Dripping in history, enclosed by dreamy medieval walls & boasting quite possibly the best food scene in Tuscany, lovely Lucca might be one of the most underrated cities in Italy. Many tourists flee to nearby Pisa missing the charm of its endearing next-door neighbor. Lucky for the Lucchesi, its streets are almost never overrun by foreigners.

Did I say best food scene in Tuscany? Bold statement, I know, but Lucca is well known for its traditional cuisine. Ingredients like local honey, farro & wild boar are in abundance & should definitely be paired with a red Montecarlo di Lucca or white Colline Lucchesi wine for good measure.

Follow along for some of my favorite stops & get a taste of all the great things Lucca has to offer.

Start your day with a bike ride along the medieval walls to get a grasp of the city from above.

Get lost along with cobblestone streets until you hit Piazza dell’Anfiteatro – an elliptical shaped public square that was once the base of the town’s amphitheater. 

Stop in to Le Sorelle in Piazza dell’Anfiteatro and pickup a copy of “Toscana in Cucina” among other Tuscan items for the home. 

Eat lunch in the rose garden at Canuleia -arguably the best meal of our last trip to Tuscany both because of the food & the ambiance.

Shop along Via Fillungo for the Tuscan leather that you told yourself not to buy in Florence.

Grab tickets for an opera recital honoring Puccini in Chiesa San Giovani, a Lucca native. Listen to his renowned works from Tosca, Madame Butterfly, Turandot & more. (Shows are held daily at 7pm)

Take a break before the show begins for an apertivo in Piazza San Giovani & watch the sun begin to set on the chiesa. 

Eat dinner on Italian time (beginning around 9pm) in the red brick vaulted cellars of the Palazzo Bernardini at Cantine Bernardini. Make sure to grab a table downstairs in the cellar to experience this venue’s true medieval charm. 

Walk off all the wild boar you probably consumed at dinner along the city walls for an evening passeggiata under the Tuscan stars. 

Canuleia Cheeseboard Lucca

Lucchese cheese & Montecarlo di Lucca wine in the rose garden at Canuleia

Canuleia Lucca

Risotto at Canuleia

Pistacchio Dessert Lucca

Pistacchio gelato at Canuleia

Zabaglione in Lucca

Zabaglione & espresso at Canuleia


Chiesa di San Michele in Foro

Fagioli in lucca

Traditional farro & fagioli soup at Cantine Bernardino

Gnudi in Lucca

Pesto Gnudi at Cantine Bernardino


Piazza dell’Anfiteatro