Il Borgino is ideally located 15 minutes from Lucca, a small city with a rich history, that is magically preserved. The Roman city, the Medieval city, the Renaissance city, the nineteenth century city: traces of all of these may still be found here.
A walk through the centre of Lucca becomes an exciting voyage through the centuries, through history.Apart from the significant monuments, such as the sixteenth-seventeenth century walls, Lucca stands out for its atmosphere and lively centre.
Simply look down from above, from one of its towers, or wander through the narrow, tortuous Medieval streets: the white marble of superb Romanesque churches, the orange-red or the thirteenth-fourteenth century buildings, the grey of the paving stones, the green of the vegetation peeping out all over that heightens the powerful size of the ramparts and the surfaces of the Walls that rise, almost unreal, out of the lawns of grass. Lucca will inevitably seduce you. Its appeal is probably the result of the city’s history.
Over the centuries, the city has cultivated its unusual diversity mixed with contradictions. Ever jealous of its autonomy, Lucca was an independent city-state up to 1847, on the threshold of the unification of Italy. The city was traditionally close to the papacy, but in the mid-1500s it became one of the capitals of the Reformation (between 1542 and 1545, the city was home to Piero Martire Vermigli and Bernardo Ochino). It was proudly enclosed within its walls (which the Luccans bought back from the State) but, with its merchants and its silk, it remained active for centuries in the main European markets.Lucca has many beautiful attractions.
Things to do
The many romanesque churches, such as San Michele, the Duomo of San Martino and the Basilica of San Frediano, should not be missed. Inside the Duomo, the visitor is stunned by the elegance and loveliness of the fifteenth century monument to Ilaria del Carretto sculpted by Jacopo della Quercia and the austere solemnity of Girlandaio’s Sacra Conversazione. In San Frediano, which recalls the First Roman Early Christian churches, the mosaic on the façade is splendid, as is the fresco cycle by, the Bolognese Amico Aspertini, within.
A walk or cycle along a section of the ancient walls is not to be missed. The ramparts, thirty meters wide at the base and still in their original state, cover over four kilometers. With beautiful parkland and trees lining the ramparts, it is possible to enjoy amazing views of the city and the surrounding hills.
A trip to the Torre Guinigi is highly recommended. It offers a fabulous view; but it is also one of the city’s symbols, if for no other reason then the trees planted on the top.
Along the same route , a visit should be made to the ninenteenth century Piazza Anfiteatro, built on the remains of the ancient Roman Amphitheatre.
Then, carry on to Giacomo Puccini’s house (now a museum), and further on, to Via del Battistero. This street is renowned world wide for its antique dealers.
The antique market on the third Sunday of every month is also famous. For thirty years, it has drawn innumerable antique lovers to the city’s squares and streets.
Major Events in Lucca
ANTIQUES MARKET IN LUCCA | Every third week-end each month in and around via del Battistero
HANDICRAFT MARKET | The last week-end of each month in Piazza S. Giusto and surrounding piazzas
February-March | VIAREGGIO CARNIVAL | Famous all over the world, for four Sundays along the Viareggio promenade
April | BIENNAL OF AZALEA | Borgo a Mozzano flower show and market
April | FLOWER SHOW AND MARKET OF S. ZITA | Piazza S. Frediano and the Anfiteatro | An explosion of colours and fragrances
May-October | VARIOUS CONCERTS | Theatre, music, ballet in historic villas, local parishes and the most fascinating locations in Lucca
June-July | SUMMER MUSIC FESTIVAL | Concerts of international artists in the most beautiful piazzas in Lucca
July-August | FESTIVAL LA VERSILIANA | Exhibitions, shows, talks and conferences, concerts and various performances in the villa parks.
July-August | PUCCINI FESTIVAL | Performances of Puccini’s major operas in the splendid background of Massaciuccoli Lake
Beginning of September | SAGRA DEL VINO DI MONTECARLO | In the fascinating medieval village you can taste good local vine and food
September 13 | FESTIVAL OF S. CROCE “LA LUMINARA” DEL VOLTO SANTO | Traditional procession in period costumes along the streets of the historic center
October-November | OPERA SEASON | Beginning of the season plays at Teatro del Giglio (www.comune.lucca.it)
End October-November | LUCCA COMICS & GAMES | Annual comic book and gaming convention in Lucca. It is the largest comics festival in Europe, and the second biggest in the world after the Comiket.