Why Lucca, Italy?
Beware: Nobody likes Lucca
Beauty That Moves You
Lucca's kept hidden because mystery intrigues. But the Lucchesi know about it. They foster and appreciate a cycling culture that’s unlike any other. It's where professionals and serious cyclists roam, where Strava segments are prized possessions and where hours in the saddle pass like minutes.
Landscapes of Your Affection
The full 360-degree radius outside the 4.4 km original city wall is a cyclist’s paradise. From the seaside (as near as 30 km from Lucca) to the Garfagnana Valley, there's a perfect ride for everyone.
Rolling Tuscan hills, olive groves and vineyards, along with alpine climbs, characterize northern Tuscan landscapes. Not only will the lay of the land impress you, but the architecture of the Nottolini Aqueduct and the Leaning Tower of Pisa radiate a country steeped in history.
Beyond potentially hours on end of scenic cycling, Lucca also hosts a variety of cultural and musical events. The Lucca Summer Festival, daily Puccini concerts, museums, and art exhibitions make Lucca a popular destination for families and cyclists alike.
Wisdom Through the Ages
Originally named Luca (or "illuminated glade" in English) for its marshy terrain, the town became a Roman colony in 180 BC. The Cathedral of San Martino was an important stop along Via Francigena, the route from Rome to Canterbury favoured by pilgrims in the Early Middle Ages.
At the end of the 12th century, merchants and luxury artisans flourished inside Lucca's wall thanks to the prosperous silk and tobacco trades, and many of these ancient shops can still be browsed today.
Wandering inside the historic city center, it’s easy to imagine yourself alive during the Roman Times, into the Middle Ages, the Napoleonic Era and through the Renaissance. How little the original medieval architecture has changed, but how much we humans perceive the world differently.
In the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, the outline of an ancient arena is still evident, while the defense walls dating back to the 17th century are now a pedestrian promenade. Among the piazzas, alleyways, churches, cafes, and shops, let your worries, problems and life drama fade away.
But Not Only Lucca
Lucca makes an ideal cycling base in Tuscany for day-long (or multi-day) trips to the Cinque Terre, Florence, Chianti and the Leaning Tower of Pisa — an indispensable strategy to safeguard your sanity from flocks of tourists.
The closest airport to Lucca is Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (a 33 km drive) or Florence Amerigo Vespucci Airport (70 km). Italy's train line, TrenItalia, offers an easy way to get around (especially to the Cinque Terre) if you're not renting a car.