Our next stop is Lucca. It is actually a side attraction for us. We made it a stop because it is on our way to Cinque Terre ( Italian Riviera) and we spent about four hours in the city. Lucca has a glorious past as the capital of Tuscany. Etruscans founded it in 3rd century BC. Romans colonized it in 180 BC. It went thru several historical changes. But it has maintained its independence for a number of centuries. Lucca is famous for its 2.5 mile long wall. It is a renaissance wall with a wide walkway (actually cars can go thru it but they are prohibited). Our previous town Volterra has a thin medieval wall. The city of Lucca converted the wall area into a park instead of tearing it down. It is a smart way to retain the glorious past and dampen the stress of modern life. Total population of Lucca is 90,000. The historic district lies well within its walls and 10,000 people live there. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. Lucca is known for its 100 churches, villas with gardens and residences of famous composers.
Lucca is the birth place of the composer and cellist Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) and the opera maestro Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924).