The city of Lucca - Tuscany's best-kept secret - is a place of true beauty that has managed to escape the tourist crowds. The city is encircled by majestic and remarkably thick city walls built in the 16th century. Lucca has a Roman and medieval heart packed with piazzas, art galleries and tiny churches, all connected by an intricate network of narrow, cobbled streets. Much of Lucca is built on top of the ruins of its earlier history.
Splendid Renaissance architecture mingles with historic buildings from the Middle Ages, making Lucca a true pleasure to explore on foot. A stroll around the wide walkways (wide enough, in fact, to allow pedestrians and cyclists to use them) along the top of the ancient ramparts is an excellent way to discover the true charm of the city. You can get a bird's-eye view of Lucca by climbing the Guinigi Tower, one of the few remaining towers in the city (in its heyday there were as many as 170 towers in Lucca). Guinigi Tower is best known for one very unusual feature; it has an oak tree growing from its top.