The tombstone dedicated to Adele in the cloister of the convent of the Church of San Francesco

The tombstone dedicated to Adele in the cloister of the convent of the Church of San Francesco (Saint Francis)

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The three cloisters of the Convent of the Church of San Francesco (Saint Francis) were recently restored and are part of the IMT University campus. They are open to the public. The entrance is on the left hand side of the church. Along the walls of the cloisters are many 19th-century tombstones of the upper middle class of Lucca. It is interesting to read the epitaphs engraved on the stones commemorating those buried. Many of the deceased were in their twenties and many others were children. After the twentieth stone, there is a very particular inscription. Those that battle for gender equality will either be filled with indignation or have a good chuckle. AGNESE RAGGHIANTI BORN LUCCHESI TO HER MOST BELOVED SISTER ADELE SHE POSSESSED ALL THE BEST MORAL QUALITIES AND WAS MORE INTELLIGENT THAN OTHERS OF HER GENDER...

Santa Maria nera

The replica of the Holy House of Our Lady of Loreto in the Church of Santa Maria Nera

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The Church of Santa Maria Nera2 owes its name to the presence of a black-colored sculpture of the Holy Virgin Mary, made in the 19th century. It is an identical reproduction of Our Lady of Loreto3. Our Lady of Loreto is located inside a Marian shrine, by the same name, in the town of Loreto in the Marche region. Legend says that the Holy House of Mary was transported in flight by angels from Nazareth to Loreto and the shrine was built around it. In 1662 in Lucca, the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God4 had an exact copy of the Holy House built inside the Romanesque church of Santa Maria Corteorlandini, which is richly decorated with 17th-century frescoes representing scenes from Mary’s life. The 19th-century statue of the ‘black’ Madonna was placed inside the house which stands...


A curious story regarding the tomb of the merchant Tignosini

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Just a few steps away from the tombstone commemorating Adele, at the corner of the second cloister near the entrance to the Church of San Francesco, visitors will note an old medieval tombstone with a lunette overhead that has one of the oldest frescoes in Lucca. The tomb dates 1274 and contains the remains of a merchant of Lucca, who was named Tignosini. In the chronicles of San Francesco, compiled in the 17th century by the archivist of the convent, there is a lot of information and news regarding the foundation of the convent, much of which is unpublished, strange, and sometimes, quite disturbing. The rich merchant Tignosini, who was a resident in the parish of San Frediano, died in 1286. He had expressed the desire of being buried in the Church of San Francesco in his will, probably...

San Michele - graffiti

The exterior graffiti on the Church of San Michele

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On the south-facing external wall of the church, at about a height of two meters, we can make out some medieval graffiti dating back to about the mid-14th century. There are several depictions that passers-by in a hurry will have difficulty seeing and understanding. Starting on the left, there is a fairly large phallus, then a walled city with towers, domes, and flags. Above it, there is a rough outline of a sailboat, similar to what we would have drawn as children in our notebooks. You might think that some youngster, with nothing better to do, had played a prank and defaced the white walls of the Romanesque church the evening before. This is not the case and the proof lies just a short distance away. There are sentences written in Gothic script and some in Hebrew. I don’t...


The Last Supper by Tintoretto in the Cathedral of San Martino

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Eleven Unusual Things to See in Lucca If you search the web for things you should see or do when visiting an area, you’ll probably find a list of the top ten things and usually they’re pretty typical. Well, I’m suggesting eleven because I’ve decided to go one better. Actually, if I were to think of all the particular places or things to see or do in Lucca, the list would be endless. Inside the Cathedral of San Martino, at the third altar of the right aisle, there is a painting of the Last Supper of Christ painted by the famous Venetian painter Jacopo Robusti, known as Tintoretto. This was the last work painted by the artist, aided by his son Domenico, dating 1594, the year of his death. This painting, like the others present in the church, is...

Lucca's labyrinth

The Labyrinth

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… and then, without knowing how or why, I found myself within the labyrinth of lights and shadows, which I had shown and explained to others countless times, without having ever entered it. This almost seems to paraphrase the beginning of the famous tercet from Dante’s Divine Comedy where “the straight path was lost”. The analogy has often crossed my mind when thinking of the 12th-century labyrinth located on the pillar next to the bell tower of the Cathedral of San Martino. I am a tourist guide of Lucca. For at least twenty five years, I have shown this sculpted marble relief to thousands of tourists. I do not remember how many times I have narrated its tale and tried to explain its significance but always from the “outside”. Then suddenly, without intending to, I found myself inside it....

Lucca doors

Doors and Doorways in Lucca

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A daily act repeated innumerable times such as closing the door of your home behind you, in places like Europe, especially Italy, can be equivalent to leaving behind a piece of history or even a veritable work of art. Lucca, a Tuscan city, enclosed by tree-lined 16th-century walls, has preserved its buildings through the centuries. Like multilayer and multi flavoured cakes, plaster, bricks, stones, roof tiles, doors and windows have been kept or changed seamlessly to create buildings of multiple layers and ‘flavours’. In particular, many doors and doorways have acquired a certain allure through the ages. It does not matter whether they conceal the entrance to a modest dwelling or to the loggia of an ancient palazzo. It does not matter if they are doors to shops or to secret gardens. They are beautiful and fascinating. Perhaps due...



This tour is amazing!! A MUST See!!

If you are anywhere near this location and are a World War II history buff, had family in the war, or just enjoy a general history and knowledge this is a must-see for you! Anna, our tour guide, had wonderful stories as well as lots of knowledge, History, plus family personal experiences that made the tour extra special – a real eye-opener for anyone that has not lived through this difficult time. The best story is the town coming out to the Piazza waiting for the Americans to arrive… HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!


Shelley S

Rediscovered Gardens of Elisa Bonaparte

The tour was very informative and the gardens beautiful. our guide was very knowledgeable about the area and it’s history. my 4 companions and i were all pleased with the tour

Turislucca’s New YouTube Channel

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There’s a new way to talk about Lucca and Tuscany:  Turislucca has started its own YouTube channel! To inaugurate the channel, we’ve decided to post two videos that take a look at Lucca’s preeminent symbol, the city walls. The massive, tree-lined Renaissance walls completely surround the historical center of the city.   Since 1513, this imposing piece of artistic heritage has been diligently safeguarded and to date, is one of the most important and impressive monuments in all of Italy.   Gabriele Calabrese, well-known tourist guide and founding partner of Turislucca, accompanies us to learn about this marvelous wonder.  He explains that the Walls were constructed to defend Lucca from its enemies and today, are a city park to be enjoyed by all: stroll, jog, cycle, play, or relax on them. He takes us to the interior of the...