Despite recently gaining status as a top tourist destination in Tuscany, you still need to find, the best things to do in Lucca Italy? From the beautiful Mura di Lucca (Lucca Wall) to the delightfully charming piazzas, Lucca attractions truly have everything you’re looking for in an Italian charming town, including a hundred churches that date back to the 11th century!

Some of the most magical memories you will make are from just meandering down the narrow alleys lined with beautiful tiny shops, cobblestoned streets, and city walls that feel like they’ve been there forever. Be sure to check out our list of the best hotels in Lucca Italy if you are planning on staying a few days!

You might be in a quiet street one minute, and then you turn down the next alley and find yourself in a giant piazza with gorgeous medieval churches. Visiting Lucca truly feels like you’ve stepped back into history.

To get your Lucca sightseeing off on the right foot, check out the below article on the best things that you must do in Lucca Italy! 

You may also like this guide to the best free things to do in Zadar, another old Roman town!

the old town of Lucca with through an old walkway. there are cafes. bikes, plants, and a beautiful backdrop. this is one of the best things to do in Lucca Italy

Ride Bikes Along the Lucca Wall

First things first: your top Lucca must see has got to be the Mura di Lucca. This phrase in Italian means Lucca’s Wall – which is definitely an understatement. The entire old city is surrounded by a 4-mile-long medieval wall that guards the entire old city.

The city walls are huge, standing over 40 feet tall and over 30 feet wide. What makes it especially unique is that there are many entrance points where you can climb stairs or ramps and walk the circumference of the city from on top of the wall!

While you’re up on the city walls, you have an amazing view of the village that was built in the middle ages and the entire surrounding Tuscany region. At certain points around the wall are restaurants, coffee shops, and most importantly, bike rentals!

Book your bike before you

Upgrade to an E-bike

Renting a bike to ride on top of the wall is one of the best ways to explore Lucca. Whether you prefer to ride a bike alone or with a friend on a tandem bike rental, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

You’ll find bike rental shops throughout the city, but a convenient one for the top of the wall is at the gate of Porta Santa Maria. It is free to enter the wall, and it is open to the public anytime, but you will need to pay to rent the bikes. 

Book a bike riding and wine tour in Lucca:

a green bike in the city center of Lucca with baskets. it is leaned against a yellow wall and ready to ride.

Take a Walk in the Piazza Dell’anfiteatro

Another of the best things to do in Lucca Italy is to visit the Piazza dell’anfiteatro (or Amphitheater Square in English). The piazza is a gorgeous public square that locals have been using for hundreds of years.

Today, there are dozens of nice bars and restaurants lining the square where you can sit down in the fresh air for an aperitivo (Italian happy hour) or a meal. The atmosphere is lively, and it is a great spot to relax and watch the mix of tourists and locals as they go about their daily business.

You can enter the beautiful amphitheater square from four different points, making it easy to find from almost anywhere in the city. It also has a unique history: the square was originally an ancient Roman amphitheater that held over 10,000 people and was built back in the second-century bc.

If you look closely, you’ll be able to find a few remaining original Roman stones on the outside of the Piazza dell Anfiteatro. It’s free to enter and open all day and night.  

Find the address to Piazza dell Anfiteatro here!

a beautiful photo of the amphitheater piazza in Lucca italy

Visit the Lucca Cathedral

The Lucca Cathedral (also known as the Martin Cathedral) is one of the main things to see in Lucca Italy. It is a Catholic church in the heart of the old city on what used to be a Roman forum during the Roman colony era. The exterior of the church will take your breath away as you gaze on its gorgeous red and white tiling that has been around since the year 1060.

Although small, the San Martino Cathedral is one of the magnificent churches in Lucca. What makes this small church so special is the cedarwood carving of an effigy of Christ on the Cross or the Volto Santo.

Volto Santo is a powerful symbol of faith and one of the most important religious relics in Italy. Held in the Cathedral of San Martino in Lucca, this wooden crucifix is said to have been carved by Nicodemus, the same man who helped bury Jesus Christ.

The sculpture’s intricate details and timeless beauty are truly awe-inspiring, and the atmosphere in the cathedral is one of reverence and respect that will leave a lasting impression on visitors from all walks of life.

The tickets can be purchased from the church directly on arrival. If you’d like to see the cathedral, bell tower, museum, and archeological area, there is a combined ticket, but you can also purchase the components individually. 

Find one of the most important buildings, the Lucca Cathedral here. You can enter the cathedral Mondays – Saturdays from 9:30 am to 6 pm, and on Sundays from 11:45 am – 6 pm.

