The medieval Italian town of Lucca

Lucca, Italy (in Tuscany) is an ancient, walled town that's dripping in history. It’s been around for at least two thousand years, and Jenna Ives and I had a chance to visit this spectacular place a few weeks ago. (She dragged me to a Rolling Stones concert there, but I mainly went along for the chance to visit relatives I have in Italy…)

Lucca was a Roman colony as far back as 180 B.C. In 56 B.C. Julius Caesar was known to have struck an importance political alliance there. On the site of an old Roman amphitheater (where gladiators fought and wild animals killed each other) is now an oval of shops and apartment buildings, but you can still see the shape of the ancient battlegrounds.

Luckily, Lucca’s earthenware city wall (about 40 feet high and about 20 feet wide) is no longer used for defense. In fact, these days it’s been turned into a pedestrian walkway (which is a lot easier to navigate than the warren of Lucca’s narrow streets).

Lucca is full of historical churches, including the Duomo di San Martino…

And the church of San Michele in Foro…

But maybe the best way to get to know this city is by getting lost in its maze of quaint, tiny streets… You never know what you might see!

Jenna and I only spent three days in Lucca, then it was off to see my relatives in Southern Italy. But Lucca is such a unique and special place that it stays with you long after you’ve said “Arrivederchi, Italia!”


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