Last updated

Comune di Lucca
02 Lucca seen from Torre Guinigi.jpg
View of Lucca from the Torre Guinigi
Flag of Lucca.svg
Scudo citta di lucca rid.jpg
Coat of arms
Location of Lucca
Italy provincial location map 2016.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Lucca in Italy
Italy Tuscany location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Lucca (Tuscany)
Coordinates: 43°50′30″N10°30′10″E / 43.84167°N 10.50278°E / 43.84167; 10.50278 Coordinates: 43°50′30″N10°30′10″E / 43.84167°N 10.50278°E / 43.84167; 10.50278
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Lucca (LU)
Frazioni see list
  Mayor Alessandro Tambellini (PD)
  Total185.5 km2 (71.6 sq mi)
19 m (62 ft)
 (30 September 2017) [2]
  Density480/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Lucchesi
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code 0583
ISTAT code 046017
Patron saint St. Paulinus
Saint dayJuly 12
Website Official website
Lucca Cathedral Dome Lucques Duomo San Martino Lucca.jpg
Lucca Cathedral

Lucca ( /ˈlkə/ LOO-kə, Italian:  [ˈlukka] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is a city and comune in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the Serchio, in a fertile plain near the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital of the Province of Lucca. It is famous for its intact Renaissance-era city walls. [3] [4]



Ancient and medieval city

Lucca was founded by the Etruscans (there are traces of an earlier Ligurian settlement in the 3rd century BC called Luk meaning marsh in which the name Lucca originated) and became a Roman colony in 180 BC. [5] The rectangular grid of its historical centre preserves the Roman street plan, and the Piazza San Michele occupies the site of the ancient forum. Traces of the amphitheatre may still be seen in the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro.

At the Lucca Conference, in 56 BC, Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus reaffirmed their political alliance known as the First Triumvirate. [5] [6]

Piazza dell'Anfiteatro and the Basilica of San Frediano Torre guinigi, view 11, piazza dell'anfiteatro.JPG
Piazza dell'Anfiteatro and the Basilica of San Frediano

Frediano, an Irish monk, was bishop of Lucca in the early sixth century. [7] At one point, Lucca was plundered by Odoacer, the first Germanic King of Italy. Lucca was an important city and fortress even in the sixth century, when Narses besieged it for several months in 553. Under the Lombards, it was the seat of a duke who minted his own coins. The Holy Face of Lucca (or Volto Santo), a major relic supposedly carved by Nicodemus, arrived in 742. During the eighth-tenth centuries Lucca was a center of Jewish life, the community being led by the Kalonymos family (which at some point during this time migrated to Germany to become a major component of proto-Ashkenazic Jewry). Lucca became prosperous through the silk trade that began in the eleventh century, and came to rival the silks of Byzantium. During the tenth–eleventh centuries Lucca was the capital of the feudal margraviate of Tuscany, more or less independent but owing nominal allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor.

First republic

After the death of Matilda of Tuscany, the city began to constitute itself an independent commune with a charter in 1160. For almost 500 years, Lucca remained an independent republic. There were many minor provinces in the region between southern Liguria and northern Tuscany dominated by the Malaspina; Tuscany in this time was a part of feudal Europe. Dante’s Divine Comedy includes many references to the great feudal families who had huge jurisdictions with administrative and judicial rights. Dante spent some of his exile in Lucca.

In 1273 and again in 1277, Lucca was ruled by a Guelph capitano del popolo (captain of the people) named Luchetto Gattilusio. In 1314, internal discord allowed Uguccione della Faggiuola of Pisa to make himself lord of Lucca. The Lucchesi expelled him two years later, and handed over the city to another condottiero , Castruccio Castracani, under whose rule it became a leading state in central Italy. Lucca rivalled Florence until Castracani's death in 1328. On 22 and 23 September 1325, in the battle of Altopascio, Castracani defeated Florence's Guelphs. For this he was nominated by Louis IV the Bavarian to become duke of Lucca. Castracani's tomb is in the church of San Francesco. His biography is Machiavelli's third famous book on political rule.

In 1408, Lucca hosted the convocation intended to end the schism in the papacy. Occupied by the troops of Louis of Bavaria, the city was sold to a rich Genoese, Gherardino Spinola, then seized by John, king of Bohemia. Pawned to the Rossi of Parma, by them it was ceded to Mastino II della Scala of Verona, sold to the Florentines, surrendered to the Pisans, and then nominally liberated by the emperor Charles IV and governed by his vicar. Lucca managed, at first as a democracy, and after 1628 as an oligarchy, to maintain its independence alongside of Venice and Genoa, and painted the word Libertas on its banner until the French Revolution in 1789. [8]

After Napoleonic conquest

Palazzo Pfanner, garden view Palazzo pfanner, giardini 03.jpg
Palazzo Pfanner, garden view

Lucca had been the second largest Italian city state (after Venice) with a republican constitution ("comune") to remain independent over the centuries.

