Lucca Cathedral is a place of legend and emotion. It’s the jealous guardian of the Volto Santo, or Holy Countenance. It’s also houses the tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, one of the finest works of 15th century Italian sculpture.
The Romanesque exterior, with its elegant portico, arcades and beautifully decorated doors, warrants a good look before you even step inside the church. Notice the vividly expressive equestrian sculpture (circa 1240) dedicated to the episode that changed the life of San Martino.
Under the same arcade is a labyrinth carved in stone; a figure much-loved by mystery seekers that represents a journey of spiritual awakening and, for the more religious, salvation through faith. On the right hand side a latin inscription reads: “This is the labyrinth built by Dedalus of Crete, from which none could escape except Theseus helped by Ariadne’s thread.”