This is another town worth a day trip from Florence. It’s foundations go back as far as the ancient Romans. By foundations I mean literally and figuratively. There are many claims to fame including a well preserved medieval wall and moat that circled the village and to this day remains largely intact although the moat is obviously dry! The parapets have been paved and tree lined so that one can meander or cycle the 2 or 3 kilometer circumference, gazing down on the town from a great height.
The town square is in fact the town ellipse! It was the site of the original roman amphitheatre, hence the shape. Lucca had the same feeling as Sienna in terms of its history and charm but on a smaller scale. The same white and green marbled church and Campanella and the paved narrow streets. I have a perception as well that the irritatingly all pervasive Fiats are the modern equivalent of the donkey of Ancient Rome.
Finally of interest to me at least is the fact that Puccini had a house in Lucca, so that there are frequent acknowledgements of this fact including an eponymous square with bust, an annual Puccini festival and museum.
The Cathedral San Martino – interior