Half-Day Tours


 

Lucca – Half Day Walking Tours

As Lucca is totally flat, the walking tour is suitable for people of all ages, including people in wheelchairs.

This tour lasts approximately 2 and a half hours. It includes an introduction covering the city's history, past and present economy plus visits to the city wall (pictured above), San Paolino Street, Puccini’s birthplace (exterior only), the dazzling church of San Michele with its wedding-cake façade, the imposing Piazza Napoleone and nearby Piazza del Giglio, the Romanesque cathedral housing the famous Volto Santo, a wooden crucifix supposedly made on the night when Jesus died.

We walk along the busy Via Fillungo, the poshest shopping street in town flanked by stunning medieval buildings and towers, including the tree-topped Torre Guinigi. The tour ends at Piazza Anfiteatro, the miniature Coliseum converted centuries ago into a condominium, nowadays one the most picturesque squares in Tuscany.

 

Lucca – Half Day by Bike

Everybody rides a bicycle in Lucca, as you will soon find out. Bikes can be rented everywhere and are currently charged at 3 euros per hour. Please consider that it might be necessary to push the bike when visiting the busiest/narrowest streets.
This tour visits the main sites listed in the Lucca - Half Day Walking Tour.

 

Lucca – Half Day with Wine Tasting

This tour visits the same sites as the half-day tour and lasts approximately 4 hours (including approximately 1 hour of wine tasting).

When your feet are tired and your brain heavy with information, a bit of wine can reconcile you with the whole world. Local wines have come a long way during the past 20 years and many can now boast DOC labels. Should you be interested in other Tuscan wines, we can offer that option, too. We will visit one of the oldest wine or food shops in town where you will be able to taste 3 different wines served with yummy food.

 


Lucca and Puccini

This tour lasts about 3 and a half hours.

Lucca can boast an extremely rich musical tradition. Perhaps the most famous musician born here is the much-loved Giacomo Puccini.

Today his birthplace is a most interesting museum. On show are portraits, a rich collection of letters, his Steinway piano, an amazing theatrical costume for Turandot and other significant memorabilia.

Puccini’s  private life was rather turbulent for those days, scandalous in fact. Wanda will provide all the ins and outs of a “Dynasty”-style saga that has become even more intricate in recent years as Puccini’s large estate was at stake.

Please note the museum is closed on Tuesdays. Admission ticket - 7 euros per person.

 

On the spurs of Puccini

This tour lasts approximately three hours.

Puccini spent some 30 years of his life at Torre del Lago, a little lake resort approximately 25 kilometers west of Lucca. The house, a small but extremely rich museum (entrance ticket - 7 euros) is run by his granddaughter. Visits to the house are led by her own guides only, and they provide the official version of most things.

 The tour continues to Viareggio, one of the most elegant seaside resorts in the Belle Epoque time, where Puccini spent the last four years of his life (the house can only be seen from the street). A walk along the (once) posh sea promenade featuring very interesting Art Nouveau buildings completes the tour.

 


The Villas

This tour lasts approximately 4 hours.

More than 300 historical houses were built in the hills of Lucca between the 16th and the 17th century by the rich silk merchants as country residences. The tour includes Villa Torrigiani in Camigliano with its gardens and stunning interior (visit allowed on the ground floor only), and Villa Reale in Marlia. The house can’t be visited but the park is simply magnificent.

You will be able to learn the history and the stories of these places and their past owners but, as Wanda is a local girl, you will also get some modern gossip.

Other villas in the area are also open to the public, so a different itinerary can be easily arranged based on your specific preferences. Tickets at cost.

 


A Villa with Wine & Olive Tasting in the Hills

This tour lasts approximately 4 hours and includes Villa Torrigiani with its gardens and stunning interior (visit allowed on the ground floor only) and one of the most charming vineyards, set some 2 kilometers north of Torrigiani. The view is breathtaking, the cellar is ancient and the owner is very proud of his wines and olive oil.

You will be able to enjoy 3 different wines during this private event, served with finger food, plus vinsanto with homemade almond biscuits (yes, the ones you always risk to break your teeth with, if not previously dipped in the “holy wine” of the house).

This tour requires 4 people minimum. Wine tasting at cost. 

 

 

 

Montecarlo with wine tasting

This tour lasts approximately 3.5 hours. 

No, not the millionaire-bustling casino city of Monaco. It’s Lucca’s Montecarlo we are talking about. An amazing, medieval town perched on a hill top, defended by a massive castle that has recently been restored and can be visited by appointment. The castle is a special attraction for children, ideally aged above 5. The little town, still partly surrounded by a wall, offers some stunning views and features an interesting Romanesque church. It also is famous for its 18th century miniature theatre. A visit can be arranged, mornings and weekdays only. There is no entrance fee, but a donation is much appreciated.

The hill flanks are covered in vineyards. Montecarlo is in fact renowned for its wines. The visit includes a stop at one of the best farms for a taste of their special “white,” but good red wines are also produced nowadays.

 


Pietrasanta and the World of Modern Sculpture

This tour lasts approximately 3 hours.

Pietrasanta ("holy stone") is some 25 kilometers away from Lucca.  It’s a miniature medieval town at the foothills of the Alpi Apuane, where Michelangelo used to stay on his tours hunting for the perfect block of marble. All major bronze and marble sculptors nowadays have their works carried out by the skillful, renowned Pietrasanta artisans. With 10 days' notice, a visit to a foundry or marble workshop can be organized. (Prices on request.)

 

Barga and the Devil’s Bridge

This tour lasts approximately 3 hours.

Barga is some 30 kilometers north of Lucca, along the Serchio Valley, towards the mountain area of our territory, known as Garfagnana. The so-called Devil’s Bridge is a stunning medieval stone bridge halfway between Lucca and Barga, a lovely ancient town perched on a hilltop, featuring a remarkable Romanesque church, narrow lanes of cobblestone flanked by historic buildings and surprising glazed terracottas by the Della Robbia family.

 


Bagni di Lucca and the Devil’s Bridge

This tour lasts approximately 3 hours.

Bagni di Lucca means the spas of Lucca. Bagni is a little town with a special charm, in a narrow, green valley along the River Serchio. Before getting there, we stop on the way to visit the mysterious Devil’s Bridge, a stunning example of medieval building technique.

Known since Roman times for its thermal springs, the spas of Bagni di Lucca became the destination and meeting place at the end of the 18th century for Europe’s aristocracy and some of the most famous British, romantic writers such as Ouida, Byron, Shelley and Robert Browning. This is very much off the beaten track, and definitely a place for connoisseurs.

 

Celle and Vetriano

This tour lasts approximately 3 hours.

This is another off-the-beaten track tour for music lovers. Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca (please see other tours) but his ancestors, all of them musicians, originated from Celle, a tiny, picturesque stone village approximately 30 kilometers north of Lucca. By appointment, we can visit the Puccini house where some significant traces pertaining to Giacomo’s life can be found. Driving then downhill and uphill again we reach the equally minute village of Vetriano where we visit – again, by appointment only - the smallest theatre in the world, listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Here we’ll be shown a video with a 10-minute recording of Tosca and offered a drink to celebrate Puccini’s everlasting art.
Minimum number of participants: 10

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