Torre Guinigi (Guinigi Tower), Lucca

Torre Guinigi (Guinigi Tower), Lucca (must see)

The Guinigi Tower is easy to spot. It is a square tower of bright red brick. It rises to a height of 125 feet and there are Holm oak trees growing on the roof. There is a need to climb the tower, sit in the shade of aged oaks and look out over the ancient city of Lucca. Alert: this urge is irresistible.

The Guinigi Tower was built in 1384. The Guinigis were rich from the silk trade that passed through Lucca at the time. Once Lucca had as many as 250 such towers. Only nine remained after the warlord Castruccio Castracani ordered them demolished. This was in the 14th century, the interesting time of plagues, raids, violence. It was a time for towers.

The towers were not only havens and defensive assets, they were symbols of wealth and power and respect. Every player had to have one. At least one. When Castracani died, the Guinigi took over the city. They would keep their Tower of Power forever.

In 1805 Napoleon ruled in Tuscany. He gave the region to his sister, Elisa, making her the Grand Duchess of Tuscany. It is because of her the walls of the Tower were maintained. It is possible to visit the tower. It is 230 steps up to the observation deck. The original stairs were on the outside. Now they are inside. It's a small mercy.

Of course there are legends about the tower. If one climbs to the top in the evening, one may see a ghostly lady sitting under an oak tree with her pet dog. This is the lady Ilaria, the deceased wife of Paolo Guinigi. If she smiles at you, your heart is pure. If not, well...

The tower is open to the public for a modest fee. Reach the top and the amazing panorama of Lucca will unravel at your feet.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lucca. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Torre Guinigi (Guinigi Tower) on Map

Sight Name: Torre Guinigi (Guinigi Tower)
Sight Location: Lucca, Italy (See walking tours in Lucca)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lucca, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Lucca

Create Your Own Walk in Lucca

Creating your own self-guided walk in Lucca is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Lucca's City Wall and Gates

Lucca's City Wall and Gates

As one of Italy's Città d'arte's (arts towns), Lucca is famous, among other things, for its well-preserved ancient walls encircling the historic center. From about 570 AD until 1847 the city had been the center of the Longobard administration and the capital of old Tuscany, and as such required a defense system to render it an impenetrable fortress.

Back in the Middle Ages, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Puccini's Lucca

Puccini's Lucca

One of the greatest musical talents of mankind, Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, was born and spent a substantial part of his life in the Tuscan city of Lucca. Today the legacy of Puccini resonates all over the world and even more so here.

Puccini's ancestors, also musicians, moved to Lucca in 1719. The future maestro was born in a house that had belonged to his family since 1815 – Casa...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Lucca Introduction Walking Tour

Lucca Introduction Walking Tour

Lucca is called many things: A city of Arts, a city of Churches, gardens, towers. Most of all it is known for its walls. From Roman times until now the walls have stood. It is the only city in Italy that has kept its walls intact.

The inner walled city is laid out in the ancient Roman grid plan. The Piazza San Michele is the site of the old forum. Bits of the Roman amphitheater can be found in...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles