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Hotel Marchionni is the ideal departing point to visit Versilia as well as the whole Tuscany. Culture, daily life, leisure and nature. One should not forget the proximity of beautiful art cities such as Lucca, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Florence, Siena, all reachable in short time.

Lucca

 30 min     20 min    www.comune.lucca.it

Hotel Marchionni is a hotel located in Viareggio, in the province of Lucca, a Latin colony dating back to the year 180 a.c., Lucca stil keeps intact all the characteristics of ancient cities. The amphitheatre still keeps intact its shape of elliptic closed square. Its forum, located in san Michele Square, dominated by the Romanic Church bearing the same name and that evokes memories of the classic world in many of its architectonic components. The most evident trace of Lucca’s roman origin can be seen in the roads and alleys which reflect the perpendicular lines of the roman Castrum. The first line of walls as well dates back to the roman times, this lines of walls defines a square area inside which during the course of centuries, the political power built its centre (Palazzo Ducale) and Religious power its ones: the church of San Michele, the baptistery of San Giovanni and the church of Santa Reparata. Lucca was occupied by the Goths in the year 400 a.d. and by Byzantium during the following century. The history of Lucca was characterized by the fact it was one of the most important capitals of the Lombard Kingdom. Thanks to the presence of the Volto Santo (in the church of Saint Martin), the city became one of the main destinations for the pilgrims travelling from Rome to Canterbury along the Via Francigena, one of the most important communication roads of the Middle Ages. Despite this, little was left of this particular period. In the Year 773 the Lombard power ceased and the Frankish domination started thanks to the defeat of the Dukes of Lucca operated by Charlemagne. During this period the city consolidated its position gained during the Lombard period and developed trade activities and textile production thanks to which Lucca became famous all over Europe. The textile production was the beginning of the economic growth of the city and thanks to silk manufacture Lucca asserted itself even more on the European Markets. The very high standard of products was due to the quality of raw material and patterns. During this phase of great economic, cultural and artistic expansion they built the front of San Martino Cathedral and the second line of city walls (1100 -1200). The perimeter of the city was increased (excluding the side exposed to the threat from Pisa). Lucca and Pisa fought against each other in several occasions until 1314 when the pisan Uguccione della Faggiola conquered the city torn apart by the political instability of Lucca and the inner frictions between merchants and artisans. With this defeat, Lucca lost its monopoly of the textile market. The great political instability turned two years later (1316) into a popular rebellion guided by Castruccio Castracani degli Antelmellini who chased away Uguccione and the pisans, thus becoming the new Lord of Lucca but when he died the Duchy of Lucca fell into a period of decay. Sveral Lords ensued, among them Paolo Guinigi, the last who was deposed and tried in 1430 by his fellow citizens. During the second half of the 1400, beginning of 1500, a third line of walls was created following the truce signed with Florence. Lucca finds again its its economic and political stability and a new artistic season fourishes. Among the major artists certainly we count Matteo Civitali, head of the Lucca’s family most active in the renaissance. The will of the citizens to preserve the economic and cultural status achieved up to that moment, transformed many merchants into bankers; the movement of capitals accumulated thanks to the merchant activity and land ownership changed markets. The restructuring of the walls was started to preserve the status quo of the city. The last line of walls (1544-1645) is the one that up to this time still stands intact having never undergone an attack in times of war and it now surrounds the historic centre of Lucca. In Lucca in the 1600, there were eminent painters that left their mark in local culture among them Pietro Paolini and Paolo Guidotti. The economic activity was tranformed; from the commerce of silk they passed to banking and agriculture. During the 1700, when the textile market was almost non existent even the agricultural sector got worse which generated a crisis in the political system. Despite these problems, Lucca was a often frequented city and a model as a State. Independent republic for several centuries
(up until 1799), it was a peaceful state and a vanguard as far as printing presses were concerned. In 1847 Carlo Ludovico handed over the Duchy of Lucca to the Grand Dukes of Tuscany, thus dpriving the city of its secular independence. The ensuing historic events did not produce anything of importanteas far as arts and city architecture. The only character worth mentioning in this period is Giacomo Puccini, espression of the musical soul of Lucca.