Church of San Michele in Foro

Vacation Travel Guide
Church of San Michele in Foro showing heritage architecture

Showcasing the history of a remarkable town, this magnificent basilica was built on the ancient center of Lucca’s civic life.

Marvel at the scale and intensity of the Church of San Michele in Foro, the massive Roman Catholic basilica built over an original Roman forum. Gaze at its impressive façade, ascending straight up into the blue Tuscan sky. Its columns and arches lead up to the peak, crowned by a huge sculpture of winged Archangel St. Michael slaying a dragon. The marble itself is adorned with hundreds of small images of creatures both real and fanciful, carved faces and different patterns.

Inspect the famous “loggette,” the semi-enclosed outdoor corridors decorated with colored marble, and the 15th-century Madonna statue on the right side. At the rear of the basilica is the distinctive rectangular bell tower or “campanile.” The structure is a mix of different architectural styles including Gothic and Pisan Romanesque, reflecting the historical ages it has weathered.

This square was the old center of town life, so the Church of San Michele is right at Lucca’s heart. The site has had a church since at least as early as the 8th century. The structure that you can visit today had its origins in the 11th century and is the product of numerous refurbishments over the centuries. The basilica truly towers over its surrounding square, an effect very much amplified as you emerge from the small surrounding alleys of the old town. While you catch your breath, imagine being a medieval pilgrim coming across the basilica on the Francigena route. Much of Lucca is unchanged since those times.

Move from the spectacular exterior of the Church of San Michele in Foro to the resonant and vast interior, less ornate but no less humbling. Here view the colorful Saints Helen, Jerome, Sebastian and Roch panel by Filippino Lippi, and della Robbia’s enameled relief of Madonna and Child.

Top Hotels Close to Church of San Michele in Foro

Eurostars Toscana
Eurostars Toscana
4 out of 5
Viale Europa 1135, Lucca, LU
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is ¥9,301 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 4
Located in Lucca Historical Center, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Porta San Pietro, Porta Sant'Anna, and Ducal Palace. Piazza Napoleone and Teatro del ...
4.2/5Very Good! (669 reviews)
"- Simple, clean, decent location and good price point. - Given the size of the property, amenities such as a gym would have been a plus."

Reviewed on Jul 26, 2021

Eurostars Toscana
Hotel Ilaria
Hotel Ilaria
4 out of 5
Via Del Fosso 26, Lucca, LU
The price is ¥15,945 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
This family-friendly Lucca hotel is located near the airport, just steps from Porta San Gervasio and Villa Bottini. Lucca Botanical Gardens and Lucca Center ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (909 reviews)
"Staff was wonderful. Everyone was so pleasant and welcoming. This is by far the best place to stay inside the old walls of Lucca. Thank you so much for making this such a special trip!!"

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2021

Hotel Ilaria
Palazzo Dipinto
Palazzo Dipinto
4 out of 5
Piazza del Palazzo Dipinto, 27, Lucca
The price is ¥23,597 per night from Oct 18 to Oct 18
Located in Lucca Historical Center, this hotel is steps from Church of Saints Paolino and Donato, Puccini Museum, and Palazzo Mansi National Museum. Church of ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (201 reviews)
Great place to explore the north Toscana
"The location of this hotel is ideal, it is in perfect condition, very cozy common areas, but the best of all is the impeccable and friendly service."

Reviewed on Jun 13, 2021

Palazzo Dipinto
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Church of San Michele in Foro

Eurostars Toscana
Eurostars Toscana
4 out of 5
Viale Europa 1135, Lucca, LU
The price is ¥9,301 per night from Oct 4 to Oct 4
Eurostars Toscana
Hotel Ilaria
Hotel Ilaria
4 out of 5
Via Del Fosso 26, Lucca, LU
The price is ¥15,945 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
Hotel Ilaria
Palazzo Dipinto
Palazzo Dipinto
4 out of 5
Piazza del Palazzo Dipinto, 27, Lucca
The price is ¥23,597 per night from Oct 18 to Oct 18
Palazzo Dipinto
Palazzo Alexander Hotel
Palazzo Alexander Hotel
4 out of 5
Via Santa Giustina 48, Lucca, LU
The price is ¥17,579 per night from Sep 27 to Sep 27
Palazzo Alexander Hotel
Palazzo Tucci Residenza d'Epoca
Palazzo Tucci Residenza d'Epoca
Via Cesare Battisti 13, Lucca, LU
The price is ¥18,155 per night from Oct 1 to Oct 1
Palazzo Tucci Residenza d'Epoca
Albergo San Martino
Albergo San Martino
3 out of 5
Via Della Dogana 9, Lucca, LU
The price is ¥11,798 per night from Oct 5 to Oct 5
Albergo San Martino
Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection
Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection
4 out of 5
Piazza Del Giglio 1, Lucca, LU
The price is ¥29,084 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 3
Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection
The Tuscanian Hotel
The Tuscanian Hotel
4 out of 5
Via Sant'Anastasio 23, Lucca, Provincia di Lucca
The price is ¥28,906 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
The Tuscanian Hotel
B&B La Bohème
B&B La Bohème
Via del Moro, 2, Lucca, LU
The price is ¥11,798 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
B&B La Bohème
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.