“A pair of elegant 16th-century apartments for 2, in the beautiful medieval centre of Lucca”
Tucked away on peaceful residential streets in the city's historic heart are two apartments within grand 16th-century townhouses (one on via Guinigi, the other on via Mordini overlooking an impressive Roman colonnaded courtyard). Sympathetically renovated by the owners of the gorgeous Palazzetta del Vescovo, they exude a sense of grandeur from the moment you open the door. In Guinigi, double-height oak beamed ceilings crown the comfy open-plan lounge, while tall windows provide unimpeded views of the Guinigi tower, famously sprouting oak trees from its roof. Walk through double doors to the bedroom and there's another surprise: original frescoes adorn every inch of wall and ceiling, creating the illusion of sleeping under a theatrical canopy. In cosy Mordini, you get original art by iconic actor Marcello Mastroianni, smart pale walls and painted beams, colour in cushions and kilims, and a stylish bedroom backed by a superbly swish bathroom. Both apartments have well-equipped kitchens for self-catering, with a washing machine for longer stays.
- Dramatic Guinigi apartment is full of light with high ceilings and original frescoes; the newer and sleeker Mordini apartment has statement designer pieces - both are great places to wow your loved one
- They offer exceptional value for money for the space provided; you get free WiFi too
- Lucca itself: a medieval gem which, hidden between the tourist honeypots of Pisa and Florence, is full of art, history and dolce vita (and fewer tourists)
- The centre is pedestrianised: everything is walkable, fine restaurants abound, there are no beeping horns, and a good night’s sleep is guaranteed
- Being just 30 mins' drive from Pisa airport, you could come for a long weekend (the normal minimum stay is 4 nights, but they may accept 3-night requests)
- Guinigi is on the 2nd floor, with no elevator, so won't suit those with mobility issues (Mordini is up one flight of stairs only to a mezzanine)
- Driving in the centre is very tricky, and the nearest free parking is outside the walls
- The owners don't live on site, but the excellent caretaker offers a thorough meet-and-greet, and is only a phone call away if needed
- Check-in hours are normally restricted to 4-7pm; however they arrange the meet-and-greet timings with you a week prior to your arrival, and late check-ins are arranged for a supplement
- No children are allowed
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique apartment
- 1-bedroom apartment
- Self-catering, restaurants nearby
- Not suitable
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Maid service every 5 days
The gorgeous Guinigi apartment is slightly larger, with a huge open-plan living area, deep red comfy sofas, bright modern art, thick burgundy curtains and patterned rugs which homely warmth to the antique grandeur. Tall windows look past tiled roofs to the Guinigi Tower - what a privilege to have such views. A vast flatscreen TV, with satellite channels, and other high tech creature comforts are supplied. In one corner is a dining table for 4; behind a partition is a well-equipped kitchen.
The bedroom is a show-stopper. A kingsize bed and chaise longue are dwarfed by 18th-century frescoes adorning walls and ceiling which provide a romantic sense of theatre. Ample storage is cleverly concealed behind a partition to protect the frescoes. Beautiful wrought-iron radiators and antique dressers show the care lavished by Paola during the restoration. The sparklingly clean blue bathroom has a shower and washing machine.
On our 2017 visit we checked out the sleek Mordini apartment. It's a smidgeon smaller and cheaper, still a truly spoiling couple’s hideaway. Overlooking a Roman colonnaded courtyard, living and dining rooms have a beguiling mix of designer pieces, colourful prints and kilim, pale painted beamed cotto ceilings and excellent mod cons including Netflix in the chic bedroom. The brand new bathroom comes with Antoniolup sanitary-ware. Toiletries in both are by Prija.
- Air conditioning
- CD player
- Central heating
- Coffee maker
- DVD player
- Hob or stove
- Ipod dock
- Mosquito net
- Phone (local calls only)
- Satellite TV
- Tumble dryer
- Washing machine
Guinigi's compact but well-equipped kitchen is sectioned off from the living area, while Mordini's is an open-plan kitchen-diner. Both are jam-packed with all the utensils you could need: Nespresso machine and filter coffee jug, dishwasher, fridge-freezer, oven with induction hob, microwave, toaster, kettle... plus iron and hairdryer in the bathroom.
Milk, juice, jam, water, tea, sugar and coffee await you on arrival (and your bottle of Prosecco for booking through i-escape). Mingle with the locals buying the freshest of produce at the morning mercato, a few minutes’ walk away; lie in and raid the supermarkets and grocery stores (a little further). Paola can arrange a private chef for something special a casa, and a pre-arrival shop if you're arriving late.
You have an endless supply of excellent restaurants on your doorstep, and Paola details the best in the information pack. Caffè del Mercato is good for a light breakfast, offering great coffee, local pastries and sandwiches. L’Olivo ("Since 1944") has 3 elegantly furnished dining rooms, and a beautiful covered veranda (heated in winter) overlooking Piazza San Quirico. Just around the corner is newer Canuleia which has a lovely garden, and AllOsteria on via Sant Andrea.
- Chef on request
- Coffee maker
- Hob or stove
- Restaurants nearby
- Wander the pedestrian streets of Lucca's medieval centre, culminating in the perfectly preserved Roman oval of the Piazza dell'Anfiteatro
- Renowned composer Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, and the city attracts many students to its music schools; look out for concerts in cathedrals, squares and street corners, and there's a Puccini museum too
- Lucca's summer festival in July draws some of the biggest bands in the world (from Nick Cave to Diana Krall) to the outdoor setting of Piazza Napoleone
- The antique market is every 3rd weekend of the month in the streets around the cathedral
- Hire a bike round the corner (@EUR10/half a day), and cycle (or jog) atop the broad, tree-lined city walls
- Horse riding can be organised
- Fans of Baroque architecture can arrange visits to the elegant summer villas around the city, such as Villa Torrigiani, with its lovely landscaped gardens
- Pisa is 30 mins' drive, Florence 50 mins, Siena and the beaches of Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi about an hour (note the old city of Lucca is pedestrianised)
- The dramatic peaks and wooded valleys of the Garfagnana and the Apuan Alps are a short drive north, with hiking routes including the historic Via Francigena
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cooking classes
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Language courses
- Museums / galleries
- Music concerts
- Plantlife / flora
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
- Summer festivals
The apartments are in the heart of Lucca's medieval city centre, in northwest Tuscany.
> Google map showing both locations (new window)
The nearest airport is Pisa, which has a wide range of flights from around Europe. Alternatively you could fly to Rome or Milan (long-haul connections), or to Florence if you're including that city in your trip. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
You can arrange a transfer, see Rates or there are regular trains and buses from Pisa airport to central Lucca. Both the bus station (Piazzale Verdi) and the train station in Lucca are about 1km from the apartment - a short cab ride, or 15 mins' walk if you're fit!
We really don't recommend using a car during your stay in Lucca, as the streets are very narrow and full of one-way systems. However if you need one for the rest of your trip, see our car rental recommendations.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Italy and getting around
- Pisa (Galileo Galilei) 33.0 km PSA
- Florence (Peretola) 68.0 km FLR
- Beach 35.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km