Palazzo Alexander

City-Center Lodgings - Historic Residence - Romantic Lodgings

     
Character: Small, elegant and atmospheric townhouse hotel.
Advantages: In-town location; top-notch trimmings and amenities; friendly hosts.
Location: In the heart of Lucca, which is just bigger than a town but way smaller than a city. Walk to all the sites and several excellent restaurants. One hour to Florence, 20 minutes to Pisa and the coast. Easy access to the Cinqueterre by train. Click here to see the map for Palazzo Alexander.
Size: 12 rooms, including doubles, triples and junior suites. The latter are on the top floor and have charming wall paintings and beautiful mountain views, and one has a terrace.
Features: Elevator, exquisite furnishings, fabrics and accessories, air conditioning, direct-dial telephone, satellite TV, modem hook-up in rooms and complimentary wireless in the lobby, mini-bar, safe, private marble bathroom with hair dryer, towel warmer, terrycloth robes and slippers. Locked parking next door. Price includes an excellent breakfast.
Minimum stay: Two nights.
Disadvantages: Only top-floor rooms have views.
Car needed: No, but if you plan to tour the cities of Tuscany from here, it is much easier with a car.

If you have ever been to Lucca it's unlikely you'll soon forget its picturesque and so very unique walls. They were built in the 16th and 17th centuries atop an 11th-century bastion that had in turn been built atop the ruins of a fortification erected by the greatest defensive engineers of all times - the ancient Romans. Like many, many city walls in Tuscany, these were put up to protect the citizenry from that worst of all enemies: the Florentines. But unlike any other walls in the entire country, these were later filled in with a 30-meter wide earthworks, which was then planted with plane trees that still survive today, almost 200 years later. At intervals along this amazing bulwark are the original guardhouses and munitions storehouses. If you go to Lucca on a Sunday, you may not find many people in the streets at lunch hour, but by 3 p.m. you'll see them all up there, strolling and riding their bicycles along the top of the city's perfectly intact set of walls, chatting and laughing and surreptitiously checking out each other's latest fashion acquisitions.

Since very ancient times, Lucca has enjoyed a wonderful location that allowed it to protect itself. Consequently it was able to grow rich - such as during the time it belonged to Napoleon's sister, when the silk industry thrived here. Wealthy merchants and courtiers built magnificent palazzos and villas which you can still visit today. We highly recommend this: some of them are surrounded by gardens the likes of which you may never see, boasting such horticultural feats as ampitheatres whose stage and seats are made entirely of hedges. Inside the city, the streets are lined with shops whose windows and doors prove they have clearly been prosperous for decades. The cathedral, dedicated to St. Michael, is as richly decorated as any in Italy. Lucca, it would seem, has it all. But strangely enough - perhaps precisely because it has always been a heavenly world unto itself - one of the very few things Lucca lacked was a wonderful hotel within the walls. Those of you who would like to visit this charming city and get to know its charms will be pleased to learn that this has now changed. Ever since the Iacopini family acquired and renovated this structure, which dates from the 12th century, you can enjoy accommodations as special as the town they are located in.

Comprising four floors of an elevator building, Palazzo Alexander is in the very heart of old Lucca, yet easily reached by car, bus or train. Downstairs you will be met by the gracious staff, and it is here you will enjoy a wonderful buffet with lots of local meats and cheeses, fresh fruits, homemade breads and pastries, served on fine china and silver each morning in the cozy breakfast room, next to the ancient Roman and medieval wall that was accidentally discovered during the renovations. There is also a bar which offers cocktails and a special selection of Tuscan wines. The nine double rooms and three junior suites are upstairs, each furnished with beautiful antiques, rich fabrics and the original parquet floors. Some have wood-beamed ceilings and most have oversized windows. They all have marble bathrooms with big mirrors, great lighting, elegant courtesy sets, oversized showers, telephone, hair dryer, and terrycloth robes. The Madama Butterfly and Boheme Junior Suites are on the 4th floor and have wonderful views. Butterfly is very large, with a double sleep sofa, high mansard ceiling, and bathroom with skylight and whirlpool bathtub. Boheme, our favorite, has delightful angels on the ceiling and mountain views from the whirlpool bathtub. The Tosca Junior Suite is similar, with a large private terrace with breathtaking views across Lucca's red rooftops to the Apuan Alps where Michelangelo quarried his marble. Each room has satellite television, air conditioning, telephone, mini-bar, modem hook-up and wall safe, luggage rack, coat hooks and lots of drawers. A fruit basket awaits your arrival.

W hen it comes time to plan your stay at Palazzo Alexander, remember: Lucca is well-located for many fascinating day trips. Pisa is only minutes away; the Cinqueterre is just over half an hour's easy train ride (please ask at the front desk for train tickets); Florence is under an hour; Pistoia and Prato are well worth discovering, like those elusive villas and their gardens we told you about. This is an entirely different Tuscany, as you will learn if you venture into the unknown hilltowns just outside your room's big French windows and the enchanting city walls of Lucca.

     

For this property:
A child 0-4 years old sleeps free in its parents' double room.
Please note that there are 10 steps up to the Junior Suites.
You can drive right up to the hotel very easily. There is locked parking next door (14 Euro/night).

Airport transfer and bicycles are available on request.

Click here for information about private transfers to the property.

There is complimentary wireless in the lobby, but it is not possible to guarantee Internet access at any property, because the property does not generate the service, it merely provides access from a server. If the server experiences any kind of problem at all, the property regrets it cannot be responsible for any inconvenience caused by subsequent lack of service.