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Underground Lucca, a journey into the history of the city

Two parallel worlds, distant from each other. On the surface the Duomo, the walls and the characteristic streets of the historic center that make Lucca one of the most popular destinations in all of Tuscany. 
Underground, a veil of intimacy envelops what the city expresses far from the sunlight, along a path that has its roots in the Renaissance. 
Are you ready to find out what underground Lucca has to offer?


A true historical heritage 


Confidentiality and silence, but also charm and seduction. These are the main characteristics of the undergrounds of Lucca, located in correspondence with the Walls. 
Built between 1513 and 1650, with its four kilometers and two hundred meters in length, the Walls of Lucca surround the historic center of the city. Over time, they became a symbol of the town and are among the greatest examples in Europe of walls built according to modern fortification canons. Below them, the basements, also dating back to the period of the construction of the walls, in the Renaissance. 
The dungeons were also born for military purposes. They consist of a series of long corridors and galleries with fine vaulted ceilings, different from each other in shape and size. 
Here, the weapons were placed which the soldiers could access to protect from the attack of the enemies. Having recovered what was needed, they could return to the surface using the tunnels and the "sorties", special access gates to the battlefield designed so that they could move without opening the city gates. During the Second World War, they were used as air raid shelters. 
Except for this conflict, from the nineteenth century access to the spaces below the surface of the walls became more and more occasional, due to the decision of the local administration to use the enclosure as a pedestrian promenade, giving it the function they still retain today. 

Traces of modernity


Visiting the undergrounds of the city you can also see the sculptures of Cartasia. This series of works made of paper and cardboard are waiting here to see the light every two years, on the occasion of the Lucca Biennale Cartasia event, hosted in various parts of the town. 
Striking examples of works created by workers, give a contemporary note to the guided tour under the surface of Lucca. 
From the Ancient Gate of San Donato - today inside the walls - the tour starts to discover some of the underground bulwarks, such as that of San Martino, San Frediano, San Paolino and Santa Croce. 
Book your stay at Hotel Ilaria and visit the fascinating undergrounds of Lucca

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