When I decided to go to Florence a priority of mine was to spend a day in Lucca, too. I remembered the city from a few years back and from a book I read in class in 11th or 12th grade. And while I wasn’t feeling to hot that day (my throat was a nightmare), once more it was a lovely day spent. Since I am obsessively neat with writing down everything I do while travelling (in order!), I can easily write this guide more than three months after I’ve been there. As stated above it’s only a tiny guide, but it is wonderful to explore Lucca by foot or bike without a real plan – however maybe these can be a few stops on your journey.
How to get there. When you’re staying in Florence, you can get to Lucca directly by train or Flixbus in about an hour and a half. Then you just have to walk about five minutes and you reach the old town.
What to do. I ended my journey there, but I want to mention it here first: go to the Botanical Garden. I love botanical gardens in general and Italian ones in particular, but this one takes the crown. I took a few pictures you can see at the end of this post to get a look. Another thing that is basically a must is walking on the city wall – or taking the bike to just ride around the city! There are two beautiful churches you should have a look at – while you have to pay for Cattedrale San. Martino, it is very worth it and you can attend one or two other places with the ticket. The other one is in the middle of the town, San Michele in Foro, a very plain church, but very impressing nevertheless. Both of them are beautiful from the outside alone, but you should go inside as well. Most famous is maybe Piazza dell’ Anfiteatro, a lovely place to just stay at for some time and enjoy the buzzing people. While being at Lucca I realised that the museums are very sparely visited, but if you find the time, do have a look at Palazzo Mansi – because it’s not only a beautiful palace, but also great museum featuring instruments and clothing from past centuries. AND it has a lovely garden, too.
Where to eat. I only had little snacks and ice cream all over town, but I did have tea at the Tea Room which is part of the Palace Hotel (Via S. Paolino, 103). It was a lovely place to watch people passing by and just relax for some time – also, they have really good tea.
Where to shop. I wasn’t sure whether to put this in the food category or this one, but I opted for this (obviously): Chocolat (Via Cenami, 1), a chocolate/sweets shop that not only looks adorable outside and in, but also – most importantly – the sweets are delicious! Another unique place to shop at is American Market Di Betti Faustina (Via Della Fratta, 13 15) – Betti has wonderful fabrics that are very unique. Especially if you’re looking for border prints, this is your place to go.