HOLIDAY STORIES AND TREASURES
Lucca, the city of a hundred churches, as the famous saying goes.
Famous and imposing churches, overlooking the city's large squares, tell centuries of history and stories, legends, art, beauty. Small and little-known churches, because they are not usually open to the public, hidden in alleyways or among the buildings in the historic centre. They too have a lot of history to tell and wonderful artistic treasures to admire.
It is a unique emotion to discover these little jewels during the end-of-year festivities, surrounded by the warm and suggestive atmosphere of Lucca Magico Natale.
From 8 December 2022 to 8 January 2023, there will be an appointment with Storie e tesori delle Feste, a cycle of thematic guided tours dedicated to five minor churches in the city. An opportunity for passionate citizens and curious visitors to spend a pleasant hour in unique places rich in history and art.
A delightful Baroque church, built in the first half of the 18th century,
with an almost anonymous exterior façade, in a corner position at the junction of two streets. From the outside, it is difficult to guess the wonder of the interior, with its dome open in the centre and decorated with a fresco depicting putti and saints. The church of Santa Caterina is known among the people of Lucca as the church of the cigar-makers, because it was here that the workers of the nearby Manifattura Tabacchi, the factory of the famous Tuscan cigar, would go to pray before and after their shift.
Visits to the Church of Santa Caterina are scheduled
Thursday 8 December at 11 a.m.
Sunday 11 December at 11:00 a.m.
Friday 6 January 11:00 a.m.
Sunday 8 January 15:30
Another Baroque wonder is the church of Santa Maria Corteorlandini.
The people of Lucca call it Santa Maria Nera, because of the chapel of the Madonna di Loreto, built in 1662 and containing an exact copy of the Holy House of the famous sanctuary in the Marche region.
A church with a sumptuous and theatrical interior, with capitals, arches, painted ceilings, vaults decorated with frescoes and stuccoes, and a precious nativity scene from the 17th century with characters dressed in fine silks from the Lucca tradition.
Visits to the church of Santa Maria Corteorlandini are scheduled
Friday 9 December at 15:30
Sunday 11 December at 15:30
Sunday 18 December at 15:30
Saturday 7 January at 15:30
From Santa Maria Nera to Santa Maria Bianca,
although its exact name is the church of Santa Maria Forisportam, because it originally stood outside the Roman walls, just outside the eastern city gate.
From the top of the austere white stone façade of Santa Maria del Giudice, two proud and majestic lions look out over the square and invite the curious to enter the interior, where an interesting curiosity awaits: the camera oscura sundial, formed by an oblique line on the floor and a hole in the wall, indicating the time in Lucca.
Visits to the church of Santa Maria Forisportam are scheduled for
Saturday 10 December at 15:30
Saturday 17 December at 11:00 a.m.
Saturday 31 December at 11:00 a.m.
Saturday 7 January 11:00 a.m.
One of the oldest examples of Romanesque architecture in Lucca, the church of Sant'Alessandro Maggiore
is located in the central area of the city, hidden in a block of the ancient Roman road network, a short distance from Piazza Napoleone.
A sober and elegant church, with a rigorous façade in white limestone from Monte Pisano and decorations in classical style. Usually closed to the public, this is the perfect opportunity to admire the simple and perfect geometry of its interior.
Visits to the Church of Sant'Alessandro are scheduled for
Saturday 10 December at 11:00 a.m.
Saturday 17 December at 15:30
Saturday 31 December at 11:00 a.m.
Saturday 6 January at 15:30
The Church of San Leonardo in Borghi is a small church on the edge of the city, very close to the Porta dei Borghi, one of the two gates of the medieval walls that have survived.
Inside is its most precious jewel: the circular Art Nouveau chapel, opened in 1917 along the left side wall of the church. The only example of Art Nouveau in a church in Lucca, a peculiarity that is well worth a visit.
Visits to the church of San Leonardo in Borgo are scheduled for
Thursday 8 December at 15:30
18 December at 11:00 a.m,
1 January at 15:30
8 January at 11:00 a.m.
The guided tours, realised in collaboration with the Lucca Info&Guide, Turislucca and La Giunchiglia tourist guide associations, last approximately one hour and are free of charge, with compulsory booking.