A Journey Through Lucca: Opulent Stays, Marble Quarry Adventures, and Culinary Delights

Lucca's Luxurious Charm: A Haven of History and Hospitality
Grand Universe lucca rooftop
Grand Universe lucca rooftopMatteo Barro

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of staying at two extraordinary hotels in the heart of the historic town of Lucca: the Grand Universe La Residenza and Grand Universe Lucca. From the moment I arrived, I was greeted with an elegant atmosphere with unparalleled hospitality. 

When I arrived at the Grand Universe La Residenza, I was greeted at the grand entrance door, nestled on a beautiful side street. The staff warmly greeted us at the front entrance, eagerly taking our luggage and welcoming us to the property. Instantly, you can feel the exclusivity and the feeling that you are in a unique hotel in a special city. 

Exterior Grand Universe La Residenza
Exterior Grand Universe La Residenza Diamond PR (Diamond Public Relations)

We were handed our hotel keys, and it was time to settle into our rooms. Here I was on the second floor with just three other rooms. As you walk in, you can see the living room, bedroom and beautiful bathroom with a window overlooking the city’s picturesque side streets. With only 12 rooms, La Residenza boasts some of the most spacious rooms in Italy. 

La Residenza feels like a home and an ideal setting to rent or enjoy your stay in Lucca. The hotel’s business center, with its expansive windows overlooking Lucca, provides a fantastic place for work or leisure. Additionally, you can rent La Residenza out for many occasions, such as business meetings, weddings and more. La Residenza’s private nature makes it a superb choice for discerning travelers seeking a home away from home in Lucca.

Grand Universe La Residenza Bedroom
Grand Universe La Residenza Bedroom Diamond PR (Diamond Public Relations)
Grand Universe La Residenza bedroom
Grand Universe La Residenza bedroom Diamond PR (Diamond Public Relations)
Grand Universe La Residenza bedroom view
Grand Universe La Residenza bedroom view Diamond PR (Diamond Public Relations)

Our first stop after the bike ride was for gelato. I had a generous scoop of coffee and stracciatella gelato in a cone, which gave me the fuel I needed to explore Lucca’s hidden gems further. 

We left our bikes behind and walked the city to explore Lucca’s historic churches and architecture, which took our breath away. We spent hours exploring the city, shopping and taking in the rich culture with every step. Lucca is truly remarkable with its old theaters, cobblestone streets and amazing shopping (with great prices). It is an incredible place to spend a weekend or an extended stay as it offers stores, food, restaurants and more to enjoy.

Grand Universe La Residenza bikes
Grand Universe La Residenza bikesPHILIP JONES
Grand Universe La Residenza bikes
Grand Universe La Residenza bikes Diamond PR (Diamond Public Relations)

While shopping, I bought a new leather wallet, belt and loafers in a luxurious leather store that caters to both men and women. My friend enjoyed the store as much as I did, as she got a belt for her husband with my help trying it on. The stores all boasted exquisite style, ambiance and curated goods for everyone’s taste. I highly recommend Lucca for a great shopping experience.

We spent the whole day walking around Lucca. The city’s atmosphere is warm and inviting, and people are filled with gratitude and love for the city. Our walk of Lucca was elevated by our private guide, Luca, who gave us an exclusive tour of the historic opera house, Teatro del Giglio, where the first high C was performed. We learned how Napoleon, who took over the governance of Lucca in 1805, made champagne a household name not only in Lucca but around the world. In addition, Lucca possesses the oldest Crucifix, a testament to the city's rich history. 

After our wonderful day in Lucca, which included shopping, sightseeing, food, company, history and more, we ended it the only way we could: with an indulgent meal with lots of wine and pasta at La Linea. Here, we enjoyed conversation and laughter throughout the night on the restaurant’s top floor at a long table filled with an amazing meal. Afterward, we enjoyed a beautiful evening stroll through Lucca to return to our hotel. 

The next day, we checked into the Grand Universe Lucca Hotel, located in the heart of the city. This place is a must-stay. The hotel offers breakfast, lunch and dinner served on-site. The hotel’s prime location allows guests to immerse themselves in city life the moment they step outside.  

The hotel room was perfect. The bed was extremely comfortable and clean, and the windows opened to the city’s side streets. The rooms are exquisite, but, of course, you are here for the city of Lucca, and it does not disappoint. We enjoyed a breakfast of croissants, pineapple strawberries, eggs and more before setting out on an adventure of a lifetime. 

Exterior Grand Universe Lucca
Exterior Grand Universe Lucca Matteo Barro
Grand Universe Lucca  buffet
Grand Universe Lucca buffetPHILIP JONES
Grand Universe Lucca Room
Grand Universe Lucca RoomMatteo Barro
Grand Universe Lucca  roooftop bar
Grand Universe Lucca roooftop barMatteo Barro
Grand Universe Lucca  room
Grand Universe Lucca roomMatteo Barro

Our journey continued to the Marble Quarries, which is a must-see if you visit Lucca. The experience is full of surprises and an opportunity to learn, appreciate and gain a new perspective on marble. We see marble in our everyday lives but don't necessarily know too much about its origins. On a tour with Toscana, you will come out of the experience with a full conversation with your entire group! First, we took a jeep up through the mountain, and we even went inside the marble. Seeing them move and extract the marble out of the mountain was extraordinary. 

Marble Quarries
Marble QuarriesToscana Tour Company
Marble Quarries
Marble QuarriesToscana Tour Company
Marble Quarries
Marble QuarriesToscana Tour Company

Before dinner, we enjoyed an olive oil tasting activity provided by the hotel. Our knowledgeable instructor guided us through the nuances of Italian olive oils, teaching us to distinguish the finest varieties from their lesser counterparts. This interactive experience added a delightful twist to our culinary experience in Italy. 

After the olive oil tasting, we had a farewell dinner at the hotel. At around 6 p.m., we went to the rooftop for incredible views overlooking the city. We sat down at a long table and enjoyed snacks and wine, conversing and reminiscing about the incredible trip. The rooftop at the Grand Universe Lucca was spectacular, and it was nice to enjoy wine with friends in the open air. 

For dinner, we headed downstairs and enjoyed a four-course meal. All the wine we wanted accompanied the dinner until it was time to say goodnight and goodbye, as our flights were in the morning.

It was an incredible trip with great people. We learned so much about Lucca’s history, the marble quarries, wine, and more, and I am thankful for the experience.

Grand Universe La Residenza dinner details
Grand Universe La Residenza dinner detailsMatteo Barro

Thank you to the Grand Universe La Residenza and the Grand Universe Lucca for hosting Resident and providing an unforgettable trip. We hope to return soon.

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