One of big tourist attractions of Lucca is the Torre Guinigi, it is perhaps most recognizable for the Holm oaks growing on the top, giving the idea of a mini-park suspended at 44.25mt above the city skyline like a medieval skyscraper making it a symbol of power over terracotta roofs and the other edifices.
The tower dates back to the mid 14th Century when it was added to the Guinigi Palace, home to the Guinigi family wealthy silk merchants who became rulers of Lucca. Building towers were very fashionable at the time as a way of displaying the wealth and power of a family, the craze led to higher and higher towers being built until a height limit had to be enforced by cities. These towers often became the main targets of attack during disputes, therefore in Lucca only a few towers remain.
Torre Guinigi is a wonderful example of Romanesque-Gothic architecture. The beautiful terracotta bricks are artistic.
Climbing to the top is not for those who suffer from acrophobia, as the final part is literally a glorified ladder, though bear in mind that the original staircase was external. The 230 steps are also made easier if you have a gym membership, however, on reaching the top you are rewarded by the wonderful 360-degree panorama of Lucca and its magnificent Renaissance walls with the extraordinary backdrop of the Alpi Apuane.
Torre Guinigi - Via S. Andrea, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy
Hours: 9:30am - 4:30pm
Admission: €4 for adults, €3 for seniors and children from 6-14 years
Photos for this post were taken by my dear friend and intrepid traveller Michelle Sullivan.