INDIRIZZO: Via Sant'Andrea, Lucca
TELEFONO: +39 0583 48090
SITO WEB: www.comune.lucca.it/torreguinigi
Reservation is recommended on weekdays, compulsory at weekends and on public holidays.
The Guinigi Tower stands proud and elegant, 45 metres high, at the corner of Via Sant'Andrea and Via delle Chiavi d'Oro. With the passage of time, it has become, together with the equally famous city walls, one of the unmistakable symbols of Lucca, thanks to the 'plume' of holm oaks growing in the hanging garden at the top.
Among the approximately 130 medieval towers, it is the only one, together with the nearby Torre delle Ore, to have remained intact, while all the others were 'cut off' or demolished during the 16th century.
The tower is part of an imposing construction commissioned by the Guinigi bankers and wealthy merchants in the 14th century. Paolo Guinigi, lord of Lucca from 1400 to 1430, wanted to refine their severe residence with a tree-lined tower visible from every angle and perspective, a symbol of power but also a symbol of rebirth and the beginning of a new era.
A typical example of Lucchese Romanesque-Gothic architecture, the tower is built of stone and brick. On top is the hanging garden. It is impossible to know when the garden was created, but an image in the Chronicles of Giovanni Sercambi (15th century) shows one of Lucca's many towers crowned with trees.
To reach the terrace, one must climb no less than 25 flights of stairs and 230 steps. A challenging climb rewarded by a spectacular view. On a clear day, the city appears in all its beauty: in the shade of the large holm oaks, one can admire the views of the squares and churches, the high bell towers, the red roofs of the houses, the narrow streets and all around the landscape of green hills and mountains, the Apuan Alps to the north-west, the Apennines to the north-east, Monte Pisano to the south.