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“Very historical and archaeological church”

Chiesa e Battistero di San Giovanni e Santa Reparata
Ranked #11 of 127 things to do in Lucca
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Pay the extra for the hand held tour guide because this church has so much history attached to it. It is a beautiful sight looking back from the altar at the collection of different columns that lead to the front door. Downstairs is an archaeological site that reveals evidence of Roman baths as well as Christian churches from different periods.
Don't forget to come back at night and attend a concert of opera by Puccini, Verdi or both. It's a beautiful venue and a concert is held here every night of the year.

2  Thank scheza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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42 - 46 of 212 reviews

Reviewed 23 June 2014

The outside is plain but inside has an archaeological dig where visitors can investigate the Roman remains under the church. A climb of about 110 steps takes you to the top of the bell tower and magnificent views over Lucca.

Thank SueLiz46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2014 via mobile

If you only have time to visit one thing in Lucca then make it this one. Get the combined ticket to all three buildings.

The excavations below the church are extensive. Pretty much the whole floor of the church must be resting on metal girders! Make sure you go down and explore as what you can see from above is just a small fraction of the whole.

The tower is quite a climb but worthwhile for the views. Amazingly even from the top you don't feel that much higher than the rooftops as the general height of buildings in Lucca seems to be four storeys. We needed to sit down for a while on the steps of the next church before continuing on.

1  Thank 00David00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

Not just 'another church' in Lucca, although there are some restored frescoes, a small stained glass window, and some lovely very old stone columns in the main church. The altar is in fact a hole into which you can descend (via stairs) to view multiple layers of excavation. Beneath you will see layers of the remains of medieval and paleo-Christian churches and, at the bottom, Roman mosaic tiles and ruins of kilns, baths, and other artifacts. It is a bit of a jumble and not so easy to tease apart, but still very interesting. There is even "graffiti", really wall drawings/carvings, supposedly depicting the martyrdom of Santa Reparata.(In truth you can just about make out the fish and a few figures.) The view of the church's unusual dome, from the inside, is fascinating - 8 sides, all brick. There is also a staircase up to the bell tower, although the view at the top is unfortunately obstructed by coarse screening. Beware that the top flight of stairs is more like a ladder. The audio guide leaves a lot to be desired, but it's still worth having.

2  Thank trufflecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2013

We weren't planning on visiting this church (honestly, there are so many to visit, it can get a little bit too much, especially if you are travelling with children), but our travel guide, Florence & Tuscany with kids, recommended it, so we decided to make a quick visit.We weren't disappointed! Even though we didn't book a ticket for the concerts (our kids weren't up for that) we did enjoy touring the ancient bottom part of the church, filled with roman artifacts and mosaics. It was a perfect way to learn about the history of Lucca.

2  Thank Anna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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