A Tour of the Monuments Dedicated to the Fathers of Italian Unification
Five exhibitions, a website, a comic book and various itineraries in the city to close of celebrations that Lucca has organized to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.
Inaugurated last year on December 17th, the exhibition provides a path between some of the memorable places in the history of the Tuscan city: from the Casermetta del Baluardo of San Colombano to the Historical Archives Lucchese, from the State Archives to the State Library, and to the National Museum of Mansi Palace. The exhibition shows, through the study of the genesis of the events and the fate of several city monuments, the different phases of the Italian Renaissance by highlighting the ways in which Lucca citizens interpreted the unit message. The Tuscan city, in fact, adhered to the unit process in an original way: first with the annexation to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and then to the Kingdom of Italy, it showed a strong desire to preserve its cultural roots. Lucca chose to celebrate the independence and national unity embellishing and decorating the historic centre of the city with new monuments. These monuments dedicated to the fathers of independence can be admired through a tour in this beautiful town. Beginning with Francis Burlamacchi statue, erected in 1863 in Piazza San Michele. You proceed with the monument of Tito Strocchi, follower of Garibaldi and Mazzini, realized by Artemisium Mani in 1883, in the city cemetery. The work in bronze, which stands on the bastion of Santa Maria, by sculptor Augusto Passaglia in 1885 and dedicated to Vittorio Emanuele II. In Piazza del Giglio, there is the marble statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi, by Urbano Lucchesi, inaugurated in 1889 on September 20th.
The hero of two worlds is represented by a full-length marble statue with two bronze reliefs on the pedestal that represent the landing of the Thousand at Marsala and the battle of Calatafimi.
The bust dedicated to Giuseppe Mazzini opened in 1890, March 20th is smaller and it is more isolated (it is at the bastion of St Regulus). The bronze monument of Benedetto Cairoli, was built in 1893 as a symbol of Freedom. Finally, in the old Piazza delle Erbe, renamed Piazza XX Settembre, you can admire the Genio Alato of the complex of Caduti delle Patrie Battaglie - by Urban Lucchesi.
Behind these monuments there is not only the history of a country but also the story of an entire community. A path that combines some memorable places in the history of Lucca, enriched by documents and images displayed in various exhibitions, situated in different urban locations. In the bastion of St. Colombano is shown an ideal path of the Renaissance of Lucca as the purchase of all symbols of identity of the city (the city walls in 1866 - 1870, ex-Ducal palace, the tower of Annunciation of the Porta San Gervasio, the side of the tomb of Ilaria Carretto).
In addiction, the ideal path shows what happened in other Tuscan cities, particularly in Florence. At the Historical Archive of the City of Lucca, there is an exhibition about the monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, since the birth of a committee run by the working class of Lucca for its implementation (1878, January 9th) until the inauguration in 1885, september 20th. At the State Archives of Lucca you can admire the documents, belonged to the Archives Sardi, related to the Provincial exhibition in the 1877 .
The State Library hosts an exhibition "The Local Press 1870-1882", with the display of articles from twelve local newspapers testifying to the Lucchese reactions in the main events of the Risorgimento.
Finally,in the National Museum of Palazzo Mansi there is a whole section dedicated to the iconography of the Risorgimento, with portraits of members of the Princely House, of characters related to the Italy Unification and the sketches of monuments by Urbano Lucchesi and Augusto Passaglia.
To enrich this traveling exhibition in the city has been created a website that proposes twenty virtual tour - from the Clock Tower to Tower Guinigi, from the Principles hall to the hall of Savoy - to discover the secret corners of the city:
comics (with the attached comics walk itinerary) entitled "The keys of the city."
Many events will accompany Lucca in 2013, when the city will celebrate 500 years from the construction of modern urban walls.
For Lucca historical and monumental wealth the city has been proposed to include the old town in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are so many things to see in Lucca, starting with the nearly intact walls that surround it. You can access the city, passing through six gates, from the north and clockwise are: Porta Santa Maria (1592), St. James Gate or Porta San Jacopo alla Tomba (1930), Porta Elisa (1811), dedicated to Elisa Baciocchi, Porta San Pietro (1565), Porta Sant'Anna, Porta Vittorio Emanuele or Buco di Sant'Anna (1910), Porta San Donato (1629). Other gates dating back to more ancient walls are: the Old Porta San Donato (1590), in San Donato Square which is home of the Opera of the Walls, Porta San Gervasio (1198), along Via del Fosso dates back to the Middle Ages and Porta dei Borghi. The old town has preserved its medieval appearance, thanks to the fine architecture, ancient and numerous churches (Lucca is also called the city of 100 churches),and thanks to the many towers, bell towers and monumental Renaissance palaces. Among the towers, the Clock Tower its the highest one (50 meters); here you can admire the hand-wound clock mechanism and the internal wooden staircase of 207 steps still preserved. The Tower Guinigi is one of the most representative monuments of Lucca, with some holm oaks over the top. Some squares of the city are worth a visit: Square Amphitheatre, built on the ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheater by the architect Lorenzo Nottolini; Piazza San Michele historic heart of the city; Piazza San Martino wtih the famous Cathedral; Piazza Napoleone desired by Elisa Baciocchi during her Principality and Piazza del Giglio which overlooks the homonymous theater.