as Piazza Grande, has always held a significant role as the center of political power in Lucca. In 1322, Castruccio Castracani, the Ghibelline condottiero of the degli Antelminelli family, chose this location to construct the Augusta Fortress and a palace. However, these structures were later demolished by the people of Lucca […]
Location: Piazza Napoleone, Piazza Napoleone, Lucca, Italy | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Piazza Napoleone, Lucca

Risorgimento Museum in Lucca

Museo Risorgimento Lucca
© visittuscany
The Risorgimento Museum, situated within Lucca’s Palazzo Ducale, is dedicated to exploring the process of Italy’s unification as a nation through a collection of artifacts and documents from that significant period. The establishment of this exhibition was made possible by the dedicated efforts of Lucca’s veterans, who painstakingly gathered historical documents and items reflecting the […]
Location: Museo del Risorgimento Cortile degli Svizzeri, 18 55100 Lucca LU Italy | Hours: Monday to Friday: from 10.00 to 13.00 Tuesday and Thursday also open in the afternoon from 15.00 to 18.00 (last admission at 17.30) Saturday and Sunday there are guided tours by appointment| Price: Free entry | Website | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Risorgimento Museum in Lucca

Palazzo Ducale in Lucca

Lucca PalazzoDucale
CC BY-SA 1.0 / Robespierre
Located in the historical center of Lucca, the Palazzo Ducale impressively overlooks one side of Piazza Napoleone with its dignified and elegant facade. Throughout the centuries, the palace has been shaped by numerous prominent figures who governed the city, resulting in the magnificent appearance it boasts today. The origins of the building trace back to […]
Location: Palazzo Ducale di Lucca, Cortile Carrara, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Website | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Palazzo Ducale in Lucca

Church and Baptistery of Santi Giovanni e Reparata

Chiesa Dei Santi Giovanni E Reparata, Lucca, Toscana, Italia
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Myrabella
The Museum and Archaeological Complex of SS. Giovanni e Reparata in Lucca is a remarkable site preserving significant traces of the city’s history, spanning from the Roman era to the present day. The complex underwent extensive excavation and restoration efforts from the late 1970s to the 1990s, ultimately transforming it into a captivating museum. With […]
Location: Church of Saint John and Saint Reparata, Piazza San Giovanni, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Hours: Monday - Sunday: 10:00 - 18:00 | Price: Church of Santi Giovanni e Reparata Church + Archaeological area + Baptistery + bell tower of San Giovanni Full price: €4.00 | Website | Distance: 0.20km
Visiting Church and Baptistery of Santi Giovanni e Reparata

Teatro del Giglio

Théâtre Giglio
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Chabe01
Teatro del Giglio, located in the homonymous square just a few meters from Palazzo Ducale in Piazza Napoleone, is one of the oldest public theatres in Italy and a significant cultural landmark in Lucca. This elegant and refined structure, recognized with the Theatre of Tradition award in 1985, can accommodate more than 700 people in […]
Location: Teatro del Giglio, Piazza del Giglio, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Teatro del Giglio

Palazzo Pfanner

Palazzo Pfanner
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Sailko
Palazzo Pfanner, an exquisite Renaissance residence, graces the historic centre of Lucca, close to the city’s fortified walls and medieval treasures. Over the years, the villa has changed hands, beginning its construction in the second half of the 17th century under the commission of the Moriconi family, wealthy silk merchants. However, financial difficulties led to […]
Location: Palazzo Pfanner, Via degli Asili, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Distance: 0.30km
Visiting Palazzo Pfanner

Guinigi Tower

Torre Guinigi, Guinigi Tower, Lucca
CC BY-SA 3.0 / LivornoDP
The Guinigi Tower, constructed during the latter half of the fourteenth century by the affluent Guinigi family, stands as one of the few remaining towers in Lucca. During the fourteenth century, Lucca was densely populated with these ancient skyscrapers, and the height of a tower was a reflection of the family’s prestige and importance. Families […]
Location: Guinigi Tower, Via Sant'Andrea, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Hours: January 1 - March 20: 10.00 - 16.00 21 March - 31 May: 10.00 - 18.30* (* Saturday and Sunday closing 19:30) 1 June - 20 September: 10.00 - 19.30* (* June -Luglio: Saturday and Sunday closing at 8.30 pm; August: Saturday and Sunday closing at 20.00) 21 September - 30 September 10.00 - 18.30 1 October - 31 December: 10.00 - 16.00 (closed on 25 December) | Price: Adults € 6.00 | Website | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Guinigi Tower

