The stunning walled city of Lucca, Italy is well worth a visit if you are in the area. While we only spent one evening in Lucca, I think that is more than enough time to get a taste for the gorgeous city. It is known as the city of 100 churches, and it’s cobbled streets are filled with expansive and charming piazzas. It is less than 30 minutes from Pisa by car and I believe it can be accessed by train too.
Lucca is filled with loads of little boutiques within all price ranges. While I am a big Zara fan, nothing beats arriving home from holidays with something you know no one else will have. Most of these shops seemed to close around 7/7:30pm mid-week, so if you are interested in do some shopping I would advise doing so before you settle down for a bite to eat. We thought the nicest shops were in the area surrounding Piazza S. Michele.
Walk the walls
Lucca is lined with 4km of restored walls which date back to the 17th century. It is a perfect way too see the city from above or to get some light exercise. The wide paths mean that you can either walk the walls or alternatively you can rent bikes by the day or by the hour.
Sit in one of the busy squares
There are loads of squares, both big and small scattered through the streets of Lucca. The squares are often filled with bars, restaurants and some can have interesting street performances. Grab a drink, sit back and watch the people go by.
View the city from the Guinigi Tower
While we missed the opening hours for this place, I read loads of blogs which claimed it had one of the best views of the city. This rooftop garden is said to give an unusual perspective on the city and is the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Eat in ‘Osteria da Pasquale’ or ‘Osteria via S. Giorgio’
Osteria da Pasquale
Definitely needs to be booked. This understated looking restaurant actually opens out onto a private little square where its guests can enjoy their meal away from the crowds of the city. While the restaurant has a relaxed ambience, the host and his waiters are rushing around to ensure all of your needs are tended to. The wine list is one of the largest I have ever seen and the host is very good at recommending local wines within your budget to go with your meal. The food was very tasty, but the portions were small. We all loved our meals, apart from my dad who ordered the veal bolognese. While it was nice, it was bland in comparison to the rest of our creamy and indulgent pasta sauces. We all really enjoyed our meal here and would highly recommend.
Osteria via S. Giorgio
Expect more of a casual meal here. I was initially apprehensive when we arrived at the restaurant and it was empty. We later realised that was down to us Irish being accustomed to eating far earlier than the Italians. This restaurant has a lovely patio out the front with room indoors for the guests in need of some air-con. We all had pasta as a ‘first course’ and some sort of meat as a ‘second course’. All of our pastas were amazing. Everyone had a different one and each was nicer than the next. In terms of the second course it was a case of hit or miss. The people who chose the sliced beef fillet on a bed of rocket were very happy with their choices, me not so much with my chicken with spinach. A cheaper alternative to Osteria da Pasquale with more tables so you won’t need to book.
We were there at the end of June and there seemed to be a lot of concerts going on. If you plan to visit Lucca and are a music fan it might be worth researching if there are any gigs on when you are there.
I hope you have found this post helpful and I hope you enjoy your time in the beautiful Lucca.
The Girl on the Go xx