One day in Lucca itinerary – the best guide to what to do in Lucca, Italy in 1 day.
How much time do you need to see Lucca
You need no more than a day. Lucca is a ravishing small city in the Tuscany region. All must-see landmarks are within the old city walls just a few hundred metres away from each other. You can easily explore the city by foot. One day is more than enough to tour the city.
How much time I spent
I visited Lucca on a day trip from Pisa. I was very unlucky with the weather, it was raining almost the whole morning. Yet, I managed to see almost all sites that I’ve planned. Lucca captured my heart with its red rooftops and small cobbled streets.
Where to stay in Lucca for sightseeing
Luxury option – N.15 Santori Luxury Home – this small boutique hotel has an excellent location, less than 200m away from Lucca Cathedral.
9.5/10 Rating – See hotel images and 80+ guest reviews
Mid-range – Hotel Palazzo Alexander – this lovely hotel located inside the city walls is a great base for touring the city.
9.1/10 Rating – See hotel images and 550+ guest reviews
Apartment – Palazzo Guinigi – amazing apartments right next to Guinigi Tower.
9.1/10 Rating – See apartment images and 160+ guest reviews
Check out more awesome hotels in Lucca Old Town.
One day in Lucca itinerary
Morning – See Lucca Cathedral and climb the towers
08:00 AM – 09:00 AM
Start your one day in Lucca with a tasty breakfast at Paniko. Try their chocolate croissants and pastries.
Lucca Cathedral (Duomo di Lucca)
09:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Lucca Cathedral is one of the must-see sites. This impressive 11th-century cathedral is dedicated to Saint Martin. It is also the seat of the Archbishop of Lucca.
There is a legend that explains why all columns of the cathedral’s facade are different. There was a contest for choosing an artist. Every artist took part in it with a handmade column. In the finals, the inhabitants of Lucca decided not to choose a winner, but to use all the column made for the contest.
Guinigi Tower (Torre Guinigi)
10:15 AM – 10:45 AM
Guinigi Tower is one of the most quaint sites in Lucca. There are few hundred years old trees growing on the top of it! This 45 metres tower belonged to the powerful Guinigi family.
Clock Tower (Torre delle Ore)
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM
The Clock Tower is the highest one in the city. As Guinigi Tower, it dates from the 14th century.
Climb it, even only to see the Guinigi Tower from a distance. In fact, I liked the Clock Tower more. It’s less touristy, too. Buy the combined ticket for the two towers. It’s cheaper than paying separately for them.
Church of San Michele in Foro (Chiesa di San Michele in Foro)
11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
The church was built over an ancient Roman forum. A statue of St. Michael the Archangel decorates the top of the church. Although its exterior is truly impressive, the interior deserves no more than 10 minutes.
12:00 PM – 02:00 PM
Stop for a lunch at Da Ciacco or La Tana Del Boia. I loved the salami and cheese platter at Da Ciacco.
Afternoon – Explore the museums in Lucca
Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi
02:00 PM – 04:00 PM
Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Mansi is a little gem in the heart of Lucca. The silk merchant Ascanio Mansi built the palace in the 17th century. The palace is well-preserved and many of the apartments are restored. You can see the original furnishings, tapestries and some art collections.
Pfanner Palace (Palazzo Pfanner)
04:15 PM – 05:15 PM
The Moriconi family, famous silk merchants, built the palace in 1660. Later it was acquired by the Controni family. For almost 200 years the palace was owned by noble Italian families. In 1846 the Austrian brewer, Felix Pfanner, bought the property to open the first brewery in Lucca.
Although only four rooms of the palace are open to visitors, don’t skip this place. The Italian-style baroque garden of the palace is wonderful.
Basilica of San Frediano (Basilica di San Frediano)
05:15 PM – 05:30 PM
Basilica of San Frediano is one of the oldest churches in Lucca. It is named after an Irish bishop of Lucca, Fridianus (Frediano), who is buried here. Pay attention to the fantastic golden mosaic facade above the entrance of the church.
05:45 PM – 06:00 PM
This lively square in Lucca used to be an amphitheatre during the 1st century BC. The amphitheatre could hold more than 10,000 spectators. Nowadays the area is full of small cafes and restaurants. The ideal place to chill with a glass of wine and watch the world go by.
Finish this lovely 1 day in Lucca with a dinner at Buca di Sant’Antonio or In Pasta – Food and Convivio.
What else to see in Lucca
Church of Saint John Saint Reparata (Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Reparata)
This small 12th-century church worths a visit mainly because of the excavated ruins under its floor. You can see the ruins of the 4th-century church of St. Reparata. In fact, there are four layers of ruins, the oldest one – Roman. There is also a bell tower that you can climb for awesome views over the city. Buy the combined ticket for this church and Lucca Cathedral to save money.
Walls of Lucca (Le mura di Lucca)
If you want to go for a stroll, do it on the walls of Lucca. Yes, you read this correctly. The 4 km long Renaissance city walls are turned into a lovely area planted with trees. It provides an exceptional panoramic point over the city. You can rent a bike and explore the city from above.
Take a wine tasting tour
Take a wine tasting tour in the Chianti wine area and learn about the winemaking process.
See the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Take a day tour to Pisa and the famous Leaning Tower. Find out how to spend one day in Pisa.
Getting around the city
You can easily explore the city on foot as all must-see attractions are within the Old Town. In addition, the Central train station is only 200m away from the city walls.
What to do in Lucca, Italy in one day – map
How would you spend 1 day in Lucca?
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|I'm a travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places and cultures. I want to show you how easy it is to organize your vacation all by yourself.|
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