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Comune di Lucca
Italy - Lucca - 2
View of Lucca (2022)
Flag of Lucca
Coat of arms
Location of Lucca
Lucca is located in Italy
Location of Lucca in Italy
Lucca is located in Tuscany
Lucca (Tuscany)
Coordinates: 43°50′30″N 10°30′10″E / 43.84167°N 10.50278°E / 43.84167; 10.50278
ProvinceLucca (LU)
Frazionisee list
 • MayorMario Pardini (Independent)
 • Total185.5 km2 (71.6 sq mi)
19 m (62 ft)
 (30 September 2017)[2]
 • Total89,346
 • Density480/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0583
ISTAT code046017 
Patron saintSt. Paulinus
Saint dayJuly 12
Lucca Cathedral

Lucca (/ˈlkə/ LOO-kə, Italian: [ˈlukka] ) is a city and comune in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the Serchio River, in a fertile plain near the Ligurian Sea. The city has a population of about 89,000,[3] while its province has a population of 383,957.[4]

Lucca is known as an Italian "Città d'arte" (City of Art) from its intact Renaissance-era city walls[5][6] and its very well preserved historic center, where, among other buildings and monuments, are located the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, which has its origins in the second half of the 1st century A.D. and the Guinigi Tower, a 45-metre-tall (150 ft) tower that dates from the 1300s.[7][8]

The city is also the birthplace of numerous world-class composers, including Giacomo Puccini, Alfredo Catalani, and Luigi Boccherini.[9]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • LUCCA Travel Guide | Tuscany | Top attractions & local tips
  • Top Ten Things To Do In Lucca Italy
  • ONE DAY IN LUCCA (ITALY) | 4K UHD | Enjoy the heritage and pure beauty of the Tuscan old town


Beautifully preserved Lucca is contained entirely within its iconic ramparts. Most cities tear down their walls to make way for modern traffic. But Lucca kept its walls—effectively keeping out both traffic and, it seems, the stress of the modern world. The city is a bit of a paradox; while it has Europe's mightiest Renaissance wall, it hasn't seen a battle since 1430. Locals, like my friend and fellow tour guide Gabriele Calabrese, treat their ramparts like a circular park. And, with plenty of rental bikes available, visitors can enjoy a lazy pedal around its two and a half mile circuit as well. So, Gabriele, this is a Renaissance wall. What's the difference between a Renaissance wall and a medieval wall? Medieval wall is thin because they had no problem with arrows or stones. But in the Renaissance time the cannons they became very strong and they became a problem so that's why it was so thick. Lucca's wall didn't come cheap. But all that hard work and investment combined with clever diplomacy earned the city a long period of independence. And, to this day, the proud Luccasi have a strong sense of identity. Rather than showcasing famous monuments, Lucca's appeal is in its relaxed old world ambiance. Stroll around. Take time to let the city unfold. Romanesque churches seem to be around every corner... as do inviting piazzas busy with children at play. The main pedestrian drag is Via Fillungo. Strolling here, past elegant old store fronts, you'll get a glimpse of Lucca's rich past as well as its charming present. Piazza Amphitheater was built around an ancient Roman arena. While the arena's long gone, its oval shape is a reminder of the city's classical heritage. Locals have been gathering here for two thousand years— today's attraction... a flower market. Piazza San Michele also has ancient roots. It's hosted a market since Roman times, when it was the forum. Today, it's dominated by the Church of San Michele. Towering above its fancy Romanesque façade, the archangel Michael stands ready to flap his wings—which, thanks to a crude mechanical contraption, he actually did on special occasions. In its heyday, Lucca packed over 100 towers within its walls. Each tower was the home and private fortress of a wealthy merchant family. Towers were single rooms stacked atop each other: shop, living room, and then the kitchen. This one, Lucca's tallest surviving tower, is famous for being capped with a bushy little forest. Those making the climb are rewarded with commanding city views—all in the shade of its amazing trees. Nearby, the church of San Giovanni hosts nightly concerts celebrating the music of hometown composer Giacomo Puccini. He was one of Italy's greatest opera composers. Puccini's delightful arias seem to capture the spirit of this wonderful corner of Italy.


