Lucca – The Guinigi Tower

Torre Guinigi

„On our way we saw Lucca towering in a small ring of walls looking like a forest of trees“ Fazio degli Uberti (14th century) Dittamondo – Book III Chap. V-221). After the fear for the „end of the world“ expected in the year One thousand, the powerful families began to abandon their country castles to live inside the city walls. This move saw the beginning of „tower houses“: austere homes with sumptuous rooms and loggias for trade, surmounted by giddy stone towers – the height of which declared the power of the family. In the struggles for supremacy in the city, the members of the powerful families could barricade themselves in the upper part of the towers and hold out for months. The agreements among the powerful, often sealed by marriages, caused towers to be connected together with daring drawbridges. When a family was defeated, its towers were knocked down.

The Guinigi Tower, in Via Sant‘Andrea is part of an imposing construction built by the Guinigi family – rich and powerful merchants and bankers in fourteenth century Lucca. 44 metres high, it is now the only survivor of the over 250 towers that enriched the city in medieval times. The top of the tower, which can be reached after climbing 230 steps, is a hanging garden with centuries-old holm-oaks. The view over the historical centre of the city is particularly suggestive: to the north there is the Roman amphitheatre, to the south there is the Cathedral of San Martino in all its splendour, to the East Villa Guinigi, and to the West the Church of S. Michele.

Opening time:
January and February from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm
March from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm
April and May from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm
from June to September from 9.30 am to 7.30 pm
October from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm
November and December (except 25/12) from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm

Ticket: € 3.50

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