Everyone who goes to Italy wants to visit Florence and they should. It is a beautiful city full of art, history and great food.
Most travelers allow several days for a visit to Florence Italy. But there is no need to spend all of your time in one city. There are a number of places that are an easy day trip from Florence. By using Florence as your home base you don’t have to keep repacking your bags and moving to different hotels in order to see more of Italy.
The Italian trains go just about everywhere so with a little planning you can see Florence and one or two typical towns in Tuscany and Umbria.
Lucca Italy is an easy day trip from Florence Italy. It is an old city founded a couple of hundred years BC. The Piazza dell’Antifeatro is what survives of the ancient Roman amphitheater. Imagine what the city was like when amphitheaters were still used for sport and gladiators walked through the arches to meet their fate. Today the amphitheater has a number of cute shops and reasonably priced outdoor cafe’s.
Lucca Italy is a city of narrow streets, most of which are now open only to pedestrian traffic. The streets are lined with stores and restaurants. It can be confusing to find your way through the winding streets, when you think you may be lost just head toward the city walls. There is a tourist information office near one of the main entrances to the walls, where you can get a map (they also have clean rest rooms).
Video Slideshow of Lucca
A wall was built around the city in the 16th and 17th centuries. You can walk, bike or jog around the tree lined promenade on the top of the walls. The walk along the walls is about 2.5 miles (4 km) long and is wide enough for wheelchairs and baby strollers though you will have to push them up fairly steep ramps to get to the top. There are ramps every half a mile or so allowing you to get to the top of the wall and back down as you wish.
From the top of the walls you can see the Torre dei Guinigi with oak trees growing on top of the tower!
The Casa di Puccini is the15th century house where the composer was born. Today there is a museum celebrating Puccini’s life that is open to the public (closed on Monday).
Other sites in Lucca Italy include the Duomo de San Martino, San Michele in Foro, San Frediano, San Pietro Somaldi, Museo Nazionale di Villa Guinigi, Museo Nazionale di Piazzo Mansi and a bell tower offering a beautiful view of the surrounding area. There are also three gardens: the Palazzo Pfanner, the gardens at Villa Bottini and the Giardino Botanico which is visible from the wall.
Travelling to Lucca From Florence
It usually takes about an hour on the local train to go from Florence Italy to Lucca Italy. It is an easy walk from the train station into the city of Lucca.