Lucca in Tuscany, Italy, is a delightful and peaceful place to visit in its own right, and it also serves as a great place to stay when visiting Pisa. Much less touristy than Pisa, it delights with true local restaurants, reasonable lodging and enough things to keep you entertained for several days. This is not a place that is overtaken by tour buses and T-shirt shops.
You can walk around the oldest part of town atop the walls that surround it. That will give you a quick overview of the town, and prepare you for wanderings within. Several plazas provide space for markets (non-touristy) and dining. It's fun to just get lost for a while, exploring little alleyways and discovering where they take you. The walls that lost their value for military importance, now serve as a pedestrian promenade, and are one of the main attractions in Lucca. The area around those walls are well kept with lots of grass and green trees. You can see its ancient history in most of its attractions. You can see the traces of the old Roman amphitheater shaped like the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, as well as the archeological remains of the 12th century church of Reparate and Giovianni. This was the 1st city cathedral and it sits around the corner from what today is the cathedral of San Martino.
Easy train access and Pisa is only about 20 minutes away.
Not a bad base for touring Tuscany by car. Rental cars are available.
Lucca has great dining options. Restaurants serve mostly a local clientele, and so are:
1) Full of atmosphere
2) Really delicious with lots of authentic fare, and
3) Reasonably priced.
Lucca has a reasonable batch of hotels and pensiones. Mostly small mom-and-pop places, including some that are up several long flights of stairs. If that is a concern, be sure you clarify things before confirming your reservation.
|Affittacamere Buonanotte||Viale C.Castracani, 94||Guesthouse||-|
|Albergo Villa Marta||Via del Ponte Guasperini 873 San Lorenzo a vaccol||Hotel||-|
|Alla Dolce Vita||Via fillungo 232||Guesthouse||81|
|Antica Corte||Viale Puccini 1353||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Centro Storico||Corte Portici 16||Guesthouse||86|
|Bed & Breakfast Arcobaleno||Via Formica 290||Guesthouse||-|
|Bed and Breakfast Sunrise||Via Bicchio 95/c Massarosa Fraz.Quiesa (LU)||Guesthouse||-|
|Corte di Re Artù||via vecchia, 443 (corte pampalone) San Marco||Guesthouse||-|
|Da Carlos||Via Nuova per Pisa 5901 Via Nuova per Pisa 5901||Hotel||85|
|Don Chisciotte||Via Pesciatina, 1711||Guesthouse||-|
|Dreamers B&B||Via per Corte Po, 296 San Macario in Piano - Lucca||Guesthouse||-|
|Guest House San Frediano||Via Degli Angeli 19||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Country Club||Via Pesciatina 874 - 55010 Gragnano||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Villa Volpi||Via di gugliano 47||Hotel||-|
|L' Arancio II||Via Romana 59||Guesthouse||-|
|La Torre 1||Piazza del Carmine, via del Carmine 11||Guesthouse||-|
|Leone di Sant' Anna||Via Buonamici, 221||Hostel||-|
|Lucca in Villa||Via delle Tagliate 49 S.Donato||Guesthouse||89|
|LuccaCharm||Via Roma, 14||Guesthouse||-|
|Marta Guest House||Via del Querceto, 47 - S.Maria del Giudice||Guesthouse||-|
|Ostello San Frediano||Via della Cavallerizza 12||Hostel||-|
|Sogni d'Oro||Via Cantore 169||Guesthouse||81|
|Villa Corte degli Dei||Via dei Franceschini, 328/B||Guesthouse||-|
|Affittacamere Stella||Via Pisana trav II, 74||Guesthouse||90|
|Bed & Breakfast Evelina||Via Streghi, 12||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Affittacamere Primavera||Via B.Paoli 19||Guesthouse||78|
|Aras Holiday Farm Lucca||Via san Martino||Apartment||-|
|I Casali di San Donato||Via San Donato 983||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Anfiteatro||Via dell'Anfiteatro 25||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|B and B La Magnolia||Via Mordini, 63||Guesthouse||-|
|Piccolo Hotel Puccini||Via Di Poggio, 9||Hotel||92|
|La Gemma di Elena B and B||Via della Zecca 33 (downtown)||Guesthouse||94|
|Da Elisa Alle Sette Arti||Via Elisa 25||Guesthouse||79|
|Antica Residenza Del Gallo Apartments||Via del Gallo, 25||Apartment||-|
|Hotel Stipino||Via Romana 95||Hotel||-|
|Borgo Giusto Agrihotel||Loc. Partigliano Borgo a Mozzano||Guesthouse||-|
