The red-brick Guinigi Tower pierces the sky above Lucca’s medieval center, and is particularly notable for its impressive rooftop garden shaded by several ancient holm oaks that date from the early 17th century. Climb the 230 steps inside the tower for views across the historic rooftops of Lucca.
During the Middle Ages, Lucca had more than 200 tower houses inside the city walls, defensive residences where the wealthy families could live and work in safety. Today, only nine remain and the most famous is the Guinigi Tower (Torre Guinigi), built in the 14th century by the powerful family of silk merchants who once ruled the city. This rooftop garden was renovated in the 1980s and can be visited via the internal staircase. From its ramparts, you can make out Lucca’s three concentric rings of historic city walls and other remaining towers, and the green Tuscan hills beyond.
Lucca is about 90 minutes from Florence, and a popular day trip together with Pisa. You can explore the town center with a walking tour or by bike, hitting on other highlights like Lucca Cathedral, San Michele in Foro church, and Piazza dell’Anfiteatro.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Kids especially enjoy climbing to the rooftop garden, both for the bird’s-eye view and the novelty of full-size trees growing on a tower.
- Because of the many steps to the top of the tower, the climb is only recommended for those in good physical condition.
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather if planning on exploring the center of Lucca on foot or by bike.
How to Get There
The Guinigi Tower is located in the center of Lucca’s old town, an easy walk from the train station. To reach Lucca, you can take a train or drive from Florence or Pisa.
When to Get There
Lucca holds a popular music festival each summer featuring Italian and international rock and pop artists, and the city has a particularly vibrant atmosphere during the months of July, August, and September.
The historic center of Lucca is encircled by what many consider to be the most beautiful medieval city walls in Italy. The wide top of the walls has been landscaped with shade trees, benches, and biking and walking paths, and is a popular area to stroll and relax for visitors and locals alike.