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With its imposing red-brick ramparts and grassy moat Lucca is not at first glance the most welcoming of getaway spots. But in well-trodden Tuscany the city’s old town is a relatively safe haven from the tourist onslaught that has overrun its more famous neighbours of Siena and Florence.

For one, the city lacks the big-ticket monuments: no leaning tower or supersized work by a Renaissance archistar. Opera buffs do flock to see the birthplace of Puccini but around the corner, shopkeepers, tailors and dressmakers get on with their work and tourist tat…

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