Today was the 42nd wedding anniversary for my Patty and me. While I had lobbied hard to do a day trip to Florence for this day, we were persuaded to take a look at Lucca and we are glad we did.
Lucca has a long and storied history. It….
- was founded by the Etruscans
- has traces of an earlier Ligurian settlement from the 3rd century BC. The settlement was named Luk, meaning marsh and is the origin of the name Lucca
- became a Roman colony in 180 BC
- held the Lucca Conference in 58 BC, where Julius Caesar, Pompey and Crassus reaffirmed their political alliance known as the First Triumvirate
- had Frediano, an Irish Monk as bishop of Lucca in the early 6th century
- was a center of Jewish life in the 8th to 10th centuries
- became famous in the silk trade in the 11th century, coming to rival the silks of Byzantium
- constituted itself as an independent commune with a charter in 1160, remaining an independent republic for almost 500 years
- was conquered by Napolean in 1805, who then installed his sister, Elisa Bonaparte Bachiocci as Princess of Lucca
- became a Bourbon-Parma duchy from 1815-1847
- in 1847, it lost its independence and was annexed by the Grand Duchy of Tuscanny
- became part of the Kingdom of Sardinnia in 1860
- became part of the Italian state in 1861
The walls surrounding Lucca remain intact to this day. Originally for defensive purposes, they are now re-purposed as a pedestrian promenade. Population is listed as 89,346 as of 2017.
The city contains many fine churches, palaces and towers as well as a Roman amphitheatre that has been reconstructed into shops and homes. It was a gem to explore and the old city within the walls is perfect for a day trip. Just the right size.
Approaching the city from Lucca station. You can either climb up on the walls or enter through a gate.
Many fine buildings and interesting architectural styles
Lots of shopping and dining opportunities, although the sign in the last slide was unique.
Other interesting details in this very livable city
If we ever travel back to the area, we would consider staying in Lucca. One of the churches hosts opera productions in the evening.