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Piazza San Michele

Once the site of the Roman forum during ancient times, now this piazza is a delightful square of bars, cafés and an unfinished 12th-century church. 

Piazza San Michele in Lucca’s city center has been a hub of city life for almost 2,000 years. The square occupies the site of the old Roman forum, the venue for triumphant processions, public speeches and commercial and political affairs. Today, join visitors and residents alike to explore its restaurants, medieval buildings and market.

Dominating the piazza is the 12th-century Church of San Michele after which the square is named. The basilica took 200 years to build and even then it wasn’t finished. Construction stopped when the project ran out of money, resulting in a front façade that is larger than the building. Take your time to absorb the details of the white marble exterior.  The comparatively plain lower section is topped by elaborate levels of sculptures, carvings, twisted columns and arches. Look to the roof to see a large marble statue of the Archangel Michael slaying a dragon. Then step inside to enjoy the aesthetic beauty of the church’s interior with frescoes, paintings and sculptures. Among the highlights are the glazed terra cotta of the Madonna and Child. 

After leaving the church, stroll through the square to explore some of its other sights. Stop by the statue of Francesco Burlamacchi, a prominent 16th-century politician who was beheaded in 1548. Examine the facade of the 16th-century Palazzo Gigli, now a branch of a local bank. See what’s happening at the Renaissance-style Palazzo Pretorio; the building often hosts contemporary art shows and food festivals.

If you are in Lucca during December take your shopping bags to the square’s Christmas market. Browse the dozens of stalls for local handicrafts, toys, sweets, decorations and regional gastronomy products. 

Once you have inspected all the sights, relax in one of Piazza San Michele’s cafés or bars. Alternatively, try some of the typical Lucchese cakes in the pastry shops located near the piazza.


Guide to Exploring Piazza San Michele


Map

Top Hotel Deals

See all 3,318 properties near Piazza San Michele
Antica Corte dei Principi £101
Antica Corte dei Principi

Antica Corte dei Principi

Via Dell'Olivo 2, Lucca, Toscana Lucca
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Lucca Historical Center, this townhouse accommodation is steps away from Torre delle Ore and Guinigi Tower. Piazza Napoleone and Piazza dell'Anfiteatro are also within 10 minutes. Lucca Station is 10 minutes by foot.

    Hotel Diana
    Hotel Diana

    Hotel Diana

    Via della Dogana 9, Lucca, LU
       
      2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Lucca Historical Center, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Cathedral of St Martin and Piazza Napoleone. Guinigi Tower and Piazza dell'Anfiteatro are also within 10 minutes. Lucca Station is 6 minutes by foot.

      Villa Corte Degli Dei £100
      Villa Corte Degli Dei

      Villa Corte Degli Dei

      Via Dei Franceschini 328, San Donato, Lucca, LU
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Lucca Historical Center, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Porta Sant'Anna and Piazza Napoleone. Guinigi Tower and Piazza dell'Anfiteatro are also within 2 miles (3 km). Lucca Station is 20 minutes by foot.

        B&B Corte di Re Artù £54
        B&B Corte di Re Artù

        B&B Corte di Re Artù

        Via San Marco 443, Lucca, LU
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Lucca Historical Center, this townhouse accommodation is within a 15-minute walk of Basilica of San Frediano and Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. Guinigi Tower and Palazzo Pfanner are also within 1 mi (2 km). Lucca Station is 25 minutes by foot.

          Corte dei Folletti £59
          Corte dei Folletti

          Corte dei Folletti

          Viale Castracani 1192, Lucca, LU
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Lucca, this townhouse accommodation is within 2 mi (3 km) of Campo di Marte Hospital, Guinigi Tower and Piazza dell'Anfiteatro. Church of San Michele in Foro and Piazza Napoleone are also within 2 mi (3 km). Lucca Station is 29 minutes by foot.

            Albergo Celide & SPA £105
            Albergo Celide & SPA

            Albergo Celide & SPA

            Viale Giuseppe Giusti 25, Lucca, LU
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Lucca Historical Center, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Porta Elisa and Guinigi Tower. Piazza dell'Anfiteatro and Piazza Napoleone are also within 1 mile (2 km). Lucca Station is 10 minutes by foot.

              Casa Paolina
              Casa Paolina

              Casa Paolina

              Piazza XX Settembre 2, Lucca, LU
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Lucca Historical Center, this apartment building is steps away from Piazza San Giusto and Piazza Napoleone. Guinigi Tower and Piazza dell'Anfiteatro are also within 10 minutes. Lucca Station is 9 minutes by foot.

                Il Seminario bed and breakfast £71
                Il Seminario bed and breakfast

                Il Seminario bed and breakfast

                Via Del Seminario 5, Lucca, LU
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Lucca Historical Center, this bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of Lucca Cathedral Museum, Guinigi Tower and Piazza Napoleone. Piazza dell'Anfiteatro is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away. Lucca Station is 7 minutes by foot.