By the Romans, Lucca was known as Luca. From more recent and concrete toponymic studies, the name Lucca has references that lead to "sacred grove" (Latin: lucus), "to cut" (Latin: lucare) and "luminous space" (leuk, a term used by the first European populations). The origin apparently refers to a wooded area deforested to make room for light or to a clearing located on a river island of Serchio debris, in the middle of wooded areas.[10][11]



The territory of present-day Lucca was certainly settled by the Etruscans, having also traces of a probable earlier Ligurian presence (called Luk meaning "marsh", which has already been speculated as a possible origin for the city's name), dating from 3rd century BC. However, it was only with the arrival of the Romans, that the area took on the appearance of a real town, obtaining the status of a Roman colony in 180 BC, and transformed into a town hall in 89 BC.[12][13]

The rectangular grid of its historical centre preserves the Roman street plan, and the Piazza San Michele occupies the site of the ancient forum. The outline of the Roman amphitheatre is still seen in the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, and the outline of a Roman theater is visible in Piazza Sant'Augostino. Fragments of the Roman-era walls are incorporated into the church of Santa Maria della Rosa.

At the Lucca Conference, in 56 BC, Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus reaffirmed their political alliance known as the First Triumvirate.[13][14]

Middle Ages

Piazza dell'Anfiteatro and the Basilica of San Frediano

Frediano, an Irish monk, was bishop of Lucca in the early sixth century.[15] At one point, Lucca was plundered by Odoacer, the first Germanic King of Italy. Lucca was an important city and fortress even in the sixth century, when Narses besieged it for several months in 553. From 576 to 797, under the Lombards, it was the capital of a duchy, known as Duchy of Tuscia, which included a large part of today's Tuscany and the province of Viterbo, during this time the city also minted its own coins.[16] The Holy Face of Lucca (or Volto Santo), a major relic supposedly carved by Nicodemus, arrived in 742.

Among the population that inhabited Lucca in the medieval era, there was also a significant presence of Jews. The first mention of their presence in the city is from a document from the year 859. The jewish community was led by the Kalonymos family (which later became a major component of proto-Ashkenazic Jewry).[17]

Thanks above all to the Holy Face and to the relics of important saints, such as San Regolo and Saint Fridianus, the city was one of the main destinations of the Via Francigena, the major pilgrimage route to Rome from the north.[18]

The Lucca cloth was a silk fabric that was woven with gold or silver threads. It was a popular type of textile in Lucca throughout the mediaeval period.[19][20]

Lucca became prosperous through the silk trade that began in the eleventh century, and came to rival the silks of Byzantium. During the tenth–eleventh centuries Lucca was the capital of the feudal margraviate of Tuscany, more or less independent but owing nominal allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1057, Anselm of Baggio (later Pope Alexander II) was appointed bishop of Lucca, a position he held also during the papacy. As bishop of Lucca he managed to rebuild the patrimony of the Church of Lucca, recovering alienated assets, obtaining numerous donations thanks to his prestige, and had the Cathedral of the city rebuilt. From 1073 to 1086, the bishop of Lucca was his nephew Anselm II, a prominent figure in the Investiture Controversy.[21][22]

During the High Middle Ages, one of the most illustrious dynasties of Lucca was the noble Allucingoli family, who managed to forge strong ties with the Church. Among the family members were Ubaldo Allucingoli, who was elected to the Papacy as Pope Lucius III in 1181, and the Cardinals Gerardo Allucingoli and Uberto Allucingoli.[23][24]

Republican period (12th to 19th century)

After the death of Matilda of Tuscany, the city began to constitute itself an independent commune with a charter in 1160. For almost 500 years, Lucca remained an independent republic. There were many minor provinces in the region between southern Liguria and northern Tuscany dominated by the Malaspina; Tuscany in this time was a part of feudal Europe. Dante's Divine Comedy includes many references to the great feudal families who had huge jurisdictions with administrative and judicial rights. Dante spent some of his exile in Lucca.