|Casa Sant'Elena||Loc. Carmignani, 19 Spianate Altopascio||Guesthouse||-|
|Antica Residenza dell' Angelo||Via Beccheria, 11||Guesthouse||-|
|Cuore||Via dell'Olivo 6||Apartment||-|
|La Pieve di Sant'Andrea||Via Della Chiesa Vecchia, 182||Guesthouse||-|
|Suite Accommodation||Via di Mastiano e Gugliano, 3067||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Colle del Lupo||Via Colle del Lupo, 2 Pescia||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bed & Breakfast La Corte||Via Dei Marchi 11 Capannori||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Il Ramingo B&B||Via S.Donato 300 S.Donato||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casa Vacanza Villa Pardi||Via di Poggio 2660||Guesthouse||-|
|Villa Amoroni||Via dei Paoli 3 Verciano Capannori Lu||Apartment||-|
|Emma B&B||via Romana 717||GUESTHOUSE||85|
|Corte Panio||via Della Boccaccia 3||Apartment||-|
|La Casa di Nonno Mario||Corsagna Bagni di Lucca||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B Casa Alba||via Fillungo 142Lucca, 55100||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B La Colonna||Via dell'angelo Custode, 16 55100||GUESTHOUSE||85|
|B&B La Mimosa Lucca||via Pisana,66 55100 Lucca||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Apartment Viacarrara 16 Lucca||via Francesco Carrara 16||APARTMENT||-|
|Villa Romantica||Via Barbantini 246||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B Castagni d'Oro||via Montaglioni 25 Brandeglio, Bagni di Lucca||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B San Gennaro Castello||Via di Castello 40||GUESTHOUSE||87|
|A Palazzo Busdraghi||Via Fillungo, 170||HOTEL||-|
|B&B-Farm Forestaria||Via delle Tese, 27 Capannori, Lucca, Toscana||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Villa Patrizia B&B||Viale G. Puccini, 610 - S. Ann||Guesthouse||-|
|Al Porto di Lucca B&B||Via Lorenzo Nottolini 10||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Relais del Castello B&B||Via di Nozzano 555||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Appartamento Sibilla||Via Busdraghi, 13||APARTMENT||-|
Almost all towns and cities in Italy have internet cafes. A growing number of budget hostels and nicer hotels have free Wifi. By law all public-access internet points must keep records of web sites viewed by customers, and even the customer's ID: expect to be refused access if you don't provide identification. Hotels providing Internet access are not required to record IDs if the connection is provided in the guest's room, although if the connection is offered in the main public hall then IDs are required. Publicly available wireless access without user identification is illegal, so open Wi-Fi hotspots (like the ones you might expect to find in a mall or cafée) all have some form of (generally one-time) registration.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Best advice is to buy a prepaid SIM card (from € 10 upwards) and a cheap mobile phone (€ 19 upwards) to put it in (if you don't have a cellphone already that you can use). It will be much more practical. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113 (police), 115 (fire), 118 (health) can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone.
Post Italiane is the national postal services of Italy and has quite an efficient network of postal offices and reliable postal services. Standard letters and postcards (up to 20 grams) cost €0.39 to send within Europe and the Mediterranean countries outside Europe and €0.41 to all other destinations throughout the country. Up to 50 grams, prices start at €0.52 for Europe, €0.62 for other areas. Packages start at €1.55 within Europe, and around €2.50 for other countries. Post office business hours in Italy are from 8:30am to 2:00pm from Monday to Friday, with closing times at Saturday and the last day of the month at 12 noon. In general, larger post offices in bigger cities and in tourist areas keep longer hours than those in local towns. Also note that business hours in the south might be different than the north, with longer hours at night, especially in summer! If you want to send packages you might try faster and more reliable/efficient private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.
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