San Martino, Lucca's Cathedral

Cattedrale Di San Martino Lucca
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Mongolo1984
The Cathedral of Lucca, dedicated to S. Martino, is believed to have been commissioned by S. Frediano, the bishop of Lucca, who passed away in 588. Between 1060 and 1070, the Cathedral underwent a complete reconstruction and was consecrated in 1070 by Anselmo da Baggio, who later became Pope Alexander II. Countess Matilda of Canossa […]
Location: St Martin Cathedral, Piazza Antelminelli, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Website | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting San Martino, Lucca's Cathedral

San Frediano Church, Lucca

Chiesa Di San Frediano, Lucca, Toscana, Italia
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Myrabella
The Basilica of San Frediano holds a significant place in Lucca’s religious history, believed to be founded by Saint Fridianus, the city’s bishop from 560 to 588. It is recognized as one of the oldest places of worship in the region and was mentioned in a document dating back to 685 as a Lombard-era basilica. […]
Location: Basilica di San Frediano, Piazza San Frediano, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting San Frediano Church, Lucca

Piazza dell Anfiteatro, Lucca

Lucca Piazza Dell’Anfiteatro
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Kasa Fue
Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, situated in the northeast quadrant of Lucca’s walled centre in Tuscany, Italy, is a public square. The buildings encircling the square conform to the elliptical shape of the ancient Roman amphitheatre that once stood here in the second century. Access to the square is available through four gateways positioned at the four vertices […]
Location: Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Hours: 24 Hours | Price: Free | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Piazza dell Anfiteatro, Lucca

Via Fillungo (Fillungo Street)

Lucca, Via Fillungo
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Palickap
Via Fillungo is the bustling main shopping street of Lucca, stretching approximately 2,300 feet in length and 33 feet in width. It meanders through the heart of the historic centre, encompassed by the ancient city walls. The street derives its name from Fillungo Castle in the Garfagnana district of Lucca, which was the feudal residence […]
Location: Via Fillungo, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Distance: 0.40km
Visiting Via Fillungo (Fillungo Street)

Church of St Maria della Rosa

Church Of St Maria Della Rosa
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Geobia
Santa Maria della Rosa is a rare and splendid example of Gothic architecture in the city of Lucca. Originally built as a chapel in the early 14th century to venerate an image of the Virgin Mary called “delle rose,” the chapel’s popularity led to the addition of beautiful arches along its side facade. Notably, the […]
Location: Chiesa di Santa Maria della Rosa, Via della Rosa, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Distance: 0.50km
Visiting Church of St Maria della Rosa

Botanical Garden of Lucca

Orto Botanico Comunale Di Lucca Pond And City Wall
The Botanical Garden of Lucca, situated in the heart of the city center, is a precious natural gem waiting to be explored. Established in 1820 by Maria Luisa of Bourbon, the Duchess of Lucca at the time, this sprawling garden covers an area of over two hectares. A visit to the garden offers a fascinating […]
Location: Orto Botanico Comunale di Lucca, Rampa San Regolo, Lucca, Italy | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Botanical Garden of Lucca

Villa Bottini in Lucca

Villa Bottini, also known as Buonvisi “al Giardino,” stands as one of the most exquisite villas in the Lucca region, holding not only aesthetic appeal but also historical significance. Its architecture has served as a model for the construction of many other villas in the area, and it is believed that the “ideal villa” designed […]
Location: Villa Bottini, Via Elisa, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Distance: 0.60km
Visiting Villa Bottini in Lucca

Lucca's historical walls

Luccas Historical Walls
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Colin W
Lucca’s historical walls, constructed between the mid-1600s and early 1800s, remain remarkably intact today, serving as a valuable cultural asset not only for the city but for the entire region. This current iteration is actually the fourth version, with the original walls built by the Romans in the 2nd century BCE, followed by a medieval […]
Visiting Lucca's historical walls