In 1805, Lucca was conquered by Napoleon, who installed his sister Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi as "Princess of Lucca".

From 1815 to 1847 it was a Bourbon-Parma duchy. The only reigning dukes of Lucca were Maria Luisa of Spain, who was succeeded by her son Charles II, Duke of Parma in 1824. Meanwhile, the Duchy of Parma had been assigned for life to Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma, the second wife of Napoleon. In accordance with the Treaty of Vienna (1815), upon the death of Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma in 1847, Parma reverted to Charles II, Duke of Parma, while Lucca lost independence and was annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. As part of Tuscany, it became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia in 1860 and finally part of the Italian State in 1861.


Palazzo Ducale 663LuccaPalDucale.JPG
Palazzo Ducale
A stretch of the walls walls01.jpg
A stretch of the walls
Via Fillungo view from the Clock Tower Torre dell'orologio, view 11 via fillungo, san frediano.JPG
Via Fillungo view from the Clock Tower
Autumn atop bastions LuccaJC1.jpg
Autumn atop bastions
View of Lucca from the Clock Tower Lucca veduta TorreOrologio2.jpg
View of Lucca from the Clock Tower

Walls, streets, and squares

The walls encircling the old town remain intact, even as the city expanded and modernized, unusual for cities in the region. Initially built as a defensive rampart, once the walls lost their military importance they became a pedestrian promenade, the Passeggiata delle Mura Urbane, a street atop the walls linking the bastions. It passes through the Bastions of Santa Croce, San Frediano, San Martino, San Pietro/Battisti, San Salvatore, La Libertà/Cairoli, San Regolo, San Colombano, Santa Maria, San Paolino/Catalani, and San Donato; and over the gates (Porte): San Donato, Santa Maria, San Jocopo, Elisa, San Pietro, and Sant'Anna. Each of the four principal sides of the structure is lined with a different tree species than the others.

The walled city is encircled by Piazzale Boccherini, Viale Lazzaro Papi, Viale Carlo Del Prete, Piazzale Martiri della Libertà, Via Batoni, Viale Agostino Marti, Viale G. Marconi (vide Guglielmo Marconi), Piazza Don A. Mei, Viale Pacini, Viale Giusti, Piazza Curtatone, Piazzale Ricasoli, Viale Ricasoli, Piazza Risorgimento (vide Risorgimento), and Viale Giosuè Carducci.

The town includes a number of public squares, most notably the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, site of ancient Roman amphitheater; but also Piazzale Verdi; Piazza Napoleone'; and Piazza San Michele.

The courtyard of Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi Palazzo mansi, cortile 02.JPG
The courtyard of Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi
Teatro del Giglio Lucca-teatro del Giglio-complesso1.jpg
Teatro del Giglio
Puccini's statue on Piazza Cittadella created by Vito Tongiani Statua di Giacomo Puccini - Lucca - panoramio.jpg
Puccini's statue on Piazza Cittadella created by Vito Tongiani
San Michele in Foro Lucca San Michele in Foro 01.jpg
San Michele in Foro
San Michele at Antraccoli San Michele, Antraccoli, Lucca.jpg
San Michele at Antraccoli

Palaces, villas, houses, offices, and museums


There are many medieval, a few as old as the eighth century, basilica-form churches with richly arcaded façades and campaniles



Lucca is the birthplace of composers Giacomo Puccini ( La Bohème and Madama Butterfly), Nicolao Dorati, Francesco Geminiani, Gioseffo Guami, Luigi Boccherini, and Alfredo Catalani. It is also the birthplace of artist Benedetto Brandimarte. Since 2004, Lucca is home to IMT Lucca, a public research institution and a selective graduate school and part of the Superior Graduate Schools in Italy ( Grandes écoles ). [10]

Guinigi Tower Torre Guinigi.jpg
Guinigi Tower



Lucca hosts the annual Lucca Summer Festival. The 2006 edition featured live performances by Eric Clapton, Placebo, Massive Attack, Roger Waters, Tracy Chapman, and Santana at the Piazza Napoleone.

Lucca hosts the annual Lucca Comics and Games festival, Europe's largest festival for comics, movies, games and related subjects.

Other events include:

Film and television

Mauro Bolognini's 1958 film Giovani mariti with Sylva Koscina is set and was filmed in Lucca.[ citation needed ]

Top Gear filmed the episode 'series 17, episode 3' here.

