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Lucca shop Puccini Statue, Lucca  
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Lucca

Lucca is a jewel of a city within four kilometers of mediaeval walls which, in the 19th century, were transformed into a tree-lined avenue, the full length of which can be walked or cycled around. The historical centre has many ancient buildings, gardens, medieval towers, and shops, and includes a very large number of churches; the majority of them built in the typical Romanesque style. One of the most charming characteristics of Lucca is its gardens; most of the ancient houses have quadrangle courtyards, and plane trees line the entire length of the walls. A majestic oak even stands on the top of the ancient Guinigi tower, one of the most popular monuments in Lucca.

Despite its abundance of treasures Lucca is a small city on a human scale best enjoyed by simply strolling through its streets. Life in Lucca is marked by a series of important events, from the Santa Croce day festival in September to the Crossbow Palio, from antiques markets to gastronomic feast days in the villages nearby.

In the city that gave birth to Giacomo Puccini and Luigi Boccherini music is of great importance: there is often folk and pop in the squares, and classical and operatic music in the theatre and basilicas.

Florence and Pisa have their high art (and their crowds) but Lucca has colour and life and style in abundance. Of all Italian cities this is the one you will fall in love with.

Events: There are literally hundreds of events held in and around Lucca each year ranging from religious ceremonies to palios, from art exhibitions to pop concerts and from village feasts to city carnivals.

If you would like to find out about what is on in the Lucca region there is a very good English-language monthly magazine called "Grapevine" which is available directly from them. The magazine details everything from the Puccini festival to the opening times of petrol stations. Their website is Lucca Grapevine

For those interested in wine visit ENOTECA VANNI GIULIETTA, Piazza S Salvatore, 7 (off Piazza Misericordia) Tel. 0563 491902. It looks like an ordinary shop but has extensive cellars.

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