Lucca is the cyclist’s dream of Tuscany; compact hills and mountains laced with narrow strips of Tarmac, perennial sunshine, delicious pasta and great coffee.
Here you will find cyclists from all over the world who have come to train, absorb the heritage of cycling and feed their motivation to excel. There are no #ProKitWankers – if you see someone head to toe in team kit they are the real deal. You can tell by the carefully honed leg muscles and the suntan.
The embodiment of Italian cycling glamour, the Lion King himself, Mario Cipollini, is a long time resident of Lucca. As the town legend, it’s not unusual to spot him cruising the town by bike or training on the surrounding roads, almost as if he’s employed to give visiting cyclists a little frisson of excitement.
Aside from the cycling, Lucca is a truly lovely place to visit, within its 5km of renaissance walls you will find many narrow cobblestone streets, and open piazzas to sit and watch the world go by in. The well-preserved 16th-century walls themselves are one of the biggest attractions, topped by a broad tree-lined path which can be cycled or walked. Here you can join the throng of locals and visitors for a stroll and a gelato in one of the cafes dotting the base of the walls.
How to get there
Lucca is just 30 minutes’ drive from Pisa International Airport but in the heart of Tuscany. RyanAir, EasyJet and BA all fly to Pisa and flights are generally very reasonable all year round.
Pisa is a smallish airport so you can easily walk to the car hire area next to the airport. A bus journey to Lucca takes an hour, bus tickets are around €5 and can be bought from the information desk inside the arrivals hall. The bus stop is immediately outside the arrivals terminal.