A couple of days ago, Charlotte and I visited Lucca, one of the few places in Tuscany I’ve never seen. In order to get a “feel” for the city, we rented bikes and rode around the Renaissance-era city walls. The walls are 100 feet wide, flat and paved. As you can see in the video, much of the path is lined with shady trees, making for a pleasant riding or walking experience. It is about 2.5 miles around the top of the walls, so you might want to really consider renting a bike ( 3 euro per hour all over town).
These walls are unlike any I’ve encountered in my travels. Most often I’ve seen medieval city walls built of stone and only a few meters in thickness. However, the folks in Lucca built their walls in the age when canons were beginning to be used in battle. The walls took about ten years to complete and actually were never employed to defend the city because invading forces realized it was a waste of time to attack such strong fortifications.
This photo is taken from inside the walls. Notice the gentle sloping embankment leading up to the flat and tree-lined wall.
Within the town walls is the small medieval and Renaissance city. Today, this area is mostly traffic-free, making for a perfect location to shop and explore. Above, the town “square” is constructed on the site of a Roman ampitheater, hence the oval-shape appearance.