In an almost-homage to Susan Vega, we recently stayed in Lucca (on the second floor). Lucca was a delight and we’re already planning a return trip.


Lucca’s old town is surrounded by massive walls.

Lucca's city walls from the ground outside

We walked along the top of them.

People walking along the path on the top of Lucca's walls

It was a great way to get a feel for the place.

When we were done, we explored the rest of the town.

A church tower, surrounded by old Italian houses, seen through the leaves of autumn trees

The facade of San Michele in Foro church in Lucca

The tower of San Michele in Foro church in Lucca

Many people dining under a blue sky in the centre of the Piazza Anfiteatro in Lucca

So pretty.

We also saw this amazing, cardboard monkey sculpture from an old arts festival.

Sculpture of a monkey and her baby made from cardboard

Comic festival

There was a lot of excitement while we were there because everyone was getting ready to stage ‘Lucca Comics’, Europe’s biggest comic festival. It’s not like ‘ComicCon’ in London where a bit of Docklands gets cordoned off. In Lucca, the whole town gets involved. Almost every shop we passed had something comic-related going on.

Poster for the comics festival

Butchers shop window with stars and pow! signs

Lightsabre in an opticians display

Mario and a manganese character as dummies in a mens clothing store display

Restaurant made up to look like Mario World

Clothes shop display with Incredibles stickers on the glass

We also saw a lonely pikachu.

Kid dressed in a pikachu onesie sitting on its own next to a church

Luckily, someone in an inflatable sumo wrestler costume joined him shortly after this picture was taken. Phew.

Via Francigena

Lucca is on the Via Francigena, another pilgrimage route, which goes from Canterbury to Rome. We went to the Via Francigena museum, where they projected the story of the pilgrimage on to the inside of the city walls. It was pretty cool.

Projections from the story of the Francigena showing a silhouette of a knight

Projections from the story of the Francigena showing Italian fields

Cheese throwing

Aside from comics, pilgrimages and the local specialty of ‘tordelli lucchesi’ (meat ravioli in a meat sauce), Lucca is also famous for the game of ‘tiro della forma’ in which competitors throw whole cheeses using ropes. It must be pretty ropey cheese if they’re throwing it away. Oof. Sorry.