In 1273 and again in 1277, Lucca was ruled by a Guelph capitano del popolo (captain of the people) named Luchetto Gattilusio. In 1314, internal discord allowed Uguccione della Faggiuola of Pisa to make himself lord of Lucca. The Lucchesi expelled him two years later, and handed over the city to another condottiero, Castruccio Castracani, under whose rule it became a leading state in central Italy. Lucca rivalled Florence until Castracani's death in 1328. On 22 and 23 September 1325, in the battle of Altopascio, Castracani defeated Florence's Guelphs. For this he was nominated by Louis IV the Bavarian to become duke of Lucca. Castracani's tomb is in the church of San Francesco. His biography is Machiavelli's third famous book on political rule.

Occupied by the troops of Louis of Bavaria, the city was sold to a rich Genoese, Gherardino Spinola, then seized by John, king of Bohemia. Pawned to the Rossi of Parma, by them it was ceded to Mastino II della Scala of Verona, sold to the Florentines, surrendered to the Pisans, and then nominally liberated by the emperor Charles IV and governed by his vicar.

In 1408, Lucca hosted a convocation organized by Pope Gregory XII with his cardinals intended to end the schism in the papacy.[25]

Lucca managed, at first as a democracy, and after 1628 as an oligarchy, to maintain its independence alongside of Venice and Genoa, and painted the word Libertas on its banner until the French Revolution in 1789.[26]

Early modern period

Palazzo Pfanner, garden view

Lucca had been the second largest Italian city state (after Venice) with a republican constitution ("comune") to remain independent over the centuries.

Between 1799 and 1800, it was contested by the French and Austrian armies. Finally the French prevailed and granted a democratic constitution in the 1801. However, already in 1805 the Republic of Lucca was converted into a monarchy by Napoleon, who installed his sister Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi as "Princess of Lucca".

From 1815 to 1847, it was a Bourbon-Parma duchy. The only reigning dukes of Lucca were Maria Luisa of Spain, who was succeeded by her son Charles II, Duke of Parma in 1824. Meanwhile, the Duchy of Parma had been assigned for life to Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma, the second wife of Napoleon. In accordance with the Treaty of Vienna (1815), upon the death of Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma in 1847, Parma reverted to Charles II, Duke of Parma, while Lucca lost independence and was annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. As part of Tuscany, it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1860 and finally part of the Italian State in 1861.

World War II internment camp

In 1942, during World War II, a prisoner-of-war camp was established at the village of Colle di Compito, in the municipality of Capannori, about 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) from Lucca. Its official number was P.G. (prigionieri di guerra) 60,[27] and it was usually referred to as PG 60 Lucca.[28] Although it never had permanent structures and accommodation consisted of tents in an area prone to flooding, it housed more than 3,000 British and Commonwealth prisoners of war during the period of its existence. It was handed over to the Germans on 10 September 1943, not long after the signing of the Italian armistice. During the Italian Social Republic, as a puppet state of the Germans, political prisoners, foreigners, common law prisoners and Jews were interned there, and it functioned as a concentration camp. In June 1944, the prisoners were moved to Bagni di Lucca.[27]



Lucca is the birthplace of composers Giacomo Puccini (La Bohème and Madama Butterfly), Nicolao Dorati, Francesco Geminiani, Gioseffo Guami, Luigi Boccherini, and Alfredo Catalani. It is also the birthplace of artist Benedetto Brandimarte. Since 2004, Lucca is home to IMT Lucca, a public research institution and a selective graduate school and part of the Superior Graduate Schools in Italy (Grandes écoles).[29]

Guinigi Tower


Lucca hosts the annual Lucca Summer Festival. The 2006 edition featured live performances by Eric Clapton, Placebo, Massive Attack, Roger Waters, Tracy Chapman, and Santana at the Piazza Napoleone.

Lucca hosts the annual Lucca Comics and Games festival, Europe's largest festival for comics, movies, games and related subjects.

