Lucca and San Gimignano

Lucca and San Gimignano are two beautiful gems of Tuscany! When I decided to pass by Tuscany, I did not want to simply check out Florence, but also other great places. Both were recommended by a colleague of mine and I am so glad I asked for her tips on Tuscany! Both Lucca and San Gimignano proved to be incredibly beautiful places, even though they were rather crammed with tourists.

Lucca

We arrived in Lucca, the city of 100 churches, around lunch time, so we had plenty of time to wander around the city and enjoy. Located 1h by car to the West of Florence, it can also be a perfect day trip!

The old city is surrounded by 16th century walls, the city’s most distinctive characteristic and are accessible by both foot and car (there are certain restrictions regarding this). It’s great to walk around and discover the beautiful churches Lucca has to offer, my favourite being San Michele in Foro and the beautiful Piazza San Michele (former site of the Roman ancient forum of the city).

San Michele cathedral in Lucca_While wandering, we found a map of the city and decided to walk in the direction of the Amphitheater Square, where you can see the buildings being built in an elliptical shape, much like an amphitheater. This is a lovely place to enjoy bruschetta for dinner accompanied by a chilled wine.

Lucca Amphitheatre_

Lucca Amphitheatre at night_

Bruschetta for dinner in Lucca_Even though we had some issue with the accommodation, the day spent there was lovely, thanks to the beautiful architecture, lovely weather and delicious ice cream!

San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a small town in the southwest of Florence, surrounded by 13th century walls. Its features are the old town center in Piazza della Cisterna, the 12th century dome and its famous towers. We arrived in San Gimignano quite early, as it is around 1h away by car from Lucca. After settling in our B & B (which had a gorgeous view of San Gimignano from the garden we went uphill to discover the gem inside the walls!

Towers of San Gimignano_It was rather full of tourists, but with the town being such a beauty, I understand the hype! As you enter the city walls, you continue straight into Piazza della Cisterna, passing by shops full of cute and colourful souvernirs.

San Gimignano souvenirs_

Going further from Piazza della Cisterna, you will find the Dome, dominating the square in front of it. I recommend visiting the Dome and the Civic Museum. I particularly loved the depiction of the Stories of the Old Testament on the left wall and the Stories of the New Testament on the right wall inside the Dome. If you are an art and architecture lover (you must be, otherwise you wouldn’t check out Italy at all, right?), then this is a must. It will not take a long time and it will be worth the time!

San Gimignano Duomo_You can keep continuing exploring the city without a map and an ice cream in your hand; you cannot get lost – simply walk along the walls and you will be back on track! Don’t forget to enjoy a nice dinner in the Piazza della Cisterna!

Piazza della Cisterna in San Gimignano_Have you been to Lucca and San Gimignano? If not, would you check them out? If so, did you enjoy it?

why you should visit lucca and san gimignano

22 thoughts on “Lucca and San Gimignano

  1. Oh I am totally in love with the place. I have always wanted to visit Florence more than any other place. This post makes me want to travel there soon

  2. A lot of posts I read about travel trips make me want to travel but this one makes me want to change country of residence, cool and beauty of a place.

  3. Hello!

    I fell in-love with Italy for many years (even though I haven’t been there yet) and that love keeps on getting stronger. Oh I don’t know what magic it has, and seeing your Lucca trips adds more. 🙂

    Thank you!

  4. What a great environment! You visited some beautiful places. I haven’t been to either Lucca or San Gimignano. I really love your pictures and explanation. so I’d love to visit. I thnk Lucca would have my preference.

  5. I’ve personally never been to Italy but I think everyone I know has gone there on holiday this summer. I need to buck the trend very soon!

  6. I would love to visit West Florence, Lucca feels like a timetraveling. It’s wonderful how many churches they have! Nice place indeed, and the food looks great too!

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