Climb the Guinigi Tower

When considering your list of Lucca Italy things to do, you should visit the Guinigi Tower (Torre Guinigi in Italian). This impressive structure is 147 feet tall and there are 233 steps to get to the top, so make sure to wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes!

The tower is a great example of how Lucca has kept in touch with its long history as the tower was built in the 1300s. After climbing to the top, you will have some of the most incredible views of the Tuscan countryside, the old town, and a rooftop garden with holm oaks to relax in.

You can buy tickets online or in person, but we recommend making a booking ahead of time to make sure that you can get into the tower. Be aware, when you receive your ticket, you will be given a specific starting time, to limit the amount of foot traffic in the tower at one time. 

You can also purchase a combined ticket with the Orto Botanico di Lucca (our next item) so be sure to consider that as well when you’re making your reservation.

Find the address to the Guinigi Tower & Rooftop garden here: In the summer, the tower is open from 10 am to 7:30 pm, but hours do vary during other times of the year.

the Guinigi tower in the sunshine with beautiful trees and a few tourists on the top. the tower itself is made of old brown bricks and the sky is shinning bright.

Visit the Orto Botanico

One of the more unique things to do in Lucca Italy is to visit the Orto Botanico di Lucca (Lucca Botanical Garden). These beautiful communal botanical gardens offer a peaceful space to gaze at the many gorgeous trees, greenhouses, and ponds while being in the old city of Lucca.

If you love nature or quiet time, it is simply unmissable. For those on a budget, you can also bring a picnic, and enjoy some peace and quiet amongst the trees while you eat lunch.

During the summer, the garden is open every day from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm, it may vary during the winter months. There is a small admission fee charged, but be aware that you may want to combine your ticket with the Guinigi Tower mentioned above.

As with many of the other attractions, you will be assigned a specific time slot to enter to limit foot traffic in the gardens. So plan accordingly. Find the address for the Orto Botanico here!

Join in on One of the City Center Walking Tours 

Another of our favorite things to do in Lucca Italy is to do a historic center walking tour. Despite being a relatively small Italian town, the many winding alleyways and confusing streets can leave you turned around, and often missing some of the most significant historical sights.

Instead, we recommend hiring a guide, whether through a free walking tour or a paid guide, to make the most out of your time in Lucca. Many tours will cover the many important people who have lived in Lucca as well as the notable sights you can find tucked away in the old city.

Most tours last between two and two and a half hours so make sure to wear a comfortable pair of shoes.

You’ll see a lot in a short amount of time, and leave the tour feeling like you truly understand the beauty that is Lucca. 

Book the best walking tour in Lucca:

one of the alleys you will see on a walking tour of Lucca Italy with old buildings with green shutters

Visit the Puccini Opera Festival

One of the most unusual things to do in Lucca Italy is to attend an opera festival. Every summer the city hosts an event called the “Lucca Puccini Opera Breaks”. Many people don’t know that the famous opera composer Giacomo Puccini was actually born in Lucca.

As a result, the town now hosts the Puccini Opera Festival every summer. There are over 60 professional opera singers and multiple full orchestras to back the singers that come to perform for multiple days. Every year, people come to Lucca from all over the world to hear Puccini’s operas sung outside by the nearby lake.

It is said to be one of the most enchanting experiences you can possibly have, and if you are an opera lover (or just want a unique experience in Lucca) you simply cannot miss it. You need to book tickets ahead of time, so make sure to look online at the Opera Lucca website.

There is also a Puccini Museum if you are visiting Lucca in the other seasons of the year.

Book your opera tickets here:

Find the Puccini Opera Festival here!

Take a Cooking Class 

If you are still looking for more things to see in Lucca we recommend taking the time to take an authentic cooking class. Due to its location in the heart of Tuscany, food is at the heart of the locals, and there are so many delicious foods that you can learn to make. Learn from a local chef on how to make pasta, tiramisu, or even pastries!

Some classes are even offered from the comfort of a local’s home. Some popular cooking schools in Lucca include Extra Virgin Cooking Classes Lucca, Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana, and Chef Paolo Monti’s Cooking School.

All cooking classes require bookings ahead of time, so we recommend planning in advance if you’d like to take an Italian cooking class while in Lucca. Many times, your cooking class will include a recipe book to take home with you so you can keep making your favorite dishes at home!

Book a pasta & tiramisu cooking class:

a man in a cooking class in Lucca. he is putting salt and pepper on freshly baked bread with peppers and veggies all around. this is one of the best things to do in Lucca italy!

Take a Winery Tour 

One of the most popular things to do in Lucca Tuscany is to go on a wine tour, of course! The Tuscan region is known for having some of the most delicious red wine in the entire world, and you simply cannot visit Lucca without trying it.

