Lucca is one of the main and most important ancient provinces in the Tuscan region. One of its prominent features lies in the variety of its territory, which is dividable into 3 main areas: Garfagnana, Versilia and Lucca city centre. The first area comprises the prominent Serchio valley, the Serchio is Lucca’s most important river, which cuts through the mountains creating a breathtaking panorama, up to the Tosco-Emiliano Apennine, which divides the region of Tuscany from that of Emilia Romagna.
The second area, the fashionable Versilia, descends from the Apuane mountains, where the striking white of the Carrara marble quarries is often mistaken for snow, sloping slowly towards the busy beaches of Marina di Pietrasanta and Forte dei Marmi; finally the last area, Lucca, a ‘luxurious and secluded lady’ sealed and surrounded by imposing renaissance walls.
Lucca is one of the most important Tuscan cities, renown outside the national borders, mainly for its fortified walls, which surround the historic centre for 4 km circa, and is one of the four Italian provinces together with Ferrara, Grosseto and Bergamo, which preserve intact walls; additionally, their characteristic is that they are pedestrian, starting from the mid 1970’s, they were closed to motor vehicles, and from then on became ‘the gardens’ of Lucca, where it is possible to enjoy long walks and bike rides.
The historical centre maintains its original aspect, showing off a variety of architectural styles, important monuments and reminiscent urban spaces. Lucca is also called ‘the city of one hundred churches’ and as many towers overlook the red brick roof tops, typical of the Tuscan landscape.
Lucca is also the birth place of the famous 19th century composer Giacomo Puccini, and in his honor, every summer, in the evocative atmosphere of Torre del Lago are interpreted the Maestros main operas. Perhaps, it is due to this musical tradition that the ‘Summer Festival’ was born; each summer international musicians, from Elton John to George Michael, to name a couple, perform in the small, but welcoming main square of Piazza Napoleone.
But the Lucca appointments are not limited to the summer time. ‘Settembre Lucchese’, the month of September is full of local gastronomic, floricultural, agricultural and handicraft events; but the highlight of the month is on the 14th of September when the Santa Croce Festivity takes place, a millenary recurrence, celebrated the evening before, where the entire city centre is illuminated by candles decorating the outlines of the buildings and their windows, welcoming the historical procession of one of the most ancient and precious relics of the community, the ‘Volto Santo’(Holy Cross).
Following, in October, the international event of comic books, ‘Lucca Comix’, not only for kids but also for adults; then, into the Christmas season, the city lightens up with decorations, markets and late night shopping.
These are only a few of the many events which take place in Lucca and it’s province