Located on a flat parcel of land, on the left bank of the last section of the Serchio River, this richly artistic city encloses its treasures in city walls four km long around whose perimeter is a bicycle and walking path.
Important under the Goths, Lucca was elected capital of the Tuscia by the Longobards. Besieged by the Byzantines in the 6th century, it became a free settlement in 1119 after having taken part in the first Crusades. Subjected to the dominion of Uguccione, it was taken successively by Parma, Verona and a long domination by Pisa. It regained its freedom only in 1369 with constitution of the Republic. In 1805 Napoleon Bonaparte made Lucca a principality and it became a duchy under Marie Louise of Bourbon-Parma (1817).
Worth a visit is the Duomo, in honour of St. Martin. With its Romanesque Pisan hallmark (facade and apse) and the 15th-century windows by Pandolfo di Ugolino, it has a magnificent bell tower, adorned with archways and crowned by swallowtails, while the facade is preceded by a colonnade with grand arches that supports a triple order of galleries. The Gothic interior holds a sculpture by an unknown Lombard artist, depicting St. Martin, who shares his cloak with a beggar, a marble sculpture with the Judgement of Salomon, a Last Supper by Tintoretto, an altarpiece, a Madonna with Child and Saints by Domenico Ghirlandaio and some crypts executed by Civitali.