There are so many different winery tour operators and we recommend going with one of them rather than driving yourself because then you can indulge in all the wine you’d like!

Besides just tasting several delicious wine options and having the option to purchase a bottle or two from the owners, you’ll also get to see some of the most incredible scenery in the world.

The rolling hills and green lush landscapes will blow you away, and you’ll come home with a lasting memory of the beautiful Tuscan countryside. You’ll soon see that there are just so many things to do near Lucca Italy.  

Book a private winery tour & tasting here:

a beautiful winery in the heart of Lucca. There are hundreds of grape vines, a big yellow villa, and mountains in the back.

Eat at Trattoria da Leo

One of the best restaurants in Lucca Italy is Trattoria da Leo. Located in the heart of the town center, the trattoria offers absolutely delicious and affordable food in a truly Tuscan atmosphere.

You can visit for a light bite to eat, but we recommend stopping by for a menu del giorno (or menu of the day in English), a lunch-only offering where you can get a great deal on a starter, main, and dessert.

On their menu are only the most traditional items that are at the heart of Tuscan food. If you enjoy beef, you must try the bistecca allá Fiorentina – an incredibly flavorful steak with simple seasonings. Everything on their menu is simple, delicious and will leave you with a true Tuscan meal to remember.

Just remember that in all Italian restaurants, you pay a ‘coperto’ (cover charge) to sit at a table, and if you would like still water, make sure to say so (otherwise you may end up with sparkling!)

Find Trattoria da Leo here in the old town square.

a popular cafe in the heart of lucca. there are chairs outside and a big yellow capony covering the tables.

See the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi

When planning your itinerary of things to do in Lucca, don’t leave out the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi (National Museum of Palazzo Mansi). The museum is a historical residence that has been kept in historical condition and allows you to learn about the history of Lucca and the important families that made an impact on them (like the Medici family).

You can enter the museum and get a taste of what it was really like to live in the house. The art gallery inside is also quite impressive, and if you are interested, there is also a large tapestry collection.

There is a small price of admission that you can pay upon entering the museum. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday generally from 12 pm to 6 pm but you can enter at 9 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. 

Find the address to one of the most fantastic museums here!

Visit Palazzo Pfanner

Add Palazzo Pfanner to your list of Lucca things to do if you are an art lover. Palazzo Pfanner is a palace and a garden just outside the old city walls Lucca, where you can see some very impressive art and artifacts. The garden is an attraction in and of itself, you can soak up the sun and enjoy the gorgeous greenery surrounding you.

It is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm from April to November, and there is a small entrance fee. You can choose whether to visit the residence only or if you’d like to add the garden as well.

Additionally, if you’d like to expand on your visit, there are small apartments in Palazzo Pfanner located on the premises where you can book a stay to access the museum and garden for free. 

Address to the Palazzo Pfanner.

Wander the Old Town

One of the best free things to do in Lucca Italy is just to walk around the old town. Aimlessly wandering the cobblestoned streets will leave you with a sense of wonder and awe. Lucca is a one-of-a-kind city, and taking the time to breathe in the city and learn its surprises and secrets is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Get a little lost, then find your way back, and all the while, turn down the little alleys that are exactly what you imagined Tuscany would be. There are ample gelato shops throughout the old city, so stop and have one and just take in all the sights.

The Porta San Pietro side of the old town gates is on the south side and is one of the prettiest parts of the historic center. And the Porta San Donato, on the west end is a wonderful place to pay a visit as well.

While there are so many impressive and important attractions you can add to your Lucca things to see list, remember to give yourself the time to explore.

Get to the center of the old town in Lucca here!

Piazza Napoleone

When planning your shopping in Lucca Italy, don’t leave out Piazza Napoleone. The Piazza Grande (or square, in English) is a major pedestrian square in the old city of Lucca. Visit Piazza Napoleone to see a stunning church surrounded by restaurants and shops.

You can easily grab an Aperol spritz here or a glass of wine at one of the shaded outdoor tables, and enjoy people-watching all afternoon. For kids, there is a merry-go-round in the center of the square, and for the foodies – many merchants sell food and clothing.

If you’d rather visit a more traditional shop, you can find many leather bags, traditional Tuscan foods, and souvenirs on nearly every corner. It’s no question to understand why the Piazza Napoleone is on every traveler’s list of top things to do in Lucca Italy.

