In prossimità delle mura rinascimentali, un angolo prezioso della città.
Entrando da Porta san Pietro, si raggiunge in pochi minuti la cattedrale con i suoi tesori.
The Cathedral San Martino, is the result of several renovations over the centuries.
In the 14th century the particular asymmetrical portico was added and the richly decorated facade with carved figures in relief and inlay. One could spend hours distinguishing between the figures a bestiary of domestic and wild animals, fish, birds, plants of all kinds mixed with characters from biblical or Church-related episodes.
Among these St. Martin, in the act that made him famous, in which he donates half of his cloak to a poor man. A little higher up is the portrait of the architect himself, Guidetto da Como, who portrayed himself in a corner, holding a scroll claiming the parternity of the work. Inside the cathedral two of the city's symbolic works of art: the sarcophagus of Ilaria del Carretto, a Renaissance masterpiece by Jacopo della Quercia, sung by poets and writers, and the "Holy Face", a 10th century lymphatic corcifix venerated in antiquity by pilgrims travelling along the Via Francigena on their way to Rome.
On a high part of the facade, the bell tower welds the atrium of the Cathedral to the 13th century building that housed the Opera del Duomo.
From the top of the bell tower you can enjoy a splendid view of the city and the hills to the south, Mount Pisano. On the south side of the church, in the Museum of the Cathedral of Lucca are collected the furnishings made since the early Middle Ages for the solemn liturgical functions of the Cathedral including silk vestments and planets, embellished with decorative floral and geometric embroidery motifs. A remarkable testimony to the quality of Lucca's textile activity.
In a dedicated room is preserved the splendid treasure of the Holy Face. The ornaments, still used today on 3rd May and 14th September to "dress" the venerated simulacrum include the fourteenth-century frieze of the garment, the sumptuous crown in gold and precious stones and the mid-seventeenth century collar with the fanciful jewel embellished with diamonds and enamels referring to the French goldsmith Gilles Légaré active at the court of the Sun King.
On the north side of the Cathedral opens Piazza Antelminelli with the neoclassical fountain designed by Lorenzo Nottolini, the arrival point of the monumental aqueduct from Monte Pisano, Palazzo e Giardino Bernardi, today Micheletti, built in the second half of the 16th century to a design by Ammannati. On the square, every third Sunday of the month (and the previous Saturday) there is one of the largest antique markets in Tuscany where you can browse through souvenirs and vintage objects of all kinds.
Close to the Palace is the Church of Saints John and Reparata with the adjoining Baptistery, founded in the fourth century and bishopric until the eighth century. The archaeological excavations of the underground have made it possible to reconstruct important events in the architectural history of the city.