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Lucca is one those places that you actually want to get lost in.  A labyrinth of cobblestone lanes and ancient buildings sit within the well-preserved Renaissance walls that encircle Lucca’s city centre. Here you’ll find charming bakeries with freshly baked loaves, crowded delis slicing up local salami and prosciutto, and sprawling piazzas lined with alfresco restaurants dishing up seafood pastas and the finest margarita pizzas for people watchers and old friends.

Eat in Piazza Anfiteatro

Piazza Anfiteatro is the beating heart of Lucca. A place where locals and tourists alike can gather for a bowl of pasta and hours of people watching in the elliptical-shaped meeting place. You’re spoiled for choice with all of the local trattorias that sit at the base of the storybook-esque buildings at Piazza Anfiteatro.

Ristorante Pizzeria K2: You can’t go past Ristorante Pizzeria K2 for traditional Italian pizzas with the freshest toppings. Think thin crusts, bubbling mozzarella, fresh seafood and thinly sliced meats.

Peperosa Ristorante Bistro: Dine outside to feel like you’re part of the bustling action in the square and enjoy seafood pasta dishes such as taglierini egg pasta with sea urchin and clams, and handmade raviolo with buffalo mozzarella, lobster and Jerusalem artichokes.

Drink in Montecarlo

Tuscany is known for its world-class wineries and while Lucca is dotted with plenty of charming hidden wine bars, for a real taste of Italy it’s best to head to the vineyards of Montecarlo.

Buonamico: Open seven days a week, Buonamico welcomes guests to its sprawling vineyard and estate with tours available of the property followed by a tasting. Sample the vineyards delicate wine and homemade olive oil while gazing at verdant vistas of the surrounding countryside.

Fattoria del Teso: Make a day of it at Fattoria del Teso where you can enjoy all different types of wine tastings accompanied by a gourmet lunch, cigars or locally grown vegetables.

Image courtesy of Buonamico

Stay in the heart of Lucca

Pretty much everywhere you need to see in Lucca is within walking distance and that’s why staying in the heart of the city will make long, late-night strolls and early morning coffees a breeze. Hotel San Luca Palace sits in a medieval square dating back to 1540 and provides elegant accommodation inside the walls of the town centre. Enjoy the finest meats, brioche and local cheeses for breakfast, while as night falls the evening bar is filled with soft music and the sound of clinking cocktails.

Play at the historic buildings

History buffs will be in their element with Lucca’s extensive array of historic buildings. Start by admiring the Romanesque-Gothic architecture at the Guinigi Tower before heading to Lucca Cathedral with its major works of art.

There’s also the San Michele in Foro, a Roman Catholic basilica church built over the ancient Roman forum, and the Palazzo Mansi Museum where you can view intricate tapestry collections and post-19th-century art collections.

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