Lucca is a beautiful walled city in northern Tuscany and is the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini. At one time, Lucca was a powerful city-state and trading center, and visitors are now charmed by its distinctly old-world atmosphere. It is nicknamed “la città delle cento chiese” because of the nearly 100 old churches throughout the city. Some of these churches are spectacular and unusual, with their elaborate striped-marble façades and tall towers. Its surrounding wall was originally designed to protect Lucca from invaders, but it is now a tree-lined park with a paved bicycle path. The Lucchesi and tourists frequently use the walls for morning runs, afternoon walks, and leisurely rides on their bici. It is also an easy way to travel from one side of the city to another.

Because of the wall, the buildings in the original centro of town have not changed much over the centuries. But inside these buildings one finds a wealth of boutique stores, food markets, and gelateria, where everyone goes in the summer for a refreshing Italian ice cream.

Host Families

There are limited spaces available with host families, provided by the Lucca Italian School. These are assigned by request based on the date of application.


Shared housing may be available in some apartments with kitchens.


Dormitory style group housing is also available in the San Frediano Hostel, which is a converted monastery in the center of town. It is spacious and one of the best hostels in Italy.