Are you ready to take an unforgettable journey through an engaging Lucca and Pisa tour? Lucca and Pisa are undoubtedly among the richest cities in the world for their architecture and history: they are unmissable destinations for those who want to go deep inside Tuscany and its artistic background.
For those who love historical architecture and Medieval constructs, Lucca is a true haven, it is known as the city of a hundred churches boasting such buildings as Lucca Cathedral and San Michele in Foro.
Lucca is also famous for its still-intact walls with huge gates and ramparts that still encircle most of the historic old town.
Lucca is a perfect small town to just explore on foot. You can start walking or biking around on the old city walls, 4 kilometres of panoramic walkway overlooking this medieval city.
The city centre contains an exceptionally large number of churches. If you can only see one, head to the Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Martin and a wonderful example of the Romanesque architectural style.
This church is set not far from Il Fillungo – the most famous street in Lucca – from which you can basically access everything in town. Piazza dell’Anfiteatro is one of the coolest places in Tuscany, an oval shaped piazza that you enter through portals.
This Square is exactly as the name describes and was once a Roman Amphitheatre – the elliptical shape is still evident. The buildings surrounding the square have been created in the same elliptical shape and are all different heights and colours – the effect is quite astounding and the shades of yellow, cream and white create an inviting open space.
Within the piazza there is also a series of high quality restaurants and cafes all with outdoor seating – a meal within this beautiful square will prove to be a memorable one!
A curiosity: Lucca is also home to several annual events that attract fans and people from around the world. Lucca Summer Festival enlivens various locations with concerts by famous singers, while Lucca Comics & Games is the most important fair dedicated to comics in Italy.
It usually takes place at the end of October; loads of fans of anime and cartoons arrive in town dressed in fantastic costumes.
A trip to Lucca would not be complete without a Pisa tour – these two cities are only 17km apart and have great transport links.
You can reach Pisa in less than 30 minutes using the regular train or bus service, or even by simply driving there. Pisa is a legendary city and one of the most famous in Tuscany: it has a plethora of beautiful structures and its location on the River Arno means that it has some fantastic photographic opportunities too.
During your Pisa tour, the main attraction is undoubtedly the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Piazza dei Miracoli – this complex contains the leaning tower, the magnificent cathedral, the unfinished baptistery and the monumental cemetery.
This main tourist area can be covered on foot in just a few hours. More than a great spot for a funny image of you holding it up, the Leaning Tower actually dates to 1173 and has an interesting history.
It took two centuries to build it, yet its signature tilt began almost right away, caused by the soft ground on which it is built, composed of sand, clay and deposits from the rivers Arno and Serchio.
Unsurprisingly, it is just one of the several leaning towers in the city – we challenge you to find them all! Furthermore, you can climb to the top of the tower for a surreal tilted view of the surrounding city.(You can go up only if you have made online reservations. Cost: 18€)
Most tourists don’t go much “beyond the tower”, but the rest of the city has a few monuments to explore should you choose to spend the whole day there.
Pisa is home to three important universities, the Scuola Normale and Sant’Anna, as well as Università di Pisa – so expect to see lots of young people and find cheap lunch options!
If you love unusual plants, during your Pisa tour, set aside time for the Orto Botanico or Botanical gardens run by the University of Pisa.
Founded in 1543, it is the oldest university botanical research centre in the world!
If you are looking for a combination of fantastic architecture and high end retail shopping, the Borgo Stretto is the place to visit! This delightful street is located in the heart of the city and starts at the Piazza Garibaldi next to the Ponte di Mezzo.
On this street you can find a range of designer stores, boutique shops and quaint cafes. For those who love a little retail therapy there is no better place in Pisa to visit!
Travel tips for Lucca and Pisa:Things to know before you go!
- Lucca is flat, this makes it perfect not only for walking but also for riding bikes that is really popular with locals and tourists alike. There is even a bike path atop her walls!
- Climb to Guinigi Tower:The tower with its ilex trees offers a great view over the city, showing the Roman layout overlaid with the winding old streets and laneways of medieval times.
- Taste the traditional cake of Lucca: Buccellato is a sweet bread mixture with raisins and aniseed
- Lucca is a great base for exploring Tuscany. It has an idyllic location: it is close to Viareggio and the nearby beach resorts, as well as the lush countryside for picturesque panoramas and wine tasting.
- Make sure you have bought water from a supermarket, as prices in central spots are very high.
- In order to be allowed inside the Tower of Pisa you will have to leave your bags in the coat room at the opposite building (Lupa capitolina). There is no charge, you will simply have to show your ticket.
- The visit at the tower takes about 35-45 minutes and you will need to climb 251 uneven and slippery steps up to the top, so wear appropriate footwear.
- If you want to take the best photographs with the Tower of Pisa you must be there early in the morning.
- During your Pisa tour, walk along the Arno River and take some unique images that look like paintings!
Best time to visit Tuscany
The best times to visit Tuscany are between September and November and between March and May. During these months, you will find comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds at the major sights.
Note that Tuscany is likely to be very busy around the Easter holidays, a popular time for Italians to travel to Tuscany.
A visit in early fall brings you an opportunity to partake in the region’s many grapes and olive harvest festivals. Summer ushers in high temperatures and heavy crowds. If you want Tuscany all for yourself, visit during the winter low season, but expect the cold and sometimes rainy.