May 14 , 2015By Nancy Cassano
Lucca, located in Tuscany northeast of Pisa, still maintains its charming medieval character with its 16th century enclosing city walls and a traffic-free interior. This fascinating and beautiful city will thrill you with its stunning sights, music, shopping and architecture - with some buildings dating back to the 6th and 8th centuries. There are plenty of places to eat and drink and some beautiful apartments and hotels to stay in. Lucca is small enough to easily get around. You’ll enjoy roaming its maze of narrow streets. These cobbled streets are traffic free but full of people on bicycles. The city walls are over two and a half miles around and wide enough at the top for bicycles and a picnic.
Lucca’s population of 84,000 is actually more than that of central Venice.
Each July Lucca comes alive with the Lucca Music Festival. This year the month-long celebration will host Elton John, Los Lobos, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, Billy Idol, Snoop Dogg and more.
If your music tastes are more into opera and the classics, head to Church of San Giovanni for the Puccini International Permanent Festival. From March 31st to October 31st you’ll find evening concerts there nightly at 7pm. Each evening concert features a different cast of international singers and musicians.
Lucca is an easy day trip from Florence. The 1 hour, 19 minute train ride will cost you about $10 each way.