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Tuscany has a number of towns with World Heritage listed centres, but there's something about Lucca which charms beyond its handsome piazzas. The city can be entirely explored on foot, and strolling the cobbled streets within the Renaissance era walls - stopping every now and then at an historic cafe - is a real pleasure. Many people visit Lucca as a day trip from Florence, but it's also an excellent base for exploring the rest of the region. Nestled into the hills behind the city are beautiful villas, and the belle époque era spa so loved by Puccini. For accommodation inspiration, go straight to our guru's list of the best places to stay in Lucca.
Lucca is only 20 minutes from Pisa, and some would say it's far more beautiful - it was less damaged by wartime bombing raids. It's close to Florence and Sienna, whilst also being cheaper.
As well as visiting the highlights of the town it's also worth remembering the good reputation of Lucca's restaurants, fuelled by fresh local ingredients, and of Lucchesi wine.
Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca and his operas are regularly performed here, especially during the summer. The summer also sees plenty of festivals held in Lucca and the surrounding towns.
The best places to stay in Lucca get quickly booked up and so be sure to book ahead if you don't want to be disappointed!
What Not To Miss
- The excellent condition of Lucca's unbreached walls, designed by Leonardo da Vinci, is one of the reasons for the city's UNESCO status. They also provide a good walking route around the town.
- One of the most famous buildings is Lucca Cathedral, a mishmash of architecture from the medieval to the Gothic. It's also home to a cedar wood crucifix, supposedly carved around the time of the crucifixion.
- The Guinigis built the solid looking redbrick tower above the via Sant'Andrea, hoping it would remain the highest spot in the city. They also planted leaning oaks on top of it to provide shade while you view Lucca from above!
- The Chiesa e Battistero di San Giovanni e Santa Reparata is a wonderful spot for archaeology-lovers to visit. Built on the remains of a Roman villa and brimming with history, it's well worth heading round with an audio guide.
- One of the best places to stay in Lucca for families is the Albergo san Martino. The rooms are small in number yet comfortable in size, and this hotel has family suites in a fantastic location. Its lovely courtyard and friendly hosts mean it's also one of the best places to stay in Lucca if you're looking for a home-from-home.
- Fattoria Mansi Bernardini is set in a lovely country house - offering traditional, romantic accommodation featuring exposed beams with vineyard views. Private villas are available for families and lovely Tuscan cuisine is served up.
For City Breaks
- A great city break option is Palazzo Alexander. Its decor is a bit chintz-y and heavy on the gold, but it's close to all the main sights of the town, and some of the rooms have private balconies (whilst some have private hot tubs). With its six rooms priced from only £66 a night, it's also one of the best places to stay in Lucca if you're on a budget.
- Wonderfully located to see all that the city has to offer, B&B La Romea offers five spacious bedrooms in a 14th century apartment. An intimate city spot.
- A Palazzo Busdraghi is situated centrally in a gorgeous 16th century palazzo. Boasting elegant rooms with courtyard views and antiques, you can also come back after a day out sightseeing and treat yourself to an in-room massage.
- A bit of a mouthful to say, the Alla Corte degeli Angeli is one of the best places to stay in Lucca if you're looking for a romantic and relaxing base. They do a good breakfast, each room has a jacuzzi and the decor is in quiet pastels. The fact that there are only six rooms makes this perfect if you're looking for a bit of privacy.
- The wonderfully restored Art-Noveau Lucca in Azzurro is located bang smack in the medieval centre of town. Their chic rooms hark back to a bygone era, complete with antiques and crystal chandeliers, whilst there's also a charming terrace.
- Palazzo Tucci, set within a striking palace, offers elegant and individually-decorated accommodation. Featuring a quintessentially traditional design throughout, with baroque furniture and frescoes, you can also tuck into indulgent breakfasts to set you up for the day.
For exploring the surrounds
- The Albergo Villa Marta is one of the best places to stay in Lucca if you're looking for a country escape. It's just outside of the city, yet this former hunting lodge, with its cream and pastel colour scheme and art and cooking classes feels wonderfully calm and tranquil. And as well as being only 10minutes from the centre of Lucca it's also only 20 minutes from Pisa, so is probably one of the best places to stay in Lucca if you also want to explore the surrounding area.
- The Tenuta San Pietro is a great base for exploring the region. Located just to the north of the town, they provide a free shuttle bus if you want to go to Lucca and leave the car behind. It is also one of the best places to stay in Lucca for foodies - the gourmet food here is highly recommended and cookery classes are on offer too!
- La Cappella is located just north of the city in tranquil countryside surroundings. Boasting unfussy and traditional accommodation featuring plenty of antiques, there's also a pool and lovely gardens in which to relax with a good book.
- Bagni Di Pisa Hotel & Spa is set in a stunning 18th century nobleman's house. Located between Lucca and Pisa, it features utterly stunning suites, gourmet cuisine and a truly spoiling spa! You'll feel a million miles away from all your worries at this lovely spot.
For An Apartment Or Villa
If you think a self-catering option would best suit your needs then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.
- The weather's at its nicest in the summer months, with the average daily temperature climbing to 23°C in July and August.
- However, this is peak tourist season and so if you want to avoid the crowds (and pay less for accommodation) then maybe September's your best bet. The weather's still around 20°C, perfect for sightseeing.
- Visitors can fly into Pisa Airport, located just 20 minutes from Lucca by rail but requiring a changeover in Pisa Central Station.
- Ryanair fly direct from Stansted and Edinburgh, whilst Easyjet go from Gatwick and British Airways from Heathrow. The journey time's just over 2 hours.
- For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Holiday Autos.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Lucca for you?
