Starting July 24, 2020, Secret Lucca will feature 20 free tours on Friday afternoon and evenings, sponsored by the city of Lucca and professional tour guides. The 60-90 minute tours, originating in Piazza San Michele at 18:30 and 21:00 every Friday through September 30, 2020, will cover unusual topics developed by the guides to interest and amaze. Reservations are mandatory since each group will be limited to a maximum of 20 people. Complete itineraries and reservations will go live at http://www.turismo.lucca.it/en on Tuesday, July 21,2020.
The campaign’s slogan: “we’ll see each other FRIDAY” (#cisivedeVENERDI) and hashtags: #livelikealocal #feellikeatourist, are meant to encourage native Lucchesi as well as out of town visitors to relax and increase their appreciation of the city’s hidden gems: such as less traveled streets, overlooked architectural works, and little known history, in addition to its art and music. The objective is to create a relaxed, informative experience that nonetheless respects the new health guidelines.
The Lucca Tourism Office is working with three associations of city guides to organize the itineraries: Lucca Info and Guide, la Giunchilgia, and Turislucca. Video highlights of the tours will subsequently be posted on social networks to further promote the featured venues, according to Laura Goracci of the Tourism Office.
Tour topics include: up and down the walls, Lucca and its water, city gardens, Lucca’s silk, surprises of the Baroque, how literary giants have described Lucca, the Via Francigena and its pilgrims, and many more to be announced.
The city’s flexibility and open-mindedness allowed Secret Lucca to come together with haste, says Gabriele Calabrese of Turislucca, “No other city of any size has been able to organize itself to make this extraordinary effort to assist professional guides, a sector of society which was one of the first hit by the lockdown, and hit hardest.” “Planning began during the lockdown, which happily inspired us to be even more creative,” said Paola Moschini of Lucca Info & Guide.
“It will be a steep road to follow, but there has been strong growth recently in tourism numbers. Unfortunately it’s like the strong growth of a newborn,” says Stefano Ragghianti, Lucca’s Assessor of Culture and Tourism. “So, it’s fundamental to welcome those Europeans who are timidly returning to Tuscany,” continues Ragghianti. “But to realize greater numbers, we must favor ‘next door tourism’ to attract visitors from among our own citizens and residents, and guests.”