The beautiful Piazza Napoleone in the centre of Lucca used to be a car park until 1998 when a smart mayor changed all that. Here it is back in the 1960s. Don’t you love all the little Fiats?
Nearly 2 centuries earlier Elisa Bacciocchi , who was princess of Lucca at the time, tore down a collection of medieval buildings to make room for a piazza in front of her palace, Palazzo Ducale. This was very unpopular, as one of the buildings was San Paolo church. There was almost a revolt in the town.
She named the piazza after her brother, Napoleon…no photos.
Now Piazza Napoleone is a wonderful open space that hosts a fabulous summer music festival…and other great things. In winter there is an ice skating rink and in summer, a Merry-go-Round. There are also markets at various times of the year.
Let’s hope it stays car free always.
In fact it is a good idea not to try driving inside the walls of Lucca. It is for locals only. There are cameras dotted around the town and if your car is photographed a fine will appear in the post for you a while later…an unwelcome arrival months after your holiday.
There are exceptions. If you are staying at a hotel in the centre, the comune will be informed and it will be OK to park your car.
There are also a couple of car parks inside the walls where you can park after paying a small fee. One is just inside Porta S. Anna, another is near Porta Elisa and there is some parking at Porta Santa Maria. Unless you are certain that the area you drive in is OK, stay outside the walls.
There is lots to see in lovely Lucca…go to “Categories” on the right and click “Lucca” for more.