Monday, 5 September 2011

Lucca Italy Attractions

If you are in Tuscany you don't want to miss the Lucca Italy Attractions. Lucca was once the capital of and has green rolling hills, medieval cathedrals and even a cooking school. Lucca is certainly worth a day trip to visit, but you could easily find an entire vacation's worth of things to see and do here.

One of the main Lucca Italy attractions is the city walls. These walls were built during the Renaissance and they are are over two miles long. Taking a walk along the top of the wall is a great introduction to Lucca and you can get some exercise and good views at the same time. The walls of Lucca were originally there to provide defense during the many wars between Italian city-states, but these days, they serve an entirely different purpose, giving Lucca the look of a huge, open castle.

Another Lucca Italy attraction is the Duomo di San Martino. This cathedral is a mixture of Romanesque and Gothic structure and it provides visitors with lots to see. It was originally constructed in the 6th century, and it continued to evolve through to the mid-14th centurt. Inside the cathedral you will find  outstanding sculptures from the early Renaissance period made of marble, including a funeral momument of Caretto, a local noblewoman.

Visitors should be sure not to miss the Via Fillungo. This wide tree-lined boulevard offers plenty of shops and restaurants as well as lots of interesting sights. An authentic medieval area, cafes along the street offer a view of the Tower of Hours and other structures of the period.

After stopping for a coffee or lunch, one of the most interesting Lucca Italy attractions is still to come. The art collection at the Villa Guinigi is the envy of the region. Once the personal property of Paolo Guinigi, ruler of the town in the 1400s, the collection has been expanded far beyond his original holdings. There are figurative arts on display ranging from the Middle Ages up through the 18th century. Sculptures, ceramic objects, gold crosses and much more are housed here.

For opera lovers, a visit to Lucca is a chance to see the birthplace of the renowned composer Puccini. Creator of Madame Butterfly and many more popular works, visitors will get a good idea of where his lush romanticism first was aroused. The family house has been preserved and it is filled with memorabilia from his youth. Scores in the master's hand, photos and even the piano on which he composed Turandot are on display.

If you are planning to be in Lucca for at least a week and you have an interest in Italian cooking you may want to consider attending classes at the renowned cooking school here. Then head over to the Bagni di Lucca spa and imagine former patrons Byron and Shelley entertaining you with a verse while you get pampered in the thermal bath.

Lucca is less than an hour away from Florence, so planning a stop here to take in all the Lucca Italy attractions will definitely be worth your while.

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