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Top 5 Spring Individual Tours in Lucca and Pisa

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With spring comes a new season of guided tours. As we wait to unveil our new itineraries, here are our top 5 spring tours; there’s something for everyone! Lucca by Bike Our number one tour is a visit of Lucca by bike; a classic. Riding around in spring, with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, especially up on the Renaissance Walls, is a delight! In fact, with our bikes, we ride along the entire ring of the Walls under the plane, horse chestnut, lime, and oak trees and then swing down to the Amphitheater Square and other monumental squares in town. Just like the people of Lucca: they use their bikes to ride on the Walls or through the town’s narrow streets because, inside the walls, the center is a huge restricted traffic zone,...

Garden with actors

Princess Elisa Bonaparte, the Scents of Flowers and Life on Television

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What would Elisa Bonaparte, Princess of Lucca, Massa, and Piombino and younger sister of Napoleon, have said if she had known that they would be talking about her on TV in Lucca after two centuries? And why? Because of military campaigns? Economic and social reforms in the wake of the French Revolution? No, ladies and gentlemen. It is in regard to a much more light-hearted reason, might I say “fragrant”. This powerful, modern, and revolutionary young woman, among other things, introduced new varieties of plants and flowers to Lucca and Tuscany. On February 21, a conference in regard to this subject was held in the rooms where Elisa’s court theatre used to be in Palazzo Ducale in Lucca. The event was filmed by a Tuscan network, Channel 50, and sponsored by the Filippo Mazzei Cultural Circle of Pisa. The...

Gabriele Calabrese

GlobeTrotter Jon Haggins in Lucca, with Gabriele Calabrese – pt. 2

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Part 2: In this episode, Jon Haggins strolls through the town and visits Palazzo Mansi. The palazzo is a tangible example of the opulence and power of Lucca past. Other landmarks are also viewed such as the Walls and some of the most beautiful historical gardens. The vegetation is, in fact, an element which ties the historical center to the ancient outlying “six-mile territory”. Borgo a Mozzano, Celle dei Puccini, and a farmhouse in Montecarlo, where typical local dishes are prepared, attest to the excellence of the rural historical landscape of what once constituted the territory of the ancient Republic of Lucca.

Gabriele Calabrese

GlobeTrotter Jon Haggins in Lucca, with Gabriele Calabrese

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Part 1: Giacomo Puccini, other famous Lucca composers, music and show venues of Lucca are the common thread in the first part of Jon Haggins’s documentary. Gabriele guides the guests through the town, entertaining them with anecdotes and unravelling this long thread that is permanently and “harmoniously” tied to the history of Lucca.

Damiano Carrara TV show backstage 1

The Italian TV show “Cake Star” arrives in Lucca with Damiano Carrara

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There are many Lucchesi throughout the world that have worked as actors, singers, writers, bankers, figurine makers. Then there is Damiano Carrara, a young and handsome pastry chef. Damiano was born in Lucca in 1985 and began working as a bartender. He migrated to Ireland and then to California, where, in a blink of an eye, he opened up “Carrara Pastries” with his brother, Massimiliano. A success. Perhaps it’s in part because he’s quite good-looking, with a luminous smile and sunny disposition, that the Food Network called him to compete in the Spring Baking Championship, but, more likely, it was a network screen test. The following year, in fact, he became a judge of the Halloween Baking Championship, Spring Baking Championship, and, in 2017, of Bake Off Italia. He also wrote a couple of cookbooks with his brother: Dolce...

Streets of Lucca

Lucca Italy is a Fantastic Walking Tour Destination

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Courtesy of shawnacoronado.com: Visiting Lucca is very much like stepping back into time. Unlike Rome, which is a large bustling metropolis with honking horns and constant sirens, Lucca offers peace and quiet with an old world feel. Lucca Italy is a fantastic walking tour destination. In the early morning, as the light is just starting to touch Lucca’s walls, I found solace on my morning walks. I would step away from my amazingly quaint hotel, the Alla Corte degli Angeli, and wander the stone streets alone before breakfast, listening to the community coming alive with the friendliness of a small village. This is a fond memory of my time spent there. Walking for wellness is easy in Lucca; there’s no need to rent a car if you are staying in Lucca proper as the streets and surrounding walls are...

The Walls of Lucca

The Wall of Lucca…

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From My Travel in Tuscany: I have to thanks a friend of mine that suggested me to get this unusual tour created by Turislucca, a group of experienced authorized tour guides with a great knowledge of the town, that told me tons of interesting facts about the history of their birthplace. If a “must to do” in town is a bike ride along the wide and shady path of the fortification that surrounds the historical center, the majority of tourists don’t know that the main bastions hide ancient underground to discover. Stories of castles, fortress, and knights always fascinated me that the idea to explore the underground of the walls of Lucca made me very excited. We booked few days in advance because there are only two or three walking tours of the underground every month and so far,...

Mr Mei's tart

Mei’s Sweet Pastry Tarts. “Experiential” Tourism 2017

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Tuscany, Lucca, March, the sun, and the desire for spring. Another new season begins. And here I am, in the streets of my “old” city. Lucca is older than me, and yet, it is as if it were 54 years old like me. I feel that it is part of my being, having walked and explored every single inch of it. You could say that when a new tourist-guiding season rolls round, I feel as if I were a 54-year-old tree that discovers its new leaves, leaves that look the same but are not the same of years past. If the old trees planted on the ramparts of the walls around the city could speak, they might say I was right. New stimulation and knowledge to impart to my new friends visiting Lucca. And this actually happens to almost...

Palazzo Mansi - Alcova

The Art of Taste and Taste in Art – Part 4

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Now let us talk about a place where sophisticated food and delicacies would be prepared and served to a select minority: the palazzos of the wealthy. There are two aspects to Palazzo Mansi. It is an emblematic example of the many patrician residences in Lucca and also a national museum that houses numerous paintings, an art gallery. Many of the paintings portray products that were cultivated in the territory in the past (and are still cultivated today) and the commercial activities and customs that went hand-in-hand with the products. The palazzo is located at Via Galli Tassi, 43. The exterior of the building with its light-coloured plaster walls and rather insignificant shuttered windows does not, in any way, exhibit the Baroque magnificence of the interior nor the precious handmade articles also found within. This is typical of the reserved...

Piazza Napoleone

The Art of Taste and Taste in Art – Part 3

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Another interesting aspect, from a historical point of view, is to find the places in town where commercial activity in regard to food and foodstuffs took place over the centuries beginning in medieval times through to the 19th century and compare it to today. Starting off at the Cathedral, we can stroll along the network of narrow streets that connected to the main axes of the city road system dating back to Roman times, the Cardo, that ran north – south, and the Decumanus, that ran east – west. Beyond Piazza Antelminelli, we enter Via San Donnino and then turn onto the charming Via del Battistero. Today, Via del Battistero is a succession of antique shops where an astute collector can find pieces of undisputed quality from any time period, be it furniture or figurative art, historically tied to...