Archaeological sights in Tuscany
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The 12th-century interior of the deconsecrated Chiesa e Battistero dei SS Giovanni e Reparata is a hauntingly atmospheric setting for early evening opera recitals staged by Puccini e la sua Lucca, which are held at 7pm every evening from mid-March to October, and on every evening except Thursday from November to mid-March. Professional singers present a one-hour programme of arias and duets dominated by the music of Puccini. Tickets are available from the church between 10am and 6pm.
In the north transept of the church is a baptistry crowning an archaeological area comprising five building levels going back to the Roman period.
Today's church is largely the 12th-century…
Le Balze is a deep, eroded limestone ravine about 2km northwest of the city centre that has claimed several churches since the Middle Ages as the buildings tumbled into its deep gullies. A 14th-century monastery, perched near the precipice, seems perilously close to continuing the tradition. To get there, head out through Porta San Francesco, the city's northwestern gate, along Via San Lino and follow its continuation, Borgo Santo Stefano, then Borgo San Giusto.
On the city's northern edge is a Roman theatre, a well-preserved complex dating from the 1st century BC. Three arched niches, two stairways and 19 rows of seating are still easily identifiable. Behind the theatre is a Roman bathhouse dating from the 4th century AD. The site was used as landfill during medieval times; excavations began in 1951.