Lucca, Italy

October 15, 2009

The Tuscan walled city of Lucca gains some of its fame by being the birthplace of Giaccomo Puccini, the well-known opera composer.  His birthplace was on our tour.  There are many other wonderful sights in this town.  The St. Michael Cathedral, with all its arches and other decorations is wonderful.  We only got to see the outside, but that was plenty, as there was much detail to observe.  

The Tower Guinigi, at the back of this photograph, has trees growing on the roof; one source says they were self-seeded.  The tower was a residence.  Much of Lucca used to be towers; eventually they started joining them together.  Even so, the tower architecture can still be seen.

Another main attraction in Lucca is the old amphitheater.  From the outside, the shape is clearly that of an amphitheater.  Once inside, though, it is a great surprise.  For a long time it was not as neat as it looks now.  People used rubble from the ruin to build houses inside it; eventually order was brought, so all the houses in the middle disappeared.

Our guide told us that the walls of the city were built 90 meters thick at the bottom, and then taper toward the top.  They were built this way to withstand cannon fire.  Today the top of the wall is a place to stroll or run.  We did not see much of it, but it would be enjoyable to walk around the town on the wall.

We would recommend seeing Lucca, as an interesting study in what has happened to a very old town, which still retains much of its antiquity.

© Susan L. Stone 2015