The historical Republic of Lucca and its province provide a unique venue for the study of the rich yet tumultuous urban and rural life of early modern Italy. And of the military defences of Renaissance and early modern Europe the historical period that witnessed the gunpowder revolution and its attendant developments in defensive architecture, engineering, warfare, and to a large extent culture and daily life. The Florentine novelist, Guido Piovene, maintained that Lucca was the only Italian city which is totally enclosed, ringed about by the high bulwark which it built in the 16th and 17th centuries, and which still hides it from the eyes of anyone arriving from the surrounding plain.' By the early nineteenth-century the starkly forbidding appearance of the walls had been softened by the ring of trees planted atop the massive walls leading poet Gabriele D'Annunzio to celebrate Lucca as "the city of the wooded circle." The Hotel Universo is in the very centre of these walls. 46 Comfort rooms, 3 De Luxe and 3 Junior Suites and 2 Family rooms equipped with direct dial phone, mini bar and television. The restaurant, recently renovated, offers a very high quality: an exquisite cuisine in a quiet and refined environment, which is the perfect setting for the calm and elegant atmosphere of Hotel universo.