The province of Lucca is an area rich of villas and nice coastal towns such as Viareggio. This is also the area where Giacomo Puccini was born. This area includes the seaside towards west, and the mountains eastwards in the Garfagnana area. The city of Lucca itself has ancient origins and preserves the wonderful medieval walls all around the historic center of town, with higher ramparts and bastions.
The wide area to the east of Lucca between the district known as the “6 mile plane” and the slopes of the Pizzorne hills was filled with an incredible number of patrician dwellings from the 16th century. The garden enclosures have subtly altered the landscape, managing however to adapt their verdant structures to the nature of the terrain. This phenomenon is most certainly to be linked to the lengthy era of prosperity enjoyed by the merchants of Lucca and coincided with their desire to escape from the city walls and invest their wealth in land. In the Lucca villas, the representative function overrides all other considerations so that the parks and architecture of these establishments are more sumptuous than in any other part of Tuscany.
Going towards Pescia you can find Carmigliano, where is Villa Torrigiani, which was given its present appearance between the 17th and 18th centuries. A long cypress avenue and an imposing gate offer an impressive vista. A few kilometers northwards, in Segromigno is Villa Mansi built towards the middle of the 17th century. Many other villas dot the Lucca countryside until the sea, where the Versilia is.
The wide plane that stretches from the Apuan hills to the sea, now densely populated and full of seaside resorts, used to belong to the district of the Vicar of Pietrasanta, once the most important center of the area. There also is Viareggio with white beaches, pine woods, and an excellent tourist organization, the harbor, the climate and the neighboring mountains that explain the irresistible economic boom enjoyed by the little town that began in the 19th century. The famous Carnival of Viareggio is a long procession of allegorical carts taking place in February along the promenade of this seaside town.
The Garfagnana area is a very interesting mountainous land rich of castles by the Malaspina family, once the rulers of these areas. Here the towns of Barga, Castiglione di Garfagnana and Bagni di Lucca are a must see, rich of strong historical character and monuments.
Lucca originated as a Roman settlement at the intersection of three consular roads by the Serchio River.
In the Middle Ages it was a fierce…