The city of Lucca is located in the north-western Tuscany, situated in the plain between the plateau of the Pizzorne (north ) and Mount Serra (south) at the left bank of the river Serchio , at 19 m above sea level, 18 km north -east of Pisa, from which it is separated by the mountain Serra .
Lucca, according to some historians, was founded as a Ligurian settlement. Others believe that it is of Etruscan origin, and developed as a Roman city in 180 BC. In the sixth century Lucca became the capital of the Lombard Duchy of Tuscia and then developed in the twelfth century as City and then Republic.
Latin colony in 180 BC , Lucca still contains intact many of the characteristics of ancient times . The amphitheater , which still retains its characteristic shape of elliptical square closed, the hole is located in Piazza S. Michele dominated by the homonymous Romanesque church that evokes strong references to the classical world in many architectural components . But the track is most evident in the Roman streets of the old town, which reflect the orthogonality of the Roman Empire set by the thistle and the decumano , corresponding to the current Fillungo – Cenami and via S. Pauline -Rome- Holy Cross. Dates back to Roman times also the first city wall , which enclosed a square area in which, during the course of the centuries , have formed the center of political power ( current Doge’s Palace ) and the religious center . In 55 B.C. Lucca was the site of a meeting of the First Triumvirate of Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar and Marcus Licinius Crassus where Caesar was seen to extend for a further five years, the proconsul in Gaul .
Occupied by the Goths in 400 by the Byzantines and the following century , the history of Lucca was characterized to be among the most important capitals of the Lombard kingdom . We recall in fact Desire third Earl of Lucca and elected ” Rex Langobardorum ” in 756 and successors Allone , fourth Earl and Duke of Pisa and Wicheramo , fifth Earl , who became a vassal of Charlemagne . Thanks to the presence of the Holy Face in the church of S. Martin, became a main stop on the pilgrimage from Canterbury to Rome along the Via Francigena, one of the most important roads of the Middle Ages . Despite this, few traces remain of this historical period . In 773 the Lombard dominion of Lucca fell , and began the Carolingian domination , thanks to the defeat of the Dukes of Lucca at the hands of Charlemagne. During this period, the city consolidated the leading position conquered the Lombard era thanks to growing businesses and textile production , for which it became a city famous throughout Europe . The textile industry was the beginning of economic growth and Lucchese , thanks to the start of the manufacture of silk , Lucca established itself even more on European markets. The high quality of the product was due to the thinness of the material and the beauty of the decorations. In the Middle Ages , in particular, the city grew significantly in relation also to the ancient Via Francigena from Lucca which was an important step on the religious level by the presence of the Holy Face , a venerated relic that represents the crucified Christ and located in Lucca Cathedral . The itinerary of the Sigerico , Archbishop of Canterbury , the city was the stage XXVI ( Mansi ) .
Despite the constant vicissitudes related to the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines Lucca in the fourteenth century became one of the most important cities of the Italian Middle Ages . The Lord Castruccio Castracani of Antelminelli , noble Ghibelline of great political and military capacity , he manages to make it unique antagonist expansion of Florence bringing it to victory ( 1325 ) at the Battle of Alton where he defeated the strongest Florentine army chasing him up the walls Florence . On the death of Castruccio the city fell into a period of anarchy which sees subjected to the dominion of the Visconti and later the dictatorship of John Lamb Doge of the Republic of Pisa. Regained freedom in 1370 through the intervention of the Emperor Charles IV , Lucca is such a republican government , and with a shrewd foreign policy came to know a considerable reputation in Europe thanks to its bankers and the silk trade . ” On March 27, 1370 Messer Guido Bologna cardinal , left free to Lucca Lucca and Agosta , the great fortress (built of Castruccio ) jumped into all the earth . ” [ Diary of Monaldi ] , Milan, 1845, p . 433 . The Emperor Charles IV granted the city the possibility to adopt a studium generale ‘ , but a real university Lucca will not come into operation before 1787.
Aside from a brief period of lordship as that of Paul Guinigi, Lucca remained an independent republic until 1799 the year of his final fall at the hands of the Austrians . On June 23, 1805 at the request of the senate of Lucca, is made up of the Principality of Lucca and Piombino , given to Napoleon’s sister , Elisa Bonaparte and her husband Felice Baiocchi .
The Congress of Vienna was decided to create the Duchy of Lucca. On May 10, 1815 took over as regent , Maria Luisa of Bourbon – Spain, which was succeeded by Charles Louis de Bourbon 1824-1847 . In 1847 it became part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany . In 1860 it was annexed to the kingdom of Sardinia.
Dante Alighieri included many references to the great feudal families who had a large jurisdiction with administrative and judicial powers ; Dante himself spent many of his years in exile in Lucca .
On 24 November 2006 he hosted the bilateral summit between Italy and France in the presence of Prime Minister Prodi and the President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac .
To visit Lucca, why not to take an apartment for rent in Lucca?