If you are a fan of comics, games, fantasy, and pop culture, you might want to plan your next trip to Italy around the Lucca Comics & Games festival, one of the largest and most important events of its kind in Europe.
Every year, at the end of October or early November, the charming city of Lucca in Tuscany transforms into a colorful and lively hub of creativity, entertainment, and fun. You will be able to enjoy exhibitions, concerts, workshops, contests, cosplay, and meet famous artists, authors, actors, and celebrities from all over the world. You will also have the opportunity to explore the rich history and culture of Lucca, a city that has preserved its medieval walls and its elegant architecture. In this article, we will give you some tips and suggestions on how to make the most of your visit to Lucca Comics & Games and Lucca itself.
What is Lucca Comics & Games?
Lucca Comics & Games is a festival that celebrates comics, games, fantasy, science fiction, horror, anime, manga, cinema, TV series, and everything related to the world of imagination. It was founded in 1966 as a comic book fair and has since grown into a massive event that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The festival takes place in various locations across the city of Lucca, both indoors and outdoors. Some of the main venues are:
- The Exhibition Area, where you can find stands of publishers, authors, artists, collectors, associations, and companies that showcase their products and services. You can also buy books, comics, games, gadgets, and souvenirs.
- The Campfire Area, where you can attend concerts, shows, performances, and live events featuring national and international guests. You can also participate in games, quizzes, karaoke, and other activities.
- The Japan Town, where you can immerse yourself in the Japanese culture and tradition. You can watch anime screenings, learn origami and calligraphy, taste typical food and drinks, and admire bonsai and ikebana.
- The Movie Town, where you can watch previews and premieres of movies and TV series related to the festival’s themes. You can also meet actors and directors and ask them questions.
- The Junior Town, where you can find activities and entertainment for children and families. You can play with toys and board games, read stories and fairy tales, draw and color comics, and join workshops and labs.
The festival also organizes many other events throughout the city, such as exhibitions of comic art and illustration, contests of cosplay (costume play) and vocal performance, awards ceremonies for the best works in comics and games, guided tours of the historical sites related to the festival’s themes, educational projects for schools and students, and much more.
How to get tickets for Lucca Comics & Games?
If you want to attend Lucca Comics & Games, you need to buy a ticket that gives you access to the festival’s venues. There are different types of tickets available:
- Daily tickets, which allow you to enter the festival on a specific day (from Wednesday to Sunday). They cost between 15€ and 25€ depending on the day.
- Multi-day tickets, which allow you to enter the festival on multiple days (from two to five days). They cost between 30€ and 70€ depending on the number of days.
- Subscription tickets, which allow you to enter the festival on all five days (from Wednesday to Sunday). They cost 80€.
- Special tickets, which allow you to access some exclusive events or areas within the festival. They have different prices depending on the event or area.
You can buy tickets online through the official website or through authorized resellers. You can also buy tickets at the ticket offices located near the festival’s entrances. However, we recommend buying tickets in advance as they might sell out quickly or have long queues at the ticket offices.
How to enjoy Lucca Comics & Games?
Lucca Comics & Games is a huge and diverse festival that offers something for everyone. However, it can also be overwhelming and exhausting if you don’t plan your visit well. Here are some tips and suggestions on how to make the most of your experience:
- Check the program. Before you go to the festival, check the official website or download the official app to see what events are scheduled, where they are located, and when they start. You can also find maps, information, and news about the festival on these platforms. Choose the events that interest you the most and make a list of them.
- Plan your itinerary. Once you have chosen your events, plan your itinerary according to their location and time. Try to avoid moving too much from one venue to another, as they might be far apart or crowded. Also, try to arrive early at the events that you don’t want to miss, as they might have limited seats or long queues.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. The festival involves a lot of walking, standing, and waiting. You might also encounter different weather conditions, such as sun, rain, wind, or cold. Therefore, wear comfortable clothes and shoes that suit the season and the occasion. You might also want to bring a backpack with some essentials, such as water, snacks, sunscreen, umbrella, hat, jacket, etc.
- Respect the rules. The festival has some rules that you need to respect for your own safety and enjoyment. For example, you need to show your ticket at the entrance of each venue; you need to follow the directions of the staff and volunteers; you need to keep your distance from other visitors; you need to wear a mask in indoor spaces; you need to avoid bringing dangerous or forbidden objects; etc. You can find more details about the rules on the official website or on the signs at the festival.
