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LUCCA The Glorious Northern Tuscany: Lucca, Pistoia, Prato and Pisa

31 May 2021

6 days from £2,395pp

  • Lucca and the Guinigi
  • State Archive of Lucca
  • Campo Santo and Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa
  • Marble Quarries of Carrara
“A CHARMING MIXTURE OF ANTIQUE ‘CHARACTER’ and modern inconsequence; and not only the town, but the country — the blooming romantic country which you admire from the famous promenade on the city-wall.” Henry James’s musings in his Italian Hours still hold true: Lucca, at the foot of the Apennine Alps, beautifully combines historical self-awareness with contemporary life, and its magnificent circuit of defensive walls and bastions is now the domain of local cyclists and leisurely strollers. This part of Tuscany proudly upheld its status of an independent republic against the Grand Duchy of Tuscany dominated by Medicean Florence. Lucca’s beauty is unassuming but never boring: its marble clad churches and palaces contain artistic treasures ranging from the iconic tomb of Ilaria del Carretto to masterpieces by Fra Bartolomeo and Filippino Lippi. As for the surrounding countryside, Henry James justifiably reckoned that “nothing could be more charming than the country between Pisa and Lucca — unless possibly the country between Lucca and Pistoia”: fertile soil covering south-facing slopes, an abundance of water and a mild climate have made it one of Italy’s richest agricultural regions, at times resembling a gigantic nursery, which supplies cut flowers and ornamental plants worldwide. Here, prosperous patrons — from silk merchants in the Cinquecento to Napoleon’s sister Elisa in the early 19th century and beyond — built exquisite villas whose gardens reflect the luxuriousness of Lucchese silks which came to rival those imported from the East.

Your Accommodation

Hotel Ilaria, Lucca

The hotel Ilaria is situated in the beautifully converted stables of a historic villa within the town walls of Lucca. The hotel boasts a roof-top terrace ideal for welcome drinks. Rooms are furnished in traditional Italian style and equipped with all modern conveniences.
Room Facilities & Amenities
  • Air conditioning
  • Wi-Fi
  • TV
  • Safe
  • Minibar
  • Hair dryer