Best Hotels in Lucca
Lucca in Azzurro 9 rooms from $78Lucca (Viale G. Puccini, 450)
A beautifully restored Art-Noveau villa in Lucca's medieval centre. Chic rooms with antique furniture, original tile work, gilded mirrors and crystal chandeliers exude a 1920's charm. Enjoy a continental breakfast on the charming terrace area. Immerse yourself in this ancient city.Local exploring - Right next to the historic centre and easy connectivity with bus/railway stations to explore other parts of town as well.Total relaxation - The spa features sensory showers and a hot tub, ideal after a day of walking and exploring this medieval town.Sights nearby - Culture vultures must visit the Lucca Cathedral, Basilica of San Frediano and Guinigi Tower.Great walks - Head out the front door and up through the nearby riverside park.
Palazzo Alexander 6 rooms from $90Lucca, Tuscany
An elegant B&B in central Lucca. Gold and chintz bedrooms and suites, some with private hot tubs and balconies. A great value choice for families or couples.FamiliesSights nearby - Located in the centre of LuccaLocal markets - Good for local colour.Great walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - I Escape
Albergo san Martino 10 rooms from $91Lucca
A fantastically placed small hotel in central Lucca. Simple, comfortable rooms and family suites, lovely breakfast courtyard, and friendly hosts. An excellent choice for families. Understated and charming.FamiliesSights nearby - Bang in the historical centre of LuccaRecommended by - Sawdays
B&B La Romea 5 rooms from $103Lucca
This 14th Century apartment hosts five bedrooms, offering a friendly and intimate stay. Large and light bedrooms have mahogany furniture and big bathtubs. Delicious, fresh and plentiful breakfasts in the lounge. Minutes walk from Lucca's sights. Fantastic value.Romantic Break - Stay in a 14th Century apartment with large bathtubs and frescoes before meandernig through Lucca's cobbled streetsSights nearby - Guinigi Tower and Basilica of San Frediano close byLocal markets - The monthly antiques market is very popularFull of character
Albergo Villa Marta 15 rooms from $113Lucca, Tuscany
A former 19th century hunting lodge turned charming country hotel, with lovely views just outside Lucca. Elegant rooms in creams and pastels, lovely pool and surroundings, cookery classes and art classes. Wonderfully tranquil, understated and calm.Value chicSights nearby - 10 mins from the centre of Lucca, 20 mins from PisaCooking classes - Check for timings.Local markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - I Escape, Tablet, Sawdays
La Cappella 10 rooms from $114Lucca
Charming hotel close to Lucca. The elegant rooms feature antique furniture, pretty bathrooms and artworks. Outdoor pool, sunny terraces and garden. Breakfast is served in the traditional dining room. Quiet, authentic and classic.Country Escape - Just a short drive from centre of Lucca, yet with the peace and quiet of countryside, with walks and outdoor poolLocal markets - Of food and handicrafts in Lucca, 7km awayGreat walks - In nearby vineyards and woodsSights nearby - Pisa is 20km away
A Palazzo Busdraghi 7 rooms from $137Lucca
Charming hotel in 16th-century palazzo. Elegant rooms have draped curtains, antique furniture and courtyard views. Massages available in-room. Pretty dining room for breakfast, and public spaces have Luccan artworks. Quiet location, yet central, ideal to explore this lovely city.Local exploring - Enjoy the quiet location of this pretty hotel to walk the lanes of Lucca, trying Italian treats or stopping for coffeeGreat walks - The beach is only 30 minutes awaySights nearby - Piazza AnfiteatroLocal markets - Good for local colour.Recommended by - Sawdays
Palazzo Tucci 6 rooms from $154Lucca (Toscana)
Set within a striking palace in central Lucca. Individually styled rooms and suites are undeniably generous in proportion. Traditional design throughout with sumptuous wallpapers, baroque furniture and frescoed walls. Indulgent breakfasts are served. A regal base for city exploration.Local exploring - Located in the heart of Lucca within walking distance of many of the cities' sights.Sights nearby - Once known as the "city of 100 churches" there's an abundance of beautiful edifices within walking distance.Full of characterRomantic - Good for couples.
Fattoria Mansi Bernardini 15 rooms from $177Lucca
Lovely country house hotel and villas. Interiors are romantic with exposed beamed ceilings, pretty fabrics and vineyard views. Outdoor pool and tennis court. Delicious Tuscan food in the restaurant. Charming, relaxing and peaceful. Apartments or villas are bookable on a weekly basis.Families - Villas with kitchens and dining areas, use of outdoor pool, idllyic for an Italian family break.Great walks - Through the hotel's olive grove of 20 hectaresSights nearby - Historic sights of Lucca are 10kmCooking classes - Arranged by hotel for your groupRecommended by - Sawdays
Tenuta San Pietro 10 rooms from $194Lucca
A small gourmet hotel with rustic rooms, sweeping valley views, an olive farm and surrounding vineyard. Bedrooms with stone walls, wooden beams, and private terraces. Fabulous food, cookery lessons, and art classes. An excellent choice for an active gourmet holiday.Exclusive offer - Easter at San PietroFoodiesSights nearby - Not far from Lucca. The hotel provides a free shuttle service to and from the townCooking classes - One day classes or cooking holidays availableViews - Great views from hotelRecommended by - I Escape, Johansens, Tablet
Alla Corte degli Angeli 21 rooms from $267Lucca (Tuscany)
Charming B&B located within the town walls. Sophisticated, pretty bedrooms in pastel shades include hand painted murals and plenty of charm. A true breakfast spread is served and restaurants dotted around the historical town. A brilliant Tuscan gem that welcomes couples and families with open arms.Cooking classes - Following a trip to the local market head to the kitchen and learn some traditional Tuscan recipes.Sights nearby - Located within Lucca's city walls, close to all sightsFull of characterRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Sawdays