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Miriam Gude wins the XVth Italian Thomas Dempster price 2009  

Lucca Italy - Visit Lucca Italia

Lucca is one of the richest cities in Italy and lies about 50 kilometers west of Florence. The city is home to around 90.000 residents and is the capitol of the province Lucca. The town has a very long history and is build in a very recognizable Roman style.

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The well preserved city walls called Le Mura are famous around the world. One can enjoy hiking and cycling in green parks which were build on the original defensive walls of Lucca. Life in Lucca has been good for centuries to the Lucchesi  and is definitely a pleasure visiting if you find yourself in Tuscany.

Lucca was the second largest (urban) state  after Venice and was independ for many centuries. Only in 1847 did Lucca become officially part of Tuscany. Back in 1805 it had been captured by  Napoleon, whereupon he made his sister Elisa Bonaparte ‘Queen of Eturia’.

The city walls that surround Lucca were once build to defend the residents from any attacks that could of come from Florence. In the end though the wall was hardly ever used for defensive purposes. The last time was in the 19th century when a nearby river flooded and the wall was able to protect the city center from rising water.

Not many cities in Tuscany still have a city wall around them. They were often taken down to create more space for pedestrians and make other expansions possible. In Lucca the 4 kilometer long city wall still stands and was even used in the 20th century for car races. Nowadays the city wall has its own hiking and cycling routes and several parks. If you plan on visiting Lucca on a nice summer day don’t miss out on a lovely hiking and cycling trips on the city wall (Le Mura)

Lucca Tuscany has 4 beautiful squares; the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, Piazzale Verdi, Piazza Napoleone and the Piazza San Michele. You can also visit a few churches such as the San Michele in Foro, the Basiliek van San Frediano and the Duomo di San Martino.

Every year the city Lucca is home to the ‘Lucca Comics and Games’  the most important comics and game conventions of Italy (second most important in Europe). There is also the annual ‘Lucca Summer Festival’ a musical event attended by famous artists from all over the world. Last but not least is the annual ‘Puccini Opera Festival’ held each year around July and August. So keep a close eye on these festivals if you are traveling in Tuscany during the summer months.