Posted by: debrakolkka | July 26, 2011

San Michele in lovely Lucca

 San Michele Church stands proudly in the piazza of the same name. It is one of my favourite places in Lucca. The piazza is right in the centre of the city and is always busy.

church of San Michele

The Romanesque basilica of San Michele in Foro took 200 years to build.  The church never attained its full height, which is why the facade seems too big for the rest of the church. “in Foro” comes from the square which was once the forum of the Roman colony.

from the side

with pigeons

the campanile

on a corner of the church

There is often a market set up in the piazza beside the church. I think it spoils the ambience a bit, but it seems to be very popular.

the market in Piazza San Michele

The church is particularly lovely in the late afternoon when it appears to be bathed in a golden light.

late afternoon at San Michele

the top of the church

blowing his trumpet

on the facade

The archangel Michael stands very grandly at the top of the facade. 

the angel at the top

 At night it become white again.

San Michele at night

You can’t miss it if you are in Lucca. Take a look and then scoot off to the nearby Paris Boheme for lunch or dinner.


  1. Gorgeous Deb – seeing the church in late afternoon with the sun on it is truly ‘divine’ – glad we saw it

    • It was a beautiful afternoon in lovely Lucca.

  2. Well – as I’ve JUST been there it’s great to feel so familiar with your blog.!! We loved this church, the angel on the top and the stairs at the back. As you know we also took your advise and dined at Paris Boheme!
    LOVED Lucca – it had a real buzz about it – Summer Festival was in full swing.

    • I really will have to go in summer for the festival one year.

  3. My favorite spot to watch people and hear performers. Your pictures are amazing!!!

    • Thanks! Piazza San Michele always has something happening.

  4. When we visited there, one Saturday there was a wedding about to happen. Very interesting to see the guests arrive on bicycles all in their finery and stilletto heels!!!

    • I love watching the older Lucca ladies riding their bikes wearing furs in winter. (The ladies wear the furs, not the bikes)

  5. It is also one of my favourite churches in Lucca… and there are a few to choose from… I go to Mass there quite often or to San Freddiano. And I agree with you, the market looks absolutely out of place there.

    • San Michele is a beautiful church. I love the detail on the front.

  6. Damn! We should have waited till late afternoon to get that lovely light you have there.

    • That golden light in the late afternoon makes the church look wonderful.

  7. It looks like the set of a movie! 😮

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if it has appeared in the odd movie.

  8. We loved Lucca alot, but we didnt see San Michele, we didnt have much time. We would love to go back to tuscany and see the places we didnt see before. The pictures are amazing. now I can say whenever I see a pic in Tuscany or the places we visited, I can say” I’ve been there,” ” I saw this, I know that” . Amazing.

    • I think you need to go back. Lucca is a beautiful city that you need to spend time in to really appreciate.

  9. Fabulous photos, the ‘magic hour’ ones are my favourites. Ah that golden hour when we all look beautiful 😉

    • Yes, a bit of soft light helps a lot.

  10. Amazingly beautiful. It looks very fragile. Somehow it seems a miracle that it is still standing.

    • These old buildings must be tougher than they look, they are still standing.

  11. That is gorgeous! The facade reminds me of St Paul’s in Macau, where only the facade remains standing.

    • I’ve seen St Paul’s in Macau. It is amazing.

  12. Ah, the memories-thank you Debra!

    • I miss Lucca when I am not there.

  13. Love always seeing Lucca. it is truly magical.

    • Lucca is gorgeous! I can never get enough.

  14. my favourite church! 🙂
    Tour Guide in Lucca

    • It is a beautiful church. Lucky you being there to show people around lovely Lucca.

  15. It was covered in scaffolding many moons ago when I was there, so it’s good to see what I missed out on.

    • It is looking clean and shiny now.

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