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It Happened In Lucca

The Mille Miglia in Lucca

The Mille Miglia was a race, held from 1927 to 1957, from Brescia, near Milano, to Rome and back to Brescia. It is now a parade of over 400 classic cars (pre-1957), some of which participated in the original race.
This year, on May 17th, The Mille Miglia passed through Lucca.
And when I say "trough Lucca", I really mean it. The cars drove all through teh city, including through places where cars are never allowed: on the Walls, Piazza Anfiteatro, Piazza San Michele, via Filungo... everywhere. It was really a imp[ressive sight to see all those beautifully kept vintage cars driving on the old cobblestone streets of this (even older!) city.

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posted by michel, 2014-06-01

[It Happened In Lucca] [Sports] []

The Lucca marathon

The annual Lucca Marathon will be tomorrow, October 27th, starting at 9:00 am. It starts in the city, goes through the historical center, on the walls, then towards capannori, in the countryside, before coming back towards the city. the finish line is on Piazza Grande (Piazza Napoleone). Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day, with just a little bit of rain. This will be much better than last year, which was a miserable day, cold and windy.

More information, in English on the official website.

You can't register anymore this year, so if you're not running this year, start training for next year.

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posted by michel, 2013-10-26

[It Happened In Lucca] [Sports] []

Lucca Comics and Games 2011 - A guide to Lucca Comics

Lucca Comics lasted for 5 days this year, from Friday, October 28th to Tuesday, November 1st.
If you like comic books, mostly in Italian, games, from card games to role playing games, and above all seeing lots of costumed people walking the streets of Lucca (see pictures), you'll love Lucca Comics. If you want to join us next year, here is a brief user manual for the event.

First, you need to book, really, really early. All the hotels and B&Bs in Lucca and around are completely full for the whole convention. Then try to find something either in town (the best option) or near a train station. Finding a parking space is nearly impossible, and if you don't park properly, chances are that you will be fined.

Once in Lucca, there is probably no need to buy a ticket to enter the tents. For €15 and most likely a long wait, you get the right to enter the various tents where you can... spend your money on comic books and all sorts of gadgets. I can't even tell you what's the best ticket office to go to, because their location changes every year.
Better to hang around the heart of the action, between Piazza Napoleone and the Walls, by the Cafè delle Mura, and then on the Walls toward the stage on the right. That's where all the people in costume parade and will gracefully pose for photographers. Don't forget the compulsary Gelato break at the Gelateria Veneta, on via Vittorio Veneto.

There is no need to get up too early, as the Sun gets over the trees around 10:30am, which is when you will get the best pictures. In the evening, at that time of the year the Sun sets early, around 5:30 - 6pm, and most costumes aren't really designed for the cold. So everything is pretty much over by 7:30pm. You can still get some nice pictures in the dark though.

The 2011 edition was great: the weather was beautiful for the whole 5 days, which made life so much easier both for participants, no wet costumes this year, and visitors, the Sun helped a lot getting nice pictures.

More links, more photos:Flickr Group

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posted by michel, 2011-11-13

[It Happened In Lucca] [Culture] [Photo] []

Lucca Comics and Games 2010

Our annual report on Lucca's biggest event of the year: this year was longer and more crowded than ever, but also more rainy than last year. Despite 2 solid days of rain, 135 000 visitors showed up over the 4 days of the event.
One welcome change was more free areas, a game area just outside the Walls, The Citadel on the Walls... which mean that if you are not really into comics, especially ones in Italian or Japanese, there is very little reason to spend money (and a lot of time queueing!) on the tickets. even access to the Dragon hidden in one of the hidden passages within the Walls was free.

The main trends for this year: quite a few characters from Avatar, less Naruto than in previous years, and above all lot of red: red hair, red hats, red faces, and quite a bit of blood. Of course there were also, as usual, hundreds of anime characters I had never heard of. I did recognize Blastoize (a Pokemon) though but then it was one of the stars of the day.

The next edition will last 5 days, from October 28th to November 1st, 2011.

More links, more photos:Flickr Group

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posted by michel, 2010-11-27

[It Happened In Lucca] [Culture] [Photo] []

Touring Lucca By Bike

Good news for any biking enthusiasts planning a visit to Lucca between the beginning of June and the end of September. The town hall has collaborated with a local biking tour company called Tuscany Ride a Bike, to create really cool guided bike tours of some of the most scenic parts of Lucca and its surrounding countryside.

The guided 3 hour tour costs 25 euro per person and includes the cost of the rental of a mountain bike and related gear (helmet, repair kit), a guide and a technical assistent. An average of 30 kilometers, some a bit hilly, will be covered in the 3 hours, so best to be somewhat fit and comfortable on a bike if you'd like to give it a try.

Here are the two proposed itineraries with relative departure times:

Discovering Lucca

A trip following the ancient roman acqueduct meandering through such scenic areas as Coselli, Vicopelago, Meati- and the river Serchio.

Departure: 9:30 a.m. : guided by the Club Ippico Lucchese, or departing at 9:45 a.m. with Tuscany Ride a Bike
Days: Monday- Wednesday- Friday (June to September)
Price: €25
Distance to cover: 30 km, approximately 3 hours
Route: Club Ippico Lucchese - Lucca - Acquedotto del Nottolini - Coselli - Vicopelago - Meati - Serchio - Club Ippico Lucchese – Lucca

Villas and villages

A tour that explores some of the great historic villas just North of Lucca.

Departure: 9:30 a.m. : guided by the Club Ippico Lucchese, or departing at 9:45 a.m. with Tuscany Ride a Bike
Days: Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday
Cost: €25
Distance to cover: 30 km, approximately 3 hours

For further information and reservations you can contact either of the two addresses below:

Vecchia Porta San Donato - Piazzale Verdi, Lucca
tel. +39 0583/583150

Tuscany Ride a Bike
Via Corte Pietri, 1 - 55100 Lucca
Tel. +39 0583/080588

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posted by gina, 2010-03-25

[It Happened In Lucca] [Sports] [Lucca Info] [Day Trip] []

Lucca Comics and Games 2009

And once again, Lucca got invaded by an army of comics afficinados, game fanatics and cosplay creatures. In 4 days nearly 150 000 attended, which means that during the week-end we probably had close to 50 000 visitors a day. Which is quite a bit when you know that the normal population of the historical center of Lucca is less than 10 000.

As usual the best part was just to wander around town, especially between Piazza Grande and the Walls, and just admire the costumes.

We did buy tickets though, which allowed us to go into the various white tents set up accross the town, so we could spend more money on comics, of course, nearly all in Italian, and a huge array of comics or anime related gadgets. Our son's bounty included a Pokemon T-Shirt, Shadow Sonic and Brock figurines and some Pokemon cards (I'll let you guess what his favourite cartoon is).

The best way to get the tickets while bypassing the enormous lines is to buy then on the previous day, after 5:30pm at the tickets offices in town or near the station. Multi day passes are also available, but you don't save much money with them, and you still have to queue, although not for too long, on the day you are using them in order to activate them.

The weather was beautiful, which was good for some of the most lightly dresses characters (as Edvarg Endel above left, who was wearing only a tiny pareo).

More links, more photos:Flickr Group

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posted by michel, 2009-11-15

[It Happened In Lucca] [Culture] [Photo] []


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