Couple from Sweden moving to Lucca, Tuscany

Ciao everyone!!

Me and my boyfriend are planning to move to Lucca next year February - July! Do anyone have any good tips for us? Are there any others going to Lucca or close to Lucca like Pisa or Firenze?

We would like to get tips but are also looking for friends to hang out with and maybe do trips with!


Moa & Jakob

Hi  moajakob
What do you like to know exactly?
I live in Lunigiana maybe I can help

Hello Moa & Jakob,
I know you posted several months ago but if you are still planning to be in Lucca for a few months in 2018, you might want to consider checking out the Meetup groups catering to your interests in the area ( if you are not familiar.)

I'm housesitting, caring for a woman's cat while she travels and since I'll be on my own a lot of the time, I really wanted to meet people from the start.  I've joined a group to work on my comfort level speaking Italian with natives that meets right near the train station in Lucca and another cultural meetup group (dining, art, shows, conversation, etc.) that is based in Pisa, which is not far.

There are meetup groups for all sorts of interests... yoga, food, computer programming, you name it!

We are a family of 4 who would like to move to Lucca for one ( school year). We need tips on renting a little house ( maybe on the countryside); finding a school for our daughter ( elememtary school 3rd class) and a kindergarten for our son! Anyone has had a similar experience or can help with tips. I am italian but come from a different region and have not lived in Italy for 18 years! Thanks, Mafalda

Hi Marie,

I'm planning to move to Italy in December of this year and have been debating over whether to move to Firenze or Lucca. One aspect that was drawing me to Firenze was that there seemed to be more meetup groups, but would you say there are a sufficient number of groups in Lucca then? What's the turnout to the events like and do they offer plenty of opportunities to mingle with the locals?

Thanks for any information you might have.


Hi Lucy,
I'm sorry I'm responding so late - I just saw this. 

Hands down I, personally, would choose Lucca in a heartbeat.  It is a lovely, small - but not too small - city with incredible charm, history, restaurants, etc. and while it's popularity is growing with tourists, they are often day-trippers or cruise boat excursionists and their presence is not felt so overwhelmingly as it is in Florence (at least not in winter).  There is a real sense of local culture in Lucca. 

I love Florence too for it's history and architecture, but it has become so 'Disney-fied' with enormous long lines for top attractions, and masses of people during all seasons on the streets and in the most popular squares.  Everything is for the tourists - there is no 'real' or local culture to experience. 

There are indeed a lot of meetup groups in Florence, but I never attended a meetup there.  Most of them met in the evening and I typically did Florence as a day trip so wasn't interested in hanging around late.  I've also learned that a LOT of the groups are political, which did not interest me.

I was a member of two, an art and culture one based in Pisa and a Italian language for visitors and expats one in Lucca.  The one in Pisa has a lot of interest but people come and go quickly because the leader is quite abrasive. The one in Lucca is just getting off the ground but the organizer is great, it meets very close to the train station, and I expect that group will grow.

I hope this is helpful.


Hi Marie,

Thank you so much. The information you provided has been extremely helpful.

I am definitely put off by the tourists in Florence so if I was to move there I would want to be on the outskirts away from the tourist traffic. But it's looking more and more like Lucca would be the logical choice. Especially as I train in martial arts for which there is a dojo in Lucca but not in Florence.

It is reassuring to hear that Lucca has retained its local culture. I would definitely be interested in attending those Italian language meetups, and I saw on the Lucca facebook page that there was also a yoga meetup being planned (not that I usually do yoga, but it could be interesting).

I wonder if you wouldn't mind me messaging you privately if I have any further questions regarding Lucca?

Thank you again for your help.


Hi Lucy,
I accepted your contact request.  Feel free to message me any time. 
I returned to the USA yesterday as the woman for whom I was house & cat sitting returned to Italy but I'm happy to answer any questions or refer you to people that I met while I was there.


(P.S.  Ironically, this thread started because a Swedish woman asked a question and Sweden is where I am going next :-)

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