Though few remain today, hundreds of tower houses pierced the skyline above Lucca in the Middle Ages, and the Torre delle Ore was once one of these. The city bought the tower and added its clock in the 14th century, and today it is one of the most scenic overlooks in the historic center. Climb to the top to see Lucca’s ancient city walls and warren of medieval lanes below, and the Tuscan countryside in the distance. Visit the tower during a day trip to Lucca from Florence, hitting on other highlights like the Duomo di San Martino, the Church di San Michele in Foro, and Piazza dell’Anfiteatro on foot or by bike. You can easily combine stops in Lucca and Pisa in a single tour.
Things to know before you go
- Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather if planning on exploring the center of Lucca on foot or by bike.
- Because of the 200 steps to the top of the tower, the climb is only recommended for those in good physical condition.
- Kids especially enjoy climbing to the top of the tower, both for its views and its medieval atmosphere.
- You’ll want to capture the views from the top of the Torre delle Ore, so be sure to bring your camera.
How to get there
The Torre delle Ore is located in the center of Lucca’s old town, an easy walk from the train station. To reach Lucca, you can take a train or drive from Florence or Pisa.
When to get there
Lucca has a particularly vibrant atmosphere during July, August, and September when the city hosts a popular music festival featuring Italian and international rock and pop artists.
The Legend of the Torre delle Ore
This historic tower is the focus of a local legend. In the 17th century, after a woman sold her soul to the devil in order to remain youthful, she tried to stop the clock from chiming so the devil wouldn’t know that the time had come to collect on his debt. The woman didn't reach the clock in time, and the devil took her soul; she is said to haunt the tower still.
- Church of San Michele in Foro (Chiesa di San Michele in Foro)
- Puccini Museum
- Guinigi Tower (Torre Guinigi)
- Puccini e la sua Lucca International Permanent Festival
- Piazza dell'Anfiteatro
- Cathedral Museum Complex (Complesso Museale e Archeologico della Cattedrale di Lucca)
- Lucca Cathedral (Duomo di Lucca)
- Via Fillungo
- Devil's Bridge (Ponte del Diavolo or Ponte della Maddalena)