Lucca’s monumental mura (wall) was built around the old city in the 16th and 17th centuries and remains in almost perfect condition. It superseded two previous walls, the first built from travertine stone blocks as early as the 2nd century BC. Twelve metres high and 4.2km long, today's ramparts are crowned with a tree-lined footpath looking down on the historic centre and – by the Baluardo San Regolo (San Regolo Bastion) – the city's vintage Orto Botanico with its magnificent centurion cedar trees.

The wall-top path is a favourite location for the locals' sacrosanct passeggiata (evening stroll). Childen's climbing frames, swings and picnic tables beneath shady plane trees add a buzz of weekend activity to Baluardo San Regolo, Baluardo San Salvatore and Baluardo Santa Croce – a trio of 11 bastions studding the way. Older kids kick footballs around on the green lawns of Baluardo San Donato.