The oldest city in Galicia, and as “Lucus Augusti” the region’s first capital, two thousand years ago, LUGO is, these days, a small town that’s chiefly remarkable for its stout Roman walls. Rated as the finest late Roman military fortifications to survive anywhere, the walls with which the Romans enclosed this hilltop, overlooking the Miño river, still form a complete loop around the old town. Few traces remain of the 71 semicircular towers that once punctuated the perimeter; instead, a broad footpath now runs atop the full 2.5km length of the ramparts, so a thirty-minute walk takes you all the way around, to admire the city core from every angle.
Sadly, insensitive building and a busy loop road make it impossible to appreciate the walls from any distance outside, but the road does at least keep traffic out of the centre, which maintains an enjoyable if slightly neglected medley of medieval and eighteenth-century buildings. The most dramatic of the old city gates, the Porta de Santiago, in the southwest, offers access to an especially impressive stretch of wall, leading past the Catedral.