Villa Guinigi National Museum

Villa Guinigi National Museum
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Sailko
The Villa Guinigi National Museum in Lucca offers a captivating narrative of the city and its surrounding region through an impressive collection of artworks, predominantly religious in nature. These artworks provide a comprehensive overview of the figurative culture of Lucca, spanning from the late Middle Ages to the 18th century. The museum effectively documents the […]
Location: Villa Guinigi National Museum, Via della Quarquonia, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 12.00 to 19.30 (last admission at 18.00) first and third Sunday of the month from 9.00 to 19.30 (last admission at 18.00) | Price: € 4.00 Combined ticket for the National Museums of Villa Guinigi and Palazzo Mansi | Website | Distance: 0.80km
Visiting Villa Guinigi National Museum

Aqueduct of Nottolini

Aqueduct Nottolini Guamo Lucca
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Myrabella
The Aqueduct of Nottolini is an impressive Neoclassical-style structure located near Lucca in Tuscany, Italy. Built in the 19th century, the aqueduct’s primary purpose was to bring water to Lucca from the mountains situated south of the city. The aqueduct spans over 3 kilometers and consists of more than 400 arches, supporting a stone channel […]
Location: Aqueduct of Nottolini, Lucca, Via Tempietto, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy | Distance: 0.90km
Visiting Aqueduct of Nottolini

Villa Reale di Marlia

Villa Reale Di Marlia
CC BY-SA 3.0 / sailko
The Villa Reale di Marlia is a remarkable historic residence located in the municipality of Capannori, at the heart of the Lucca region in Italy. Notably, it was once the home of Elisa Baciocchi, Napoleon’s sister, who ruled as sovereign over Lucca and later the entire region of Tuscany. Under Elisa’s ownership in the 1800s, […]
Location: Villa Reale di Marlia, Via Fraga Alta, Marlia, Province of Lucca, Italy | Hours: 19 DECEMBER – 03 FEBRUARY: Closed for maintenance and restoration works. 04 FEBRUARY – 26 FEBRUARY: Weekends only from 10am to 6pm. 01 MARCH – 05 NOVEMBER: Park opening hours every day from 10:00 to 18:00 * | Price: Park: €12 / Park and Museums: €18 | Website | Distance: 7.70km
Visiting Villa Reale di Marlia

Villa Mansi

Villa Mansi
Flickr / Michel Rodriguez
Villa Mansi, situated in Segromigno, within the municipality of Capannori, stands as a prominent example of 17th-century architecture in Lucca. Originally belonging to the Mansi family, it was acquired during the 17th century from the Cenami family. Designed by the Urbino architect Muzio Oddi, the villa’s main façade exhibits a visually striking effect of dynamic […]
Location: Villa Mansi, Via delle Selvette, Capannori, Province of Lucca, Italy | Hours: Tuesday, Thursday, first and third Sunday of the month from 9.00 to 19.30 (last admission at 18.00) Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 12.00 to 19.30 (last admission at 18.00) | Price: € 4.00 Combined ticket for the National Museums of Villa Guinigi and Palazzo Mansi: full price € 6.50 | Website | Distance: 9.40km
Visiting Villa Mansi

Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago

Villa Puccini Museum
CC BY-SA 3.0 / sailko
Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago stands as a fascinating representation of how the concept of a “villa” and its architecture underwent a complete transformation during the Art Nouveau period. This splendid building served as the residence of the renowned composer Giacomo Puccini, who, hailing from Lucca, chose to make his home on the shores […]
Location: Villa Puccini Museum, Viale Giacomo Puccini, Torre del Lago, Province of Lucca, Italy | Hours: November: OPEN ONLY on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. (last admission 12:00) – from 2:00 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. (last admission 4:40 p.m.). December 1st to January 31st: from 10:00 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. (last admission 12:00) – from 2:00 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. (last admission 4:40 p.m.). February 1st to March 31st: from 10:00 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. (last admission 12:00) – from 2:30 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. (last admission 5:10 p.m.). April 1st to October 31st: from 10:00 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. (last admission 12:00) – from 3:00 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. (last admission 5:50 p.m.). On the days of the Puccini Festival (July and August): from 10:00 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. (last admission 12:00) – from 4:00 p.m. to 8:40 p.m. (last admission 8:00). Closed Monday morning (excluding period from June 1st to September 30th), December 25 (Christmas) | Price: € 7,00 | Website | Distance: 15.80km
Visiting Villa Puccini in Torre del Lago

Best Time to Visit Lucca

The best time to visit Lucca is during the months of April, May, June, September, and October. During this period, the weather is warm and pleasant, not overly hot, and there are fewer tourists.

