Lucca may not be the place to shop for the latest clothes to hit the runway, but it is heaven for foodies, wine lovers, and antiques. Of course, the city’s markets and quaint little shops also have other interesting items on sale as well. The main shopping areas are the Via Fillungo and the Via Santa Lucia. Via Fillungo’s stores are more high-end, but Via Santa Lucia features shops that are more affordable for the everyday shopper.
Cioccolateria Caniparoli on Via San Paolino will make chocoholics believe that they’ve gone to heaven. The artisanal chocolates are so beautiful that you won’t want to bite into them, but you will be glad once you do. This place is so serious about their chocolates that they don’t make any between June and August because the heat would compromise their quality.
Looking for a Luccan specialty? The Pasticceria Taddeucci is the place to go for the most delicious buccellato in town. Buccellato is an anise-flavored bread that has a sweet flavor and is filled with raisins. The shop is located on Piazza San Michele and is a perfect place for a mid-morning snack.
Beneath the tiny storefront of Enoteca Vanni on the Piazza del Salvatore is a labyrinth of crypt-like rooms that store hundreds of local and Tuscan vintages bottles. The opulent and varied selection has led many to call it the best wine cellar in town for over 40 years. Just ask the shopkeepers about organizing a tasting and they will be happy to oblige.
Lucca is home to one of Italy’s most important antiques markets. Every third Sunday and preceding Saturday of the month the Piazza Antelminelli and the area surrounding the Duomo are filled with stalls. The festive atmosphere and huge selection of merchandise make it a fun event for both the seasoned antiquers and those who just want to find a little something special.
Lucca’s antiques market has become such a huge success that it has led to spin-off markets. The local Arts Market is held on the same days in the Piazza del Arancio, the artisans’ market on the last Sunday of each month in Piazza San Giusto. Just arounbd the corner from church of San Giusto the cruise traveler will find a charming almost permanent Book Market where stalls set up daily to sell everything from postcards to old prints to comic books to works of literature.
What is the best buy in Lucca?
Antiques and Art are the two best, but also fine jewelery in very traditional shops. For a souvenir, browse in the Book Market for an Old Print or Postcard. For those into gourmet experinces, Chocolates and Wine (in particular, Rosso delle Colline Lucchesi and Montecarlo) are delicious treats to take back to the ship.