Lucca is one of the best places to visit in Tuscany, with so many things to do and see. It has amazing architecture, a wealth of outdoor activities, natural beauty and fabulous shopping. And while you there you can enjoy one of the many music festivals and some of the most amazing food in Tuscany.

Here are our top 8 reasons you should visit Lucca.

1. Amazing Architecture

St. Martin's Cathedral

In and around Lucca you'll find Romanesque cathedrals, Medieval and Renaissance architecture, and some of Tuscany's most beautifully conserved villas and splendid gardens.

2. Natural Beauty

Borgo a Mozzano Garfagnana

From Lucca you can easily reach the mountains and the sea — the sandy beaches of the Versilian Riviera are less than 30 minutes away, the hiking paradise of the Cinque Terre is an hour away, and the mountains of the Garfagnana are just to the north.

3. Music— Puccini & More

Statue of Puccini

Lucca's most celebrated citizen is Giacomo Puccini. Visit the Puccini Museum in Lucca, or if you visit in July or August, attend the Annual Puccini Festival in nearby Torre del Lago.

Lucca’s Summer Music Festival, a series of big-name open air rock concerts throughout July, is held in Piazza Napoleone each summer.

4. Festivals & Special Events

Lucca Comic Convention

Lucca is filled with special events and festivals throughout the year, one of our favorites is the Permanent Puccini Festival in Lucca, which plays concerts year round.

In September is the Luminaria  di Santa Croce, an elaborate celebration of Lucca’s patron saint Volto Santo di Lucca. This is also the time of Settembre Lucchese when a special market opens next to San Michele in Foro, the ancient Roman forum. September is also the time of Murabilia, an international garden show with an annual competition called Mura Creative, or Creative Walls.

In October Lucca hosts the world’s second largest comic book and gaming convention. The convention draws people from all over the world — who often dress up as their favorite characters.

5. Fabulous Shopping

Shopping in Lucca

Lucca offers fabulous shopping, with endless boutiques lining the cobblestone streets. Lucca also hosts a variety of markets, there is a marvelous Antiques Market on the third weekend of every month, with everything from furniture to ceramics to handmade lace and a Craft Market the last weekend of every month.

6. Michelangelo’s Marble

Carrara Marble Quarry

The town of Cararra, north of Lucca, is famous for its lustrous white marble, prized by Michelangelo. There you can buy marble items in all colors to bring home as gifts or keepsakes.

7. The Food

Dining in Lucca

Truly a gourmet’s delight, Lucca has some of the best cuisine in all of Tuscany. Lucca, with its banking and silk trade, was historically an affluent community and that affluence is reflected in its traditional cuisine — which are often richer and more decadent than what you’ll find in other communities in Tuscany. Today Lucca is also famous for its terrific restaurants, extra virgin olive oil and excellent wines and porcini mushrooms.

8. It’s Perfect for Kids

Kid's Pizza Class

Parents will find a wealth of activities for children in and around Lucca. See our accompanying article <corey insert name of article and link> for ideas.