Lucca is a city in the Italian region of Tuscany. The city is on the river Serchio in a very fertile plain near the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca.
Lucca was founded by the Etruscans. It later became a Roman village in 180 BC. The Romans built an amphitheatre that is still seen in the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. Lucca was an important city and fortress even in the 6th century, when Narses attacked it over and over again for several months in 553. During the 10th and 11th centuries, Lucca was the capital of the feudal territories of Tuscany, with more power about the Roman Emperor.
After the death of Matilda of Tuscany, the city began an independent commune. For almost 500 years, Lucca remained an independent republic. There were many minor communes in the region between southern Liguria and northern Tuscany (which was filled by the Malaspina). Tuscany in this time was part of feudal Europe. Dante’s Divine Comedy was written to remember the days spent in his exile in Lucca.
In 1273 and again in 1277, Lucca was ruled by a Guelph (captain of the people) named Luchetto Gattilusio. In 1314, after internal problems Uguccione della Faggiuola of Pisa make himself lord of Lucca. The people of the city made him leave two years later and condottiere gain the leadership. In 1325, in the battle of Altopascio, Lucca soldiers defeated Florence's Guelphs with the help of Castracani, a leader of the city in time of war. After they won, Castracani was named "Duke of Lucca" by Louis IV the Bavarian. Until the French Revolution in 1789, Lucca was independent from Venice and Genoa. It was a city controlled by democracy or sometimes by oligarchy.
Republic of LuccaEdit
Lucca was the second largest Italian city-state (after Venice) with a republican constitution ("comune"). In 1805 Lucca was taken over by Napoleon, who put his sister Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi in the place reserved for the "Queen of Etruria". The city became a part of Tuscany in 1847 and later a part of Italy.
The walls around the old town are intact as the city grew and became more modern. This is unusual for cities in the region. A famous place is the house where Puccini was born. The house is open to the public.
There are many churches in Lucca:
- Piazza dell'Anfiteatro
- Piazza Napoleone
- Piazza San Michele
- Duomo di San Martino (St Martin's Cathedral)
- Church of San Michele in Foro
- Basilica di San Frediano
- Church of San Giorgio in the locality of Brancoli, built in the late 12th century
Other sights include:
- The ancient Roman amphitheatre
- The Ducal Palace (The original project was begun by Bartolomeo Ammannati in 1577-1582, and continued by Filippo Juvarra in the 18th century.)
- Torre delle ore ("The Clock Tower")
- Casa and Torre Guinigi
- Museo Nazionale Guinigi
- Museo e Pinacoteca Nazionale
- Orto Botanico Comunale di Lucca, a botanical garden dating from 1820
- Palazzo Pfanner
Every year in Lucca there are two important festivals. The Lucca Summer Festival is a rock music festival. "Lucca Comics and Games" is the largest meeting about comics and games of Italy.
Famous People born in LuccaEdit
- Pompeo Batoni, painter
- Luigi Boccherini, musician and composer
- Elisa Bonaparte, ruler of Lucca
- Castruccio Castracani, ruler of Lucca (1316-1328)
- Alfredo Catalani, composer
- Mario Cipollini, athlete
- Matteo Civitali, sculptor
- Saint Frediano
- Gemma Galgani, Saint
- Francesco Geminiani, musician and composer
- Gioseffo Guami, composer
- Pope Lucius III
- Felice Matteucci, engineer
- Leo Nomenelli Pro Football Hall of Famer
- Marcello Pera, politician
- Giacomo Puccini, composer
- Eros Riccio, chess player
- Marco Rossi, athlete
- Renato Salvatori, actor
- Rolando Ugolini, Goalkeeper
- Giuseppe Ungaretti, poet
- Antonio Vallisneri, scientist and physician
- Saint Zita