Puccini, Lippi, Tintoretto, Lucca is renowned for its cultural highlights and rarely crowded despite its charms.
Here is a most cultured Tuscan town, beautified by numerous Romanesque churches and an abundance of historic charm. Lucca is proud of its composer son Puccini, born in the city he returned to live by the lake where he wrote many famous operas including Madame Butterfly and Il Trittico. You can visit the Museo Villa Puccini and see it as he left it.
Lucca has too many churches to see them all, perhaps choose two, the Chiesa di San Michele in Foro which dates from the 11th century, and holds a magnificent 15th century work by Filippino Lippi, while the Cathedral has the Last Supper by Tintoretto.
In March Lucca is a riot of Camellias, hundreds of years ago the city’s merchants travelled through the Far East and brought back the exotic flora, which flourished in Tuscany’s climate. Many villas open their gardens so you can view the colourful displays, otherwise in spring Lucca holds the Camellia Festival.
Stroll the majestically broad ramparts that encircle the city, joining locals on their Passeggiata.