If you choose Tuscany for relaxing but also to enjoy a rich and interesting cultural life and events, you cannot miss Lucca. The atmosphere of the beautiful historical centre is really magical, as are the imposing, walkable walls that completely surround it. Lucca is traditionally called “the city of one hundred churches”, for the many religious buildings from different historical periods found within the historical centre: you meet one at the turn of every street or alley. Among the most important ones: the marvellous S. Martino Cathedral, the church of S. Michele, the Basilica of S. Frediano, the Chiesa of S. Paolino.
Lucca is rich with museums and touristic attractions, all bearing the testimonies of a very ancient history: in the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro you can see the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre, and there are important relics from the twelfth century under the church of S. Giovanni and Reparata, and the many towers, buildings and villas built between the twelfth and the sixteenth century. Despite recent urban growth outside the walls, the walls themselves are completely and perfectly preserved, something unique in Tuscany, even in comparison to Florence. Since they no longer have a defensive functions, and became a sort of large park surrounding the city, they became instrumental in turning the inner city in a perfect pedestrian precinct, where cars are not allowed and it is possible to take long walks undisturbed. Lucca is an immensely pleasant and enjoyable town. You can take a walk by foot or bike, taste an icecream, or just sit on the benches along the main route or on the walls, and admire the splendid view. There are also playgrounds for children.
Lucca and its countryside allow also very interesting oenological and gastronomical tours. There is a rich tradition of production of artisan food and wine here. From this typical tradition come such products as a variety of cakes (buccellato, castagnaccio), spelt and spelt soups, fresh pasta sorts as macaronies and “tordelli” (little thrushes), salami and cold cuts, the “necci” (chestnut treats), olive oil, renowned wines (also white ones). To the north, Lucca is the gateway to the Garfagnana, a splendid hilly land still unknown to mass tourism, and perfectly suited for sporting holidays (it also boast its typical cuisine).