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Lucca was originally Etruscan and then a Roman colony. In the Middle Ages Lucca became a Lombard duchy and later capital of the March of Tuscany. Its expansion took place in the course of the XIIth century when the town became a free commune.
Lucca gained increasing control over the Plain and Versilia as it was a very lively trade center. It fought against mighty feudal lords, conquering their castles and successfully defending the new territories against Pisa.

Under Castruccio Castracani Lucca engaged in a series of wars that ended with the capture of Pistoia and the expansion up to Pontremoli. Castracani's sudden death marked the beginning of an unfortunate period for the town, taken by the Pisans in 1342 and finally liberated by Emperor Charles IV of Bohemia only in 1369.

At the beginning of the XVth century Lucca enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity under Paolo Guinigi. At his fall in 1430 the Republican regime was restored, to last until 1799. In 1805 the Principate of Lucca was established, became then a Duchy under Maria Luisa di Borbone, from 1817 to 1824 and was finally incorporated in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1847.



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