Some time has passed before I came back to Lucca. This time without crutches and with Patrick – so we could catch up on everything I couldn’t experience during the last visit. At the top of my wish list was a visit to the Torre Guinigi.
Lucca is known for its beautiful medieval architecture. Here stood in the 14th century about 250 towers and numerous bell towers, unfortunately, only a few of them remain.
Many of the towers did not serve the defense of the city, but represented the wealth of the family that had built it. The higher, the more representative the tower was, the richer and politically more influential the family was.
The Guinigi family was once a ruling family of the city of Lucca. They built the Guinigi Tower next to their rather drab looking home. On the top of the tower they had trees planted to symbolize rebirth.
In the 16th century many of the towers in Lucca were demolished or reduced in size. The Torre Guinigi is one of the few towers that were spared and still stands in full size in the city.
The last descendant of the family has given the tower with its trees to the municipality of Lucca.
High up on the Torre Guinigi
Today it is possible to visit the tower. The entrance is located in Via Sant’Andrea 45. We enter the inconspicuous entrance of the tower. In summer, this place was busy and there was a long queue. In November we were here all alone.
The tower is 44.25 meters high and you have to climb a total of 230 steps to get to the observation deck.
First, a staircase always leads along the wall of the tower. Shortly before you reach your destination, you have to climb up a small metal ladder.
When I step through the opening of the platform, I am surprised at first – even though I knew that there are trees on the tower here. Seven holm oaks stand in sand-filled boxes. In summer, it is certainly wonderfully shady and pleasant here.
It is known exactly when the trees were planted there. There is a picture in a chronicle from the 15th century, in which the tower with trees can be seen. Whether they are still the same trees that were planted there by the Guinigi family, I doubt.
The view from the top of the tower is really great. We didn’t have the best distant view, but I particularly liked the cloud-covered mountains of the Apuan Alps to the northwest and the Apennines to the northeast, and the view of Monte Pisano to the south. Constantly the view changed due to the moving clouds.
Of course, you can also see the center of Lucca. I found the surrounding church spires and the Piazza Anfiteatro particularly beautiful.
We were on the tower for almost 40 minutes and in that time exactly two other people joined us. This is certainly different in good weather and in the summer. But we could look at the surrounding streets in peace and enjoy the varied view.
Via Sant’Andrea, 45,
55100 Lucca LU,
January – February:
April – May:
June – September:
November – December:
closed on 25.12.
Discounts are offered.