- Have fun. The most important thing is to have fun at Lucca Comics & Games. Enjoy the events that you attend, discover new things that you didn’t know before, meet new people who share your passions, express yourself through cosplay or other forms of art, take pictures and videos of your memories, and live an unforgettable experience.
What else to see and do in Lucca?
Lucca Comics & Games is not the only reason to visit Lucca. The city itself is a beautiful and fascinating destination that deserves your attention. Here are some of the things that you can see and do in Lucca:
- Walk or bike along the walls. One of the most distinctive features of Lucca is its intact medieval walls that surround the old town. The walls are about 4 km long and 12 m high and have been turned into a pedestrian promenade where you can walk or bike along them. You can admire the views of the city and its surroundings from different perspectives and enjoy some greenery and tranquility.
- Visit the churches. Lucca is known as “the city of a hundred churches” because of its many religious buildings that date back to different periods and styles. Some of the most famous ones are the Cathedral of San Martino, which houses the Volto Santo, a wooden crucifix that is venerated by the locals; the Basilica of San Frediano, which has a stunning mosaic facade and a Romanesque interior; the Church of San Michele in Foro, which stands on the site of the ancient Roman forum and has a striking marble facade and a statue of the archangel Michael on top of its bell tower; and the Church of Santa Maria Forisportam, which has a beautiful rose window and a Gothic portal.
- Explore the museums. Lucca has several museums that showcase its artistic and cultural heritage. Some of the most interesting ones are the National Museum of Villa Guinigi, which displays paintings, sculptures, and archaeological finds from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance; the National Museum of Palazzo Mansi, which exhibits tapestries, furniture, and costumes from the 16th to the 19th century; the Museum of Comics and Imagery, which hosts a collection of comics, illustrations, posters, and toys related to the festival’s themes; and the Puccini Museum, which is located in the birthplace of the famous composer Giacomo Puccini and contains memorabilia, documents, and musical instruments.
- Enjoy the food and wine. Lucca is also a great destination for food and wine lovers. You can taste some of the typical dishes of the local cuisine, such as tordelli, stuffed pasta with meat sauce; buccellato, a sweet bread with raisins and aniseed; castagnaccio, a cake made with chestnut flour, pine nuts, and rosemary; and necci, thin pancakes made with chestnut flour and filled with ricotta cheese. You can also try some of the excellent wines produced in the nearby hills, such as Colline Lucchesi or Montecarlo.
- Shop at the markets. Lucca has several markets where you can buy fresh produce, local products, antiques, crafts, and souvenirs. Some of the most popular ones are the daily market in Piazza San Giusto, where you can find fruits, vegetables, cheese, bread, and flowers; the antique market on every third weekend of the month in Piazza San Giusto, Piazza Antelminelli, Piazza San Martino, and Piazza Bernardini, where you can browse through furniture, jewelry, books, paintings, and curiosities; and the craft market on every fourth weekend of the month in Piazza San Giusto and Piazza San Martino, where you can admire and buy handmade items such as pottery, leather goods, woodwork, and textiles.
How to get to Lucca Comics & Games?
Lucca is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy. It is about 80 km from Florence, 20 km from Pisa, and 30 km from the coast of Versilia. You can reach Lucca by different means of transport:
By car, you can take the A11 motorway (Firenze-Mare) and exit at Lucca. You can also take the A12 motorway (Genova-Livorno) and exit at Viareggio or Massa, then follow the signs for Lucca. However, be aware that during the festival, the traffic can be very heavy and the parking spaces can be limited. You might want to park your car outside the city and use the shuttle buses that connect the parking areas to the festival’s venues.
By train, you can take a regional or intercity train to Lucca from Florence, Pisa, Viareggio, or other nearby cities. The train station is about 10 minutes walk from the festival’s main entrance. You can check the train timetables and prices on the Trenitalia website.
By bus, you can take a bus to Lucca from Florence, Pisa, Viareggio, or other nearby cities. The bus station is about 15 minutes walk from the festival’s main entrance. You can check the bus timetables and prices on the Vaibus website.
By plane, you can fly to Pisa International Airport (PSA) or Florence International Airport (FLR), then take a train or a bus to Lucca. The airports are about 30 minutes and 60 minutes away from Lucca by train or bus, respectively. You can check the flight options and prices on the airport websites .
Lucca Comics & Games is a festival that will make you fall in love with Lucca and its culture. It is a unique opportunity to enjoy your passions and discover new ones in a charming and welcoming city. Don’t miss it!