Lucca is the capital of the Tuscan province of the same name and is a small, medieval city enclosed entirely by immense Renaissance-era walls. They were built to defend the city and were never breached. The ancient ramparts are so wide that today they are an elevated park with benches, footpaths and cycle lanes. Between these fortifications is an elegant city of plazas, ancient towers, palaces, churches and pastel-coloured buildings.
HomeAway has gorgeous holiday apartments in Lucca that are located close to the city and main attractions, and are available all year round. They have from two to 14 bedrooms and are furnished to a very high standard. All are spacious and many come with their own private gardens, grounds or swimming pools. In addition there are Lucca holiday rentals within the ancient walled city. There are more beautiful historic sites ten miles from Lucca, where visitors can find more reasonably priced holiday homes in Pisa.
-Historic monuments: Lucca’s medieval skyline was once dotted with more than 100 towers, the homes and private fortresses of wealthy merchant families. Today, only a few are left and two can be climbed. They are the Clock Tower and the Guinigi Tower, which has a roof garden of oak trees. Other historic buildings worthy of note include the Church of San Michele, a 12th-century building filled with paintings, frescoes and sculptures.
-Museums: Lucca was the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, one of Italy’s most famous composers. His childhood home has been turned into a museum, the Casa Natale di Giacomo Puccini. The ten rooms contain some of his musical scores, manuscripts, original concert brochures and personal letters.
-Festivals: Every summer the city hosts The Lucca Summer Festival, a huge open-air musical celebration in Piazza Napoleone, Lucca's main public square. It features a host of big names, and in the past Bob Dylan, Elton John and Pink have performed on its stage. If planning a visit, it is advised tourists book holiday villas in Lucca well in advance. The Lucca Winter Festival in November and December features jazz, gospel, classical and other musical concerts at the Teatro del Giglio.
-Shopping: Lucca’s main shopping thoroughfare is Via Fillungo containing an elegant mix of independent boutiques and stores selling clothes, leather goods, antiques and jewellery. In September and December Piazza San Michele hosts a temporary market with stalls selling locally made handicrafts, sweets, toys and regional foods.
Visitors can enjoy holiday villas in Lucca all through the year as the city benefits from hot summers and mild winters. The temperature during the hottest months of July and August often climbs to 30°C , while in December and January 8-10°C is the norm. There can be numerous rainy days during autumn and winter with October and November being the wettest months.
The nearest airports to Lucca are in Pisa and Florence and there are good road and rail connections from both these cities. There is also a bus that travels from Pisa direct to Lucca. Hiring a car is a must for visitors who want to travel around the wider province. Most people walk or rent a bike within the city walls as driving is primarily restricted to residents.