Artist In Residence Program • Accommodations • Inquiries and Booking • Student Testimonials
While other artist workshops and programs may offer limited, basic in-house accommodations or hostel style lodging, our students enjoy special rates and free breakfast at the beautiful Hotel Universo in the heart of Lucca. Rates vary from 79euros - 100euros per night (depending on the month). Once you confirm your workshop enrollment with us, we will send you an email with a special code for Studio Borgo artists.
These special low rates are also available to a traveling companion or spouse that may want to accompany you on your trip.
Staying at Hotel Universo offers the advantage of being in the center of the city of Lucca, perfect for excursion days within the city and short walking distance to the train station.
About the City of Lucca
Geography & Atomosphere
The City of Lucca is an untouched gem in northern Tuscany which boasts short winters and pleasant summers. Surrounded completely by a medieval stone wall, this unique city offers the peace of a non-tourist atmosphere while at the same time welcomes visitors with sites to see and events ongoing throughout the year. The city is abundant with churches, art, architecture, an antique district, fine retail shops and restaurants. While walking its ancient streets, you may hear a musician playing an accordion or mandolin and sometimes you may hear opera being sung as a performer warms up for an evening show. Stroll its main street, Via Fillungo, where Julius Caesar once walked. Stop at Cafe di Simo for a cappucino where Puccini was known to frequent.
Lucca's flat terrain and a walking/biking trail on top of the wall make it perfect for open-air sightseeing. Bike rentals are abundant and extremely affordable (about 10 euros for a full day per person). With very few cars allowed in the city center, biking is a great way to discover Lucca's historic sites.
The train from Lucca makes it easy to explore cities in the nearby area such as Pisa and Florence.
Music - Lucca is famous for its musical composers such as Giacomo Puccini and Luigi Boccherini. It celebrates the best in music by offering events throughout the year. Every summer Lucca hosts the Lucca Summer Music Festival with big names in music such as the Dave Matthews Band, Elton John and Alicia Keys who have performed there. There is also a small venue opera performance in a local church featuring opera singers from around Italy. Tickets for this event can be purchased at Hotel Universo.
Antiques - Every third weekend of the month there is an antique market beginning in front of Hotel Universo and winding throughout the surrounding streets and piazzas where you can find new and old treasures to take with you back home as a memento of your time in Lucca. There is also an antique district just steps away from the hotel with higher-end merchandise; a feast for the eyes of the art and antique lover.
Notte Bianca (White Night) - White Night festivals are famous throughout Europe and Lucca embraces this annual event in the last weekend of August. Normally Lucca is a city whose shops close for the evening around 9-10pm. During White Night the city comes alive during the wee hours with restaurants and retail shops staying open until 1am.