One of the most significant religious festivals of the year in Lucca is the “La Luminara di Santa Croce,” which takes place on the 13th of September. This festival is dedicated to the Volto Santo, a wooden crucifix with a legendary origin in the Holy Land. The highlight of the festival is a traditional candlelight procession through the Old Town. The procession commences at 8 PM, starting from the Basilica of San Frediano and culminating at the Cathedral of San Martino, where the Volto Santo is housed.

Average Temperatures in Lucca

  • January 11°C 11
  • February 12°C 13
  • March 15°C 10
  • April 19°C 9
  • May 24°C 10
  • June 30°C 6
  • July 33°C 3
  • August 31°C 5
  • September 28°C 11
  • October 23°C 16
  • November 15°C 19
  • December 11°C 13

How to get to Lucca

Lucca is easily accessible both by car and public transportation due to its strategic location on the main highways and railroad lines connecting Florence to Pisa and Viareggio.

Flying to Lucca

Lucca does not have its own airport, so direct flights to Lucca are not available. However, the closest airports to Lucca are Pisa Airport, which is the most convenient option, followed by Florence, Bologna, Rome, and Genoa, in that order. Pisa Airport is the most popular choice for flights to Lucca from within Europe, while Rome is the most likely arrival airport for visitors from the US and Canada.

Visiting Lucca By Train

The train is a convenient and straightforward way to reach Lucca. The Lucca train station is located in Piazza Ricasoli, right in front of Porta San Pietro. It’s within a five-minute walk to Lucca’s historic city center, enclosed by Renaissance walls. Lucca is connected to the train lines that link Florence to Viareggio and Florence (or Pistoia) to Pisa, ensuring regular daily train service to and from Lucca. Pisa is about a 15-20 minute train ride from Lucca, Florence is an hour and 20 minutes away, and Viareggio is around 20 minutes. Other popular Tuscan destinations accessible from Lucca by train include Pistoia (approximately 45 minutes away) and Montecatini Terme (less than half an hour). Daily trains also head to Garfagnana from Lucca.

From Pisa Airport, you can catch a train to Pisa Centrale station and then change for a train to Lucca. From Florence Airport, you need to reach the train station in Florence center (Santa Maria Novella) and then take a train or bus heading to Lucca.

Visiting Lucca By Car

Lucca is situated along the A11 Firenze – Mare highway, which links Florence with Pisa and the Versilia Coast. If approaching from the North or South, take the A11 and exit at Lucca Est or Ovest. If arriving from the coast on the A12 Genova – Roma highway, connect at Viareggio and then proceed to Lucca Ovest via the faster road known as Bretella. Be aware that tolls apply on A11 and A12. If coming from the Pisa or Florence airports, follow the indications to A11 in both cases. Lucca’s highway exits are located approximately 1 km from the city center.

Visiting Lucca by Bus

The bus station is located in Piazzale Verdi, inside the city walls. Lucca is connected to several Tuscan cities, including Florence, Pisa, and Viareggio, via bus operated by VaiBus. While bus rides may take longer than trains, they are available as an alternative to get to Lucca.

Renting a Bike in Lucca

Whether you arrive by train or bus, you can opt to explore Lucca on foot or rent a bike. The city is known for being bike-friendly, with many bike-reserved areas throughout. It’s a great way to navigate the small and flat city. Renting a bike can be convenient if you’re short on time. Lucca is renowned for its well-preserved Renaissance walls, and biking atop them offers stunning views. You’ll find plenty of rental bike shops, especially near the access points to the ramparts, offering affordable hourly and daily rates. Two famous historical rental bike shops are located inside Porta Santa Maria, with others near Porta San Pietro and along the way from Porta Elisa toward the centre (after the old Porta San Gervasio).

Tours and Activities from Lucca