How to Spend 3 Days in Lucca
One of Tuscany’s gems, the lovely city of Lucca is packed with churches and palaces and known for its wealth of culture and culinary pedigree. Stroll the city’s defensive walls, sip locally made wine, and even plan a northern Italian day trip. Here’s how to spend three days in Lucca.
Day 1: Sightseeing in Style
Orient yourself in the city and discover its major attractions with a morning walking tour. Learn more about its past (which dates all the way back to ancient Etruscan times), and browse the shops lining the pedestrianized Via Fillungo. After a spritz and a snack at a local café, take in the views from tree-topped Guinigi Tower (Torre Guinigi). As evening descends, explore Lucca’s defensive walls, the best-preserved Renaissance-era fortifications in Italy. Horse-and-carriage rides offer an especially romantic way to soak up the ambiance and the city views.
Day 2: Art, Food, and Wine
Begin your second day on a leisurely note with a breakfast of buccellato (a local sweet bread studded with raisins) and a cappuccino, then dive into local culture at the Casa Puccini (once home to the Lucca-born composer) or the Lucca Center of Contemporary Art. Following your cultural break, it’s time for a culinary excursion—the hills surrounding Lucca are known for olive-oil and wine production. Spend the afternoon visiting local winemakers, and enjoy guided tastings of the region’s top varietals. Upon returning to Lucca, you can shore up in a family-owned trattoria for a languorous feast or—for a hands-on, personal experience—book a dinnertime cooking class in the home of a local chef.
Day 3: A Day Trip to Remember
While Lucca is a tremendously likeable place to pass the time, its convenient location in Tuscany means it’s also an excellent jumping-off point for further adventures. On your third and final day in town, see another side of the region when you plan an inspiring day trip. Nearby Pisa, with its Piazza dei Miracoli UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most accessible options for a getaway, while trips to historical Siena and lofty San Gimignano offer the ideal opportunity to visit some of Tuscany’s other heavy-hitters. Alternatively, you can spend a full day out along the Cinque Terre: one of Italy’s most in-demand destinations, renowned for its vertiginous, coastal beauty. Coach and private-car tours offer a hassle-free way to explore the UNESCO site and make it easy to wend your way among Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and the region’s other vibrant fishing villages.