Piazza Napoleone address.

a beautiful statue in the Piazza Napoleone with a yellow building in the back round. This is one of the best things to do in lucca

Piazza San Martino

Piazza San Martino in Lucca, Italy is another picturesque square that is a must-visit for anyone exploring the charming Tuscan city. Its most iconic feature is the stunning San Martino Cathedral, which dominates the square with its Romanesque stunning façade and intricate marble artwork.

The square is surrounded by historical buildings and is the perfect spot to people-watch or enjoy a leisurely walk. One of the reasons Piazza San Martino is so special is that it encapsulates the rich history and culture of Lucca, with its well-preserved architecture and stunning artwork.

Visitors can take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this square and immerse themselves in the fascinating culture of this charming Italian city.

Find the address to the Piazza San Marino.

Piazza San Michele in foro

San Michele in Foro or the Basilica di san michele is one of the many chapels in Lucca. It is filled with history, stunning architecture, and culture. The square is dominated by the Church of San Michele in Foro, an eye-catching Romanesque church with a white marble facade. There are many beautiful carvings of wild animals

Other historic buildings to note are the Palazzo del Potestà and the beautiful Guinigi Tower. One of the most special aspects of Piazza San Michele in Foro is that all of the buildings are built on various levels creating a unique and interesting layout that is perfect for exploring.

Whether you’re interested in architecture, history, or just strolling through the picturesque square, Piazza San Michele in Foro is sure to delight anyone who visits Lucca.

San Michele in Foro address.

Day Trip to Pisa Leaning Tower

If you are looking for places to visit near Lucca, look no further than Pisa! Yes, the famous leaning tower is just a short train ride away from Lucca. In less than 30 minutes from the train station, you will be able to explore the cute town that surrounds the tower and soak up yet another adorable small Tuscan town.

While Pisa is much more crowded than Lucca thanks to its infamous tower, you’ll still find plenty of cute cafes and delicious gelato shops. There’s even a university there! We recommended spending at least a half day here to really soak up all that Pisa has to offer.

a photo of the leaning tower of pisa. there are a bunch of people relaxing and enjoying this beautiful place in italy

Lucca’s Clock Tower or the Torre delle ore

The Lucca’s Clock Tower, locally known as Torre delle Ore, is not just an ordinary timepiece, but a significant part of the city’s history and tradition. It is a four-sided, medieval structure located in the heart of Lucca’s historic center and is considered one of the town’s most spectacular landmarks.

The tower’s peculiar embellishment of four stone figures, representing the four seasons, makes it a unique sight to see for tourists. Visitors can also climb to the top of the tower, taking in spectacular panoramic views of the town while enjoying the sounds coming from the top.

This clock tower not only tells time but also displays the phases of the moon and the position of the sun and stars! This charming tower is one of the best things to do in Lucca Italy, especially if you want to witness the city’s architectural and cultural heritage.

Find the address to the Torre delle ore here.

the clock tower in lucca. this beautiful clock tower has a big clock in the front and has a wind mill and can tell the moon phases.

Lucca Summer Festival

The Lucca Summer Festival is a must-see event for anyone visiting Tuscany. One of the largest and most famous festivals in the region, it draws crowds of music lovers from around the world.

What makes it so special? The festival boasts an impressive lineup of international artists, from rock bands like Queen and Green Day to international legends like Elton John and Bob Dylan.

With such an unbeatable combination of world-class music and Tuscan culture, it’s no wonder why the Lucca Summer Festival is a beloved tradition for locals and tourists alike. Book your tickets, and check out more info at the official Lucca Summer Festival website.

a group of friends at an outdoor summer festival in lucca. they are relaxing in front of a stage and it looks amazing

Food Tours

If you’re looking to indulge in the mouth-watering delights of Italy, a food tour in Lucca is a must-visit experience. Wander the charming cobbled streets and sample the city’s traditional cuisine – from artisanal cheeses to freshly baked bread. But what makes this tour truly special is the chance to meet the locals and discover their hidden culinary gems.

Book a walking food tour:

Whether it’s devouring homemade gelato, savoring mouth-watering pastries, or trying out delicious cured meats, each stop on the tour is a delectable treat for your taste buds. So, when visiting Lucca, make sure to join a food tour and satisfy your food cravings in the most authentic way possible.

Here is a bike & food tour all rolled into one:

a plate of yummy Italian food. There is pasta, salads, pizza, and sandwiches. you can try all of these yummy dishes on a walking tour of lucca.

Villa Reale di Marlia

Villa Reale di Marlia in Lucca is truly a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This gorgeous estate offers visitors a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of nobility during the Renaissance period. From the pristine gardens to the opulent interiors, every aspect of Villa Reale di Marlia is a sight to behold.

