N ot far away from Pietrasanta lies, entrenched between its city walls, the city of Lucca. The six gates that offer access to the old town will catapult you into the characteristic town, where, while looking for monuments and typical shops, you will find small alleys telling ancient stories.
You will go back 2’000 years while walking on the famous Via Fillungo, the street that divided the Roman city from North to South, or on Via San Paolino and Via Santa Croce, crossway between East and West of the city. You will feel like standing in the ancient Roman Forum when being in Piazza San Michele in Foro. Its church, that stands out against the marble floor, will make you look up to the sky and admire the archangel Michael defeating the dragon. The famous Piazza Anfiteatro, restored by Nottolini, and Piazza Napoleone, requested by Elisa Baciocchi Bonaparte, will welcome you with their decorum and grandiosity. In the cathedral of San Martino you will be able to contemplate the beauty of Ilaria del Carretto. In the church of Santi Giovanni e Reparata - the old cathedral of the town - you will be able to visit the impressive archaeological area with the ruins of the Roman baths, the basilica and the paleo-christian baptistery or go back in time to the Lucca of Puccini while listening to one the many concerts organised in the Maestro’s honour. From the central Torre delle Ore and the tree-lined area of Torre Guinigi you will be able to take in the beauty of the alleys and city walls of Lucca, which defend and entrench the city with their majesty since 180 BCE.
Even nowadays the population of Lucca spends lots of their free time in this green area, which allows to relax or do sports with an enviable view onto the city. Roaming around Lucca, by foot or by bike, will show you churches at every corner, medieval and Renaissance palaces, Art Nouveau signs from the beginning of 20th century in many shops in the centre and old bakeries where it’s possible to taste the typical buccellato.
Once a year this fascinating city turns into a real fantasy village: Lucca Comics & Games, which takes place once a year between October and November. It is a convention entirely dedicated to fantasy, science fiction, comic books, games (role, board and card games), animations and video games. This event attracts each year a large amount of visitors from all over the world, many of which will be seen around town in their cosplay. A unique event in Europe, seen as the second biggest in the world after the famous Comiket in Tokyo. What to say… you need to come and check it out!

(article by: Dr. Rosa di Grottole - expert in art history and event management)