The San Francesco Church (chiesa di San Francesco) in Lucca dates back to the thirteenth century. It is a Gothic-style, former Roman Catholic church and monastery and is located on Piazza San Francesco. The church takes currently part of the IMT School for Advanced Studies complex and three luminous cloisters. The IMT in Lucca is a public research institution and selective graduate and doctoral school.

History of the church

As said before, the San Francesco Church dates back to the thirteenth century and was built by the Franciscan friars who were present in the city from the year 1228 onwards. The church is built out of gravel and has an aisle-less roof. The construction of the church was completed in the fifteenth century together with three apsidal chapels. The facade of the church has two arches on either side of the doorway and adopted a coat of white limestone ashlars that are arranged in horizontal and parallel lines. The limestone decorations remained incomplete and were finished off during the 20th century. The decoration of the church is discrete.

The Interior Design of Chiesa San Francesco

The design of the interior of the San Francesco Church took place from the 14th century until the 17th century. The interior is characterized by elegant side altars and three splendid terminal apses that are decorated with stained glass windows and Florentine-style 15th century frescoes, as well as the sepulchral arches by Ricciardi. To the right of the main altar you’ll find the monument dedicated to Ugolino Visconti, the Governor of Pisa. You’ll also find the tomb monuments of Francesco Geminiani and Luigi Boccherini.

Among some of the paintings there is a Nativity by Federico Zuccari and Noli me Tangere by Domenico Passignano.

Why you should visit this church

You may ask yourself why you should visit this church during your trip to Lucca. If you’re short on time you may want to skip out on this one as its design and meaning are somewhat simplistic. On the other hand the church is elegant, and above all it’s not as touristy as other sights and landmarks. I definitely recommend you to visit the San Francesco in Lucca if you’ve got some time to wander around.

Important information you need to know before visiting 

How to get to the San Francesco church in Lucca?

The address of the San Francesco church is Piazza S.Francesco, 55045 Lucca LU, Italy. If you click the link a new tab will open with the address ready in Google Maps.

Disabled friendly?

There is a small step at the main door which you can get over by yourself or with some help.


It is free of charge to visit the San Francesco Church in Lucca.

Opening Hours

November – March: Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 – 17:00

April – October: Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 – 19:00


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