The history of fortified walls of Lucca begins in 200 A.C. - with a classic square of walls that surrounded the city centre, and with part of it seen there up to today. During the Napoleon era the walls were demilitarized, and since that acted as a public walkway. What a great idea
The access to the city was secured by several fortified gates - each equipped with drawbridge, floodgate and iron double doors. Today there are 7 gates in Lucca, and though all of them were constructed in completely different eras, they all share the same beauty of the architecture and are very decorative. Do hike over the walls as this is promoted as the Passeggiata Mura, a self-guided walking tour to walk over and enjoy the scenery. Today the walls represent a valuable cultural resource not only for the town but also for the territory. The whole area is characterized by the presence of a series of constructions for games and recreational purposes, prevalently in the vicinity of the bastions but also along the ramparts, such as benches and tables for picnicking, fountains with drinking-water and most of all play-areas equipped with games for children.
It is very popular to walk or cycle on top of the ancient city walls. The entire perimeter is approximately 4 km. This gives a good introduction to the city layout and is a great experience. For sure we can say that you must expect crowds in the busy summer months.
Today, the wide promenade atop the walls afforded us a stroll in the shade of countless Chestnut trees while having a look at both the private gardens of villas and palazzi inside the walls as well as the city and hills outside the fortifications. We learned that there are seven gates into the city. We started our hike at the Porto Santa Maria which is the gateway of the walls of Lucca at the north. It was established between 1549 and 1592 and is part of the Renaissance walls. We walked back towards the Palazzo Pfanner where we had a great look at the villa and its garden. After that we hiked our way to the east and saw several city gates and ended at Piazza Liugi Varanini. It was a hike worthwhile!
The long history of Lucca goes way back to Etruscan and Ancient Roman times. It is great to see that the city retains pieces of this Ancient architecture. A very good example of this history is the amazing fortified walls. When we first arrived at Lucca we were very pleasantly surprised by the fact that we immediately saw this amazing defensive wall around the city of Lucca. For sure the fortified ring of walls around the old city center is a magnificent place to be and one of the most beautiful attractions that Lucca can offer to its visitors. We learned that the city is surrounded by 4 levels of the surrounding rings of walls and one of the walls is a more than 4 km long embankment planted with trees.
For us it was one of the first things we wanted to explore. Although getting up the fortified walls is a bit steep, it is definitely worthwhile to do so. The views we had over the magnificent old city center of Pula were truly breathtaking. It simply is great to walk over these walls from city gate to city gate and enjoy the scenery.
Lucca’s medieval city walls, which date from the early 1500s, are still in very good condition, which is rare for this part of Italy. A large pathway surrounded by lots of trees and greenery runs around the top of the walls and provides excellent viewing points of Lucca and its beautiful architecture. Within some parts of the walls, there are hidden rooms and passageways that may be viewed on a booked tour. This is a must-do for any visitor to Lucca since it’s somewhat unique to the region and it’s a big part of the town’s history.
You can jog, walk our cycle it, However you decide to do, make it top of your list. The best way to see the city is to do a circut of these perfectly intact medieval walls.
Its Ideal for families with children as the ramparts are dotted with picnic spots and playparks and the tree-lined promenades are pefect to people watch during the eveing passagata ......with a bottle of wine, of course!
I would recommend doing the 4 km route as one of your first activities whilst in Lucca as it gives you a good idea to the city layout.
Lucca and its city wall is home to several gates which are all well worth seeing, because of the different architectural styles.
Porta San Pietro was erected in 1566 and is located at the southern side of the city wall. If you go clockwise around the city wall from here you will see Porta Sant Anna, Porta San Donato (1629), Porta Santa Maria (1593), Porta San Jacopo and Porta Elisa (1804). Porta Sant Anna and Porta San Jacopo were added much later than the other gates.
The Porta Santi Gervasio e Protasio was part of the medieval circle of walls and is nowadays situated inside the city walls.
The city wall with its 6 gates can be found just around the compact old town of Lucca. The street Via Elisa passes through the Porta Santi Gervasio e Protasio inside the city walls.
Whenever great walls are thought of, most people may say China has a great wall. Yes, but so does Italy. Lucca, has had a wall since the Roman times and has been updated and reinforced throughout history. Standing 40' high and 60' wide, enclosing the city with a circular 3 miles of protection, that today has become a beautiful parkland path.
This great wall of Lucca offers locals and tourists alike the fun way to see Lucca. You can walk, jog, run, bike, and even rollerskate this fabulous wall. When visiting Lucca, it is a must thing to do. The view of gardens on patios, the church bell towers, the winding streets, and the beauty of the buildings all take on a special feel from on high. The best part is that there are paths, not stairs, that you can walk to get to the top. A tourist treat when visiting Lucca.
The fortifications that surround the historic part of the city date back to the early 16th century. When Lucca grew bigger, instead of tearing down the walls as it's been done in so many cities, the fortifications were left entirely intact and the rest of the city simply grew outside the walls, which of course greatly contributes to the unique atmosphere you find in the historic part of Lucca. Now that the fortifications don't serve any kind of defense purposes anymore, a track has been paved on top of the 12-feet-high walls that makes for an awesome bike path (see my Sports Travel tip!) or a really nice promenade, offering great views of both the city and the surrounding countryside. I thought it was especially fun to be there on a Sunday afternoon, when both tourists and locals meet up for a lazy stroll around the city. Going all the way around the fortifications allows you to see the old city's six gates and 11 bastions, covering a total distance of about 4 km.
Although Lucca's main fortifications date back to the early 16th century, four gates and city walls were put up in the Middle Ages, made of wood and stone and covered with plaster. These old fortifications have for the most part been destroyed, but the Porta di San Gervasio, dating back to 1255, remains. The original city walls were about 12 m high, surrounded by a moat (you can still see the little canal next to Porta di San Gervasio). The gate, which consisted of two towers linked by a walkway, was at that time equipped with a drawbridge and people who were granted access to the city could enter through the gate's 8-m-tall arched doorway. The Porta di San Gervasio has now partly been converted into private residences.
The historical center of Lucca is surrounded by well preserved ramparts. These were built in four stages. At the beginning they were constructed in Roman times. Later the walls were rebuilt between XI and XII centuries. The third phase of the building began in the XVI century and finished in 1544. The present construction dates from 1547 to 1650.
The walls are 12 meters tall. The top of the walls are paved and lined with trees. You can walk or cycle on them.
From the walls you can enjoy various nice areas of Lucca.
Lucca still has its complete circuit of medieval walls, an imposing sight for any visitor. These walls are among the thickest of any that I saw in Europe. The Romans constructed the first set of walls, with four gates. Then, the town built new ones in the 11th and 12th centuries, some of which remain visible today. The 17th century saw the last major wall construction. If you have time, take a stroll all the way around the walls.
Most of Italian towns had town walls but most of them were destroyed either thanks to Napoleon or thanks to Mussolini or thanks to local administrators in the 60's. I cannot understand how Lucca's walls could survive but I am very happy about it.
They are very well preserved and you can joint every type of sport activities there; running, biking, rollerblades or walking. Of course you can have a pic-nic. I suggest you to rent a bike.