This smaller church is patroned by Sain John and Saint Reparata. Inside the original thing is that they have excavated the remains of a 1st century BC (!) domus, being a true archaeological site.
This is one of many small churches that can be found in the city centre of Lucca. This particular one is located near the Duomo on the way from Piazza Napoleone. The Romanesque neighbor to the Duomo has a 16th-century facade and a 12th-century body, but recent excavations have revealed the structure is actually five layers deep. It sits atop a much older Lombard church that served until the early 700s as Lucca's cathedral, which in turn was built atop a 4th- to 5th-century A.D. paleo-Christian church that took the place of a Roman temple built atop Roman houses. In all, 12 centuries of history jumble together in a confusing but interesting mélange beneath the pavement inside.
Crossing the Duomo square, we came across the beautiful San Giovanni church, which is dedicated to Saint John Baptist. If you are fond of Italian churches, then when visiting the Duomo you should not miss the opportunity to visit another one. Actually, we came across it by chance but we are so glad we did.
The church's façade is, once again, built in white marble. There is a very nice detail above the door, so look up when entering the church.
In recent years, some excavations showed that there were others constructions underneath the church.
This 12th century church has a 16th century façade. During a recent excavation, workers discovered that there are five structures or layers below the existing church. It sits atop a Lombard church, which was Lucca's cathedral until the early 700's. The Lombard church was built over the top of a 4-5th century paleochristian church. That church was constructed over a Roman temple, which was built atop Roman houses. When I was there most of the interior was still under reconstruction so I couldn’t see much of the church inside.
On a small square, not far from the cathedral, stands the church of San Giovanni. This was the first cathedral in Lucca until the 8th century.