International relations

Lucca is twinned with: [14] [15]


See also


  1. "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. Population data from Istat
  3. Magrini, Graziano. "The Walls of Lucca". Scientific Itineraries of Tuscany. Museo Galileo. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  4. DONADIO, Rachel. "A Walled City in Tuscany Clings to Its Ancient Menu". March 12, 2009. New York Times. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  5. 1 2 Haegen, Anne Mueller von der; Strasser, Ruth F. (2013). "Lucca". Art & Architecture: Tuscany. Potsdam: H.F.Ullmann Publishing. p. 57. ISBN   978-3-8480-0321-1.
  6. Boatwright, Mary et al. The Romans: From Village to Empire, pg 229.
  7. See article on the Basilica di San Frediano.
  8. Encyclopædia Britannica (1911)
  9. "Church of Sant'Alessandro Maggiore | Lucca". 2010-12-16. Archived from the original on 2013-01-23. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  10. "IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca - Scuola di Dottorato IMT Alti Studi di Lucca". 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-10.
  11. Lucca Film Festival
  12. Lucca Digital Photo Fest
  13. Lucca Jazz Donna
  14. "Lucca e i gemellaggi". (in Italian). Lucca. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  15. "Ystävyyskaupungit". (in Finnish). Hämeenlinna. Retrieved 2019-12-16.
  16. "About" Archived 2010-02-11 at the Wayback Machine, retrieved March 25, 2012
  17. The Quarterly review, Volume 139 Google Books


Related Research Articles

Pisa Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Pisa is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, straddling the Arno just before it empties into the Ligurian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower, the city of over 91,104 residents contains more than 20 other historic churches, several medieval palaces, and various bridges across the Arno. Much of the city's architecture was financed from its history as one of the Italian maritime republics.

Province of Lucca Province of Italy

The Province of Lucca is a province in the Tuscany region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Lucca.

Castruccio Castracani Italian condottiero

Castruccio Castracani degli Antelminelli was an Italian condottiero and duke of Lucca.

Republic of Lucca Historical city-state in Italy

The Republic of Lucca was a historic state of Italy, which lasted from 1160 to 1805 on the central Italian peninsula.

Basilica of San Frediano minor basilica

The Basilica of San Frediano is a Romanesque church in Lucca, Italy, situated on the Piazza San Frediano.

Altopascio Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Altopascio is a comune in the Province of Lucca in the Tuscany region of Italy with a population of 15,572.

Greve in Chianti Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Greve in Chianti is a town and comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Florence, Tuscany, Italy. It is located about 31 kilometres (19 mi) south of Florence and 42 kilometres (26 mi) north of Siena.

Simonetti family

The Simonetti family is an Italian noble family with origins in Tuscany. During the 12th Century different branches in Florence, Terni, Lucca, Pistoia and Pescia developed. Other famous branches of this family were established in Jesi, Palermo, Milan and Bologna.

House of Antelminelli family name

The House of Antelminelli was a noble family from Lucca. The family was involved in the struggle between the Guelph and the Ghibellini parties in Tuscany. The leader of the family in the earely 14th century was Castruccio Castracani a famous Ghibelline leader. Serving under the Ghibelline chief, Uguccione della Faggiuola, he was elected lord of Lucca on June 12, 1316, displacing the Quartigiani family, and was appointed Duke of Lucca, Pistoia, Volterra and Luni by emperor Frederick of Austria. In the following generation the power of the family collapsed in the general success of the Guelfs.

Ormanno Tedici was an abbot and Italian politician. He was the Lord of Pistoia between 1322 and 1324.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lucca archdiocese

The Italian Catholic Archdiocese of Lucca dates back as a diocese to the 1st century; it became an archdiocese in 1726. It has no suffragan dioceses, and is directly subject to the Holy See.

Viali di Circonvallazione Boulevards in Florence, Italy

The Viali di Circonvallazione are a series of 6-lane boulevards surrounding the north part of the historic centre of Florence.

San Francesco, Lucca church in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy

San Francesco is a Gothic-style, former Roman Catholic church and monastery located on piazza San Francesco in central Lucca, region of Tuscany, Italy. Since its restoration, it is now home to IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, a selective graduate and doctoral school.

Ducal Palace, Lucca building in Lucca, Italy

The Ducal Palace is a palace in Lucca, Tuscany, central Italy.

Paolo Guinigi Lord of Lucca

Paolo Guinigi was a lord of Lucca from 1400 until 1430.

San Tommaso, Lucca church building in Lucca, Italy

San Tommaso or San Tommaso in Pelleria is a Romanesque- style, Roman Catholic church located on Piazza of the same name in central Lucca, region of Tuscany, Italy.

San Salvatore, Lucca

San Salvatore in Mustolio is a Romanesque- style, Roman Catholic church located on Piazza of the same name in central Lucca, region of Tuscany, Italy.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Lucca in the Tuscany region of Italy.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Pistoia in the Tuscany region of Italy.

Palazzo degli Anziani, Pistoia building in Pistoia, Italy

The Palazzo degli Anziani also known as the Palazzo del Comune, della Comunitá or del Giano is a Gothic-style stone palace located in the ancient historic center of Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy. The palace served as city hall for centuries; it still belongs to the comune and now mainly houses the Museo Civico d'Arte Antica.