has a collection of artworks that have made it well-known throughout the
world, and it is also called the 'city of the hundred churches', some
of which are truly beautiful. Outside the city walls there is the Museo
Nazionale di Villa Guinigi, where there are paintings by artists from
Lucca together with valuable sculptures, items of the so-called minor
arts, and sacred furnishings.
The very distinctive Piazza del Mercato, which is oval-shaped because
it was built over an ancient Roman amphitheatre, is circled by
an uninterrupted ring of houses. The only access to the piazza is by four
Places of interest in the area around Lucca include the
famous Ville Lucchese, which were built between the 16th and the
18th centuries on hilltops, mainly in proximity to the supplies of water
that were needed for the spectacular fountains in their gardens.
These villas share a particular concern for aesthetics, both in terms
of the buildings themselves and the parks they overlook. Another shared
feature is the mixed Tuscan and Doric order of architecture, and the use
of plaster and stone together.
The renowned Tuscan cigar, the Toscano, is also from Lucca; hand-rolled
since the 19th century, they are produced by the Manifattura Tabacchi.
Thanks to a concession by the Italian state, they are now also produced
in America and Argentina.
Lucca include a wide area that extends from the Apuan
Alps to the Garfagnana and reaches as far as the coastal strip
The countryside around Lucca produces a high-quality (and world
famous) olive oil that is highly aromatic and easy to digest.
Besides the well-known Tuscan gastronomic specialties, in Lucca
it is also possible to sample Buccellato, a sweet ring-shaped
cake made according to a 15th century recipe; its name derives from
the fact that its shape is reminiscent of a buccina, a Roman trumpet
with a round-coiled shape.
Picture by Sandro Santioli