The Church of San Francesco is located in the historic centre of Lucca, in a square with the same name, next to the former convent, where the Franciscans lived from 1228 until 2003.
The construction of the building was completed around 1430, while its facade - coated with white limestone - remained unfinished until 1930. The decoration of the interiors took place between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries.
In 1840 the church became property of private citizens and the paintings that used to decorate it were moved to the various museums of the city. In 1901, the building came to be owned again by the town of Lucca, which designated it again to cult activities.
In 2010 the Foundation Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca took over the building and launched a major restoration - completed in 2013 - first of the monastery and then of the church, creating the monumental complex of San Francesco, today the headquarters of a university and location for events of major importance.