Northwest of Florence is Lucca. It is one of Italy's most impressive fortress. It is encircled by a 2.5 mile wall that was used during the Renaissance to protect the people. But today it is a wall that is enjoyed by bicyclists, runners & walkers. The path is shaded with beautiful, tall trees.
The city is on the Serchio River in Italy's Tuscany region. The cobblestone streets sends you back to when the Romans controlled Lucca. There were approximately 160 towers within the city. The towers showed the wealth of this town,
The amphitheater which sits inside the town used to be located outside the rectangular city walls. Now shops & restaurants surround the amphitheater, which is used as a plaza for gathering of family and friends.
Of course, I can't forget two of the many churches, San Michele in Foro & Basilica of San Frediano. In it's heyday, there were 82 churches in this fortress. Lucca was the first Mediterranean stop on the pilgrim route from Northern Europe and the Pope wanted to remind the pilgrims what awaited them in Rome.
So much to see in Lucca. But if your time is limited make sure you see the Guinigi Tower, which has 227 steps to the top. There is a beautiful view of the city among the five oak trees.
Also Lucca is home to the famous composer Giacomo Puccini. He was born in 1858 into a family with a long history of music. As you walk through the plaza to see his sculpture, you will here his music in the background.