Built-in the mid-17th century, the villa has served as a private residence for prominent figures such as Napoleon’s sister and the Duke of Lucca. With its ornate ballrooms and magnificent ceilings, it’s easy to see why Villa Reale di Marlia stands out as one of the most elegant structures in the region.

What makes it especially worth visiting are the exquisite details that can be found both inside and outside of the villa. From the intricate fountain in the courtyard to the elegant frescoes in the dining room, every element of the villa is meticulously crafted.

Additionally, the surrounding gardens are a sight to behold with a variety of trees, flowers, and even a small lake. Visiting Villa Reale di Marlia is a chance to experience the opulence and beauty of Tuscany’s past, making it an essential stop for any tourist in Lucca.

Find the address to the Villa Reale di Marlia here!

Basilica of San Frediano

Located in the heart of Lucca, the Basilica of San Frediano is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting this charming Tuscan city. This stunning church boasts a rich history that dates back to the 6th century when it was originally founded as a monastery.

However, it was in the 12th century that the basilica, as we know it today, was constructed. What makes San Frediano so special is its stunning Romanesque façade, which is unlike any other in Tuscany. As you enter the church, you’ll be awed by the incredible frescoes, intricate mosaics, and ornate decorations that adorn the interior. Be sure to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful baptismal font.

The stunning 3-tiered facade of San Frediano has an intricate mosaic of “Christ in Majesty” and is a sight to behold. Inside, visitors can admire the beautiful marble altar and stunning frescoes. But the true highlight of the Basilica is the miraculous crucifix that hangs over the altar.

People believe that if they touch the foot of the crucifix, their wishes will be granted. The Basilica of San Frediano is a Lucca must visit, not only for its beauty but also for its rich history and spiritual significance.

Address to Piazza San Frediano.

the beautiful facade outside of the piazza san frediano

Devils Bridge

Tucked away in the charming town of Lucca lies one of its many hidden gems: Devils Bridge or the Ponte del Diavolo. This striking structure stands out for its unique appearance, as its arches appear to defy gravity, rising up and over the Lima River below. But what truly makes this bridge special is its rich history and folklore tales.

Legend has it that the bridge was built by the devil himself, who promised to help a local resident construct it in exchange for the first soul to cross it. However, the clever resident outsmarted the devil by sending a poor dog across the bridge instead.

Whether you believe in the legend or not, Devil’s Bridge is one of the top things to do in Lucca. It’s an opportunity to bask in its beauty, marvel at its engineering feat, and perhaps even ponder on the power of storytelling and folklore.

Find the devils bridge, or Ponte del Divaolo here, if you dare!

devils bridge in lucca. the bridge goes over the water with a big arch. there are always people playing here and in this photo you can see tourists and locals walking across the bridge.

Visit the Summer Sunflower Feilds in Lucca

Lucca, Italy is known for its breathtaking sunflower fields that bring vibrant colors to the countryside ever summer. The fields are open to visitors during the summer months, providing a perfect opportunity to witness the beautiful golden blooms.

The sunflower fields are an iconic symbol of Lucca and attract visitors from all over. The endless rows of tall, bright flowers offer a natural and stunning backdrop for photographers, tourists, and anyone looking to experience the beauty of nature.

The fields are a breathtaking sight to see up close and an absolute must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Lucca.

the pretty sunflowers are one of the best things to do in Lucca Italy. they are perfectly in bloom and there are hundreds of flowers

Is Lucca Italy worth seeing?

Yes, Lucca Italy is worth seeing. From the moment you set foot in this charming, medieval city, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Surrounded by ancient walls, Lucca is filled with winding streets, cozy cafes, colorful buildings, and centuries-old churches.

What is famous about Lucca Italy?

Lucca is most famous for its impressive city walls which have stood strong for centuries and offer some of the best views in town. There is also stunning medieval architecture, charming cobblestone streets, and delicious Tuscany cuisine and wine.

How many days should I spend in Lucca?

You should Spend at least two days in Lucca to have a chance to discover all of its hidden gems. But, let me tell you, the longer the better! From the charming old town to the picturesque surrounding hills, you’ll find endless beauty at every turn. And when you’re ready to venture further, go ahead and explore the stunning countryside and nearby cities like Pisa and Florence. Trust me, you won’t want to leave this magical place!

Is Lucca near Cinque Terre?

Oh, how exciting! I am thrilled to tell you that Lucca is indeed near Cinque Terre! You’ll be able to step out into the fresh Italian air and enjoy the stunning views of the Tuscan countryside, all while being only a short distance away from the famous coastline. There are plenty of ways to get from Lucca to Cinque Terre.