Lucca was settled, originally, by the Etruscans. Then the Romans took over and made it a colony of theirs around 180 BC. If you walk around the historical center of Lucca, you can still to this day see traces of their days as a Roman colony. Parts of the original amphitheater are still around. The ancient forum was where the Piazza San Michele is now.
The thing that Lucca is really known for is their city walls. These ancient walls kept invaders out for centuries, and are completely intact today. Now, instead of keeping out the pillagers, it has become a lovely pedestrian walkway.
As you walk around the old historical center on top of the city walls, you can observe the daily activities of the Lucchesi as well as take in the gardens and historical buildings. The famous composer, Giacomo Puccini, was born here, and the city throws a festival each year that features his operas.
Lucca is a beautiful city, with so much to offer. Unfortunately...I didn't see most of it. When we arrived in Lucca, we found a parking lot and had to pay per hour, so we paid for an hour and walked around the perimeter, atop the city walls. It was beautiful, but I would have liked to take some time to explore the city itself and not just look down on it from the walls. Don't get me wrong, it was fun and a lovely walk, but...I want to go back. I want to see more of Lucca.
If you decide to pay Lucca a visit, definitely plan on spending the majority of the day there. There are many churches, museums and historical sites to explore, as well as the walls.
One last photo...I can't not show you the city gate!