Cathedral Museum Complex (Complesso Museale e Archeologico della Cattedrale di Lucca)
The striking blend of Gothic and Romanesque architecture makes the Cattedrale di San Martino one of the highlights of walking or bike tours of Lucca’s historic center, but to fully grasp the cathedral’s rich artistic patrimony, be sure to stop in the Cathedral Museum Complex, as well. The insight of a guide will help you appreciate the masterpieces in the museum’s eight halls, including carved coral, illuminated manuscripts, jewels to adorn the Holy Face of Lucca (Volto Santo), in addition to reliquaries, paintings, and sculptures dating as far back as the sixth century.
Lucca is a popular day trip from Florence or shore excursion from Livorno, often combined with a stop in nearby Pisa. Food and wine tours of Lucca’s city center pair sightseeing with samples of Tuscan specialties, and music tours exploring theaters and other landmarks connected to the city’s musical history are a unique way to get to know the city.
Things to know before you go
- Lucca walking or bike tours take place largely outdoors, and comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are recommended.
- The museum is accessible for wheelchair users via an elevator.
- Photography is not allowed in the museum.
How to get there
The Cathedral Museum Complex is just opposite the Cattedrale di San Martino (also known as the Duomo) in the center of Lucca’s historic center, a short walk from the train station. Direct trains connect Florence and Lucca, though the best option for visiting Lucca and Pisa in a single day is a tour or shore excursion that includes transportation.
When to get there
Lucca’s most holy relic is the Cathedral’s Volto Santo (Holy Face of Lucca), celebrated each year on the 13th of September with a torch procession followed by a rollicking historic festival that includes costumed performances, fireworks, and a busy outdoor market.
The Holy Face of Lucca (Volto Santo)
The city’s most prized sacred relic is the Holy Face of Lucca (Volto Santo), a wooden rendering of Christ on the cross held in the Cathedral and believed to have been carved by Nicodemus, a contemporary of Jesus. Though the version of the Volto Santo that sits in an ornate marble chapel inside the Cathedral today is a 13th-century copy, it is just as revered as the original and taken through the streets of the city with a torch-light procession each year on September 13th.
- Puccini e la sua Lucca International Permanent Festival
- Lucca Cathedral (Duomo di Lucca)
- Church of San Michele in Foro (Chiesa di San Michele in Foro)
- Lucca Clock Tower (Torre delle Ore)
- Puccini Museum
- Guinigi Tower (Torre Guinigi)
- Piazza dell'Anfiteatro
- Via Fillungo
- Devil's Bridge (Ponte del Diavolo or Ponte della Maddalena)