Other events include:

  • Lucca Film Festival[30]
  • Lucca Digital Photography Fest[31]
  • Procession of Santa Croce, on 13 September. Costume procession through the town's roads.
  • Lucca Jazz Donna[32]

Moreover, Lucca hosts Lucca Biennale Cartasia,[33] an international biennial contemporary art exhibition focusing solely on Paper Art.

Film and television

Mauro Bolognini's 1958 film Giovani mariti, with Sylva Koscina, is set and was filmed in Lucca.[citation needed]

Top Gear filmed the third episode of the 17th season here.


Lucca is also known for its marble deposits. After a fire in the early 1900s, the West Wing of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario was rebuilt with marble sourced in Lucca. The floor mosaic in the West Wing was hand-laid and is constructed entirely of Italian, Lucca marble.

Main sights

Palazzo Ducale
A stretch of the walls
Via Fillungo view from the Clock Tower
Autumn atop bastions
View of Lucca from the Clock Tower

Walls, streets, and squares

The walls encircling the old town remain intact, even though the city has expanded and been modernised, which is unusual for cities in this region. These walls were built initially as a defensive rampart which, after losing their military importance, became a pedestrian promenade (the Passeggiata delle Mure Urbane) atop the walls which not only links the Bastions of Santa Croce, San Frediano, San Martino, San Pietro/Battisti, San Salvatore, La Libertà/Cairoli, San Regolo, San Colombano, Santa Maria, San Paolino/Catalani and San Donato but also passes over the gates (Porte) of San Donato, Santa Maria, San Jacopo, Elisa, San Pietro, and Sant'Anna. Each of the four principal sides of the structure is lined with a tree species different from the others.

The walled city is encircled by Piazzale Boccherini, Viale Lazzaro Papi, Viale Carlo Del Prete, Piazzale Martiri della Libertà, Via Batoni, Viale Agostino Marti, Viale G. Marconi (vide Guglielmo Marconi), Piazza Don A. Mei, Viale Pacini, Viale Giusti, Piazza Curtatone, Piazzale Ricasoli, Viale Ricasoli, Piazza Risorgimento (vide Risorgimento), and Viale Giosuè Carducci.

The town includes a number of public squares, most notably the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, (site of the ancient Roman amphitheater), the Piazzale Verdi, the Piazza Napoleone, and the Piazza San Michele.

The courtyard of Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi
Teatro del Giglio
Puccini's statue on Piazza Cittadella created by Vito Tongiani
San Michele in Foro
San Michele at Antraccoli

Palaces, villas, houses, offices, and museums


There are many medieval, a few as old as the eighth century, basilica-form churches with richly arcaded façades and campaniles



Since 2005, Lucca hosts IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, a selective graduate and doctoral school which is part of the Italian superior graduate school system. Its main educational facilities are located at the San Francesco Convent Complex and Campus, and the former Renaissance-style Roman Catholic church of San Ponziano now hosts the university library.


Association football arrived in Lucca in 1905 and has its roots in Brazil, thanks to a number of fans that helped found the club who had learned the game in Brazil. The Lucchese 1905, or simply Lucchese, play in Serie C, the third tier of Italian football, having last been in top tier Serie A in 1952. The club plays their home games at Stadio Porta Elisa, just outside the northeast wall of the city.[35][36]



Consorzio Lucchese Autotrasporti Pubblici, also known as CLAP, was established in 1969, as the main company in the Province of Lucca to manage the local public transport. In 2005, following the decision of the Region to assign the local public transport to a single operator for each of the 14 lots constituted, CLAP merged with the companies Lazzi and C.LU.B. Scpa to form the consortium VaiBus which was absorbed by the newly formed company CTT Nord in 2012. VaiBus was part of ONE Scarl the consortium holder of the two-year (2018-2019) contract for the management of the TPL throughout the Region.[37]

Since 1 November 2021 the public local transport is managed by Autolinee Toscane.[38]

Notable people

Sister cities

Lucca is twinned with:[41][42]

See also


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ Population data from Istat
  3. ^ "Popolazione Lucca (2001-2020) Grafici su dati ISTAT". (in Italian). Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Provincia di Lucca (LU)". (in Italian). Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  5. ^ Magrini, Graziano. "The Walls of Lucca". Scientific Itineraries of Tuscany. Museo Galileo. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  6. ^ Donadio, Rachel (13 March 2009). "A Walled City in Tuscany Clings to Its Ancient Menu". March 12, 2009. New York Times. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Roman amphitheatre in Lucca | Visit Tuscany". Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  8. ^ "20 Bellissime Città d'Arte in Italia". Skyscanner Italia (in Italian). 16 April 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  9. ^ Joe. "9 Facts About Lucca |". Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  10. ^ Rossebastiano, Alda. Dizionario di toponomastica (in Italian). p. 427.
  11. ^ Treccani, Giovanni. Enciclopedia Italiana di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti (in Italian). Treccani. p. 560.
  12. ^ "Roman Lucca | Turismo Lucca". Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  13. ^ a b Haegen, Anne Mueller von der; Strasser, Ruth F. (2013). "Lucca". Art & Architecture: Tuscany. Potsdam: H.F.Ullmann Publishing. p. 57. ISBN 978-3-8480-0321-1.
  14. ^ Boatwright, Mary et al. The Romans: From Village to Empire, pg 229.
  15. ^ See article on the Basilica di San Frediano.
  16. ^ Mancini, Augusto (1999). Storia di Lucca (in Italian). Pacini Fazzi. p. 23. ISBN 8872463432.
  17. ^ Lucca, retrieved 28 January 2022
  18. ^ Stopani, Renato (1991). Le vie di pellegrinaggio del Medioevo (in Italian). Le Lettere. p. 61. ISBN 887166048X.
  19. ^ Harmuth, Louis (1915). Dictionary of textiles. University of California Libraries. New York, Fairchild publishing company. p. 94.
  20. ^ Sarkar, Ajoy K.; Tortora, Phyllis G.; Johnson, Ingrid (4 November 2021). The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Textiles. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 283. ISBN 978-1-5013-6508-9.
  21. ^ "ALESSANDRO II, papa in "Dizionario Biografico"". (in Italian). Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  22. ^ "ANSELMO da Lucca in "Enciclopedia Italiana"". (in Italian). Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  23. ^ "ALLUCINGOLI, Gerardo in "Dizionario Biografico"". (in Italian). Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  24. ^ "Chiesa della Natività di Maria Santissima (Pontetetto) – Arcidiocesi di Lucca" (in Italian). Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  25. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Pope Gregory XII". Retrieved 9 January 2022.
  26. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica (1911)
  27. ^ a b Angelini, Silvia Q. (2018). "Colle di Compecito". In Megargee, G.P.; White, J.R. (eds.). The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, Volume III: Camps and Ghettos under European Regimes Aligned with Nazi Germany. Indiana University Press. p. 421. ISBN 978-0-253-02386-5. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  28. ^ "Ill-treatment of prisoners of war at Camp PG 60, Lucca, Italy, July to November 1942". The National Archives. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  29. ^ "IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca - Scuola di Dottorato IMT Alti Studi di Lucca". 29 September 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
  30. ^ "Lucca Film Festival". Archived from the original on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  31. ^ "Lucca Digital Photo Fest". Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2011.
  32. ^ "Lucca Jazz Donna".
  33. ^ "Lucca Biennale - Cartasia | Turismo Lucca". Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  34. ^ "Church of Sant'Alessandro Maggiore | Lucca". 16 December 2010. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  35. ^ "History of the Lucchese 1905".
  36. ^ "Stadium of the Lucchese 1905". 6 July 2017.
  37. ^ "Lucca CTT Soluzione per la mobilità". CTT Nord. Archived from the original on 23 May 2022. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  38. ^ "Guida al primo giorno di servizio". Autolinee Toscane. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  39. ^ "About" Archived 2010-02-11 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved March 25, 2012
  40. ^ The Quarterly Review, vol. 139 Google Books
  41. ^ "Lucca e i gemellaggi". (in Italian). Lucca. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  42. ^ "Ystävyyskaupungit". (in Finnish). Hämeenlinna. Retrieved 16 December 2019.


External links

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