Lucca is a city of some 90,000 people (2017) in Tuscany. Its long history goes back to Etruscan and Ancient Roman times, and the city retains pieces of ancient architecture. Lucca's heyday was in the Gothic era just before the Renaissance, and the city contains much marvellous architecture from that era. Lucca remained an independent city state until the end of the 18th century. Giacomo Puccini, one of the best-known opera composers, was born in Lucca, and his house is visited by many opera-lovers every year.