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Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Highlights of Lucca - A True Tuscan Gem

Salumi e vino lucchese.
Salumi e vino lucchese. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By []Giovanni Balboni

If you are searching for a holiday in Italy, but want to escape the crowds then why not rent one of the many Tuscan villas in or around the beautiful town of Lucca? Lucca is definitely one of the hidden gems of the most famous region of Italy that is Tuscany. Villas can be booked for short breaks or extended stays, and no matter how many people are in your group there will be the perfect villa for you.

Lucca and The Luchese

Lucca itself is a magical town, surrounded by medieval defensive walls that have remarkably remained intact throughout hundreds of turbulent years. The walls are now a feature of the town and you can walk, jog or cycle the perimeter of Lucca on top of the walls, chat to the locals, have a picnic or simply relax and enjoy the views.

Lucca has remained in the shadow of Florence and Pisa and is much less frequented by tourists, which means that it retains much of its Italian charm and traditional identity. The streets are buzzing with local gastronomic shops and beautiful Italian boutiques. Locals converse in loud animated voices, the young and trendy hang out in the bars eating pastries, and the elderly play games of cards in the town's bustling squares.

Lucca is an architectural beauty with many Renaissance features adorning the narrow streets and dominating the squares. The cathedral, amphitheatre and the many churches are all part of the rich history and still stand today in all their glory. The famous opera genius, Puccini, was born here and you can visit the house of his birth or even indulge in one of the many Puccini concerts regularly held in the town.

Outside of the town the countryside is typical of Tuscany. Villas of a grand and elegant nature, usually with a story to tell, are dotted amongst the terraced vineyards and lush olive groves. Many open their doors to the public and give a real taste of the Italian aristocratic legacy. By taking advantage of the stunning landscape of Tuscany, villas available to rent in the area will give you the independence to explore and discover the region at your leisure.

When considering Tuscany, villas up in the Garfagnana Valley are within an easy drive of Lucca. The Garfagnana is a fantastic place for exploring, and for the more adventurous there are opportunities to go mountain biking, hiking and rafting. The mountains of this region are home to some wonderful Italian experiences. Eat at restaurants with no menus, drink local wine with no labels and embrace the warm hospitality of the people that make this region so special.

Within half an hour of Pisa airport, which is well served by many UK airlines, Lucca is an ideal place to stay if you are searching for a real taste of all things Tuscan.

Giovanni Balboni works for To Tuscany, who specialise in finding the perfect []Tuscany villas in Chianti as well as selected villas in Umbria and Puglia. To Tuscany is proud of their villas and their reputation. All our Tuscan properties are personally selected and visited by our representatives to ensure we offer only the best in the region.

Article Source: [] The Highlights of Lucca - A True Tuscan Gem
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