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The Lucca Comic & Games event takes place every year between the end of October and the beginning of November. Lucca’s event It is the second largest of its kind with Tokoyo, event called “Comiket” being number one. The record turnout in Lucca was back in 2013 with over 217,600 “ticketing” visitors per day. This total though did not include the number of free entries with exhibitors, press, and guests which then brought the estimated total of people to more than 350,000 visitors. All this is within about 15,000 square meters through the historic center of Lucca. Just shocking!
This Year, Lucca Comic & Games 2022
This year, the event is from October 28 through November 1st, and its theme is “Hope.” Ever since the pandemic, the number of tickets sold has certainly decreased. In 2021, daily tickets were limited to 20,000. This year, tickets were increased to allow 75,000 visitors per day. So what is it about this event that draws the big invasion?
It’s Not All About Costumes
This event is divided into two separate categories; Lucca Comics and Lucca Games.
The comic segment is directly related to comics and animations-. Every year almost all of the national specialized publishing houses participate in this event, as well as numerous exhibitors, retailers, and specialized shops. Throughout the historic center, pavilions are scattered and constructed.
Meanwhile, the games division is more about roleplaying or performance art to board and card games. Lucca Games exhibitors are mainly divided into four types: game authors and publishers, game retailers and specialized shops, associations and independent realities, and artists.
Here’s a great video of the event from Mondi Futuri
Special Events & Exhibitions
In addition, there are numerous special events added to the program each year. Lucca Comic & Games has international and Italian comic authors, book presentations, role-playing tournaments, cosplayer performances, concerts, and much more. Special exhibitions are dedicated to world-famous artists and are housed in various palazzos and museums in the city.
Here are a few of the special exhibitions for this year’s Lucca Comic & Games:
- Ted Nasmith – the Nature of Myth
- John Blanche – Within the Woods
- Mario and Rabbids – Sparks of Hope
- Atsushi Ohkubo – Soul of Fire
- Mirka Andolfo – paper herones
- Chris Riddel – Sketches, Scribbles, and Wonders
There are also special programs that include tournaments, prizes, and seminars. Some categories are: “Best Game of the Year,” “Best Previously Unpublished Work,” and “Best Handmade Miniatures.”
What Might This All Cost?
There are various ticket prices, depending on what days you want to attend. The first day usually has the least amount of people attending. Of course, there are early bird specials, subscription tickets, and taxes to be added to the price of each ticket. To give you an example, this year, a two-day ticket, depending on the days ranged from €33,00 – €40,00. A five-day ticket was about €75,00.
Then, of course, you need a place to stay. Many people arrive by train each day and lodge outside of Lucca. But for those that want to stay in Lucca… prices are high this time of year. A good deal of locals with vacate Lucca and take a holiday somewhere else rather than battle the crowds. For locals, eating out at a restaurant is almost impossible these days.
Speaking of the Locals…
Lucca Comic & Games is an event that locals experience long before and after the days come and go. It takes several weeks for all the pavilion structures to be assembled and then, in turn, taken down. Parking is limited or even eliminated in most piazzas, and the walled city gets a bit rearranged.
Even with the lack of parking for residents, increased traffic around the walled city, unavailable restaurants, and the noise of the helicopters must be overcome… it’s good to see the local stores being busy. The stores that especially sell and cater to Lucca Comic & Games… the bars, restaurants, and trinket shops. We’ve even noticed some of the clothing stores with more potential buyers in them than normal. It’s all good for businesses in Lucca. Especially after the pandemic, so many stores just couldn’t remain open. At least for five or so days, Lucca’s economy can get a boost. We locals, just have to grin and bear it.
JulieDecember 4, 2022 at 11:46 pm
Thanks for this post — when does the upheaval start in advance of the Comic festival? I was hoping to rent an apartment in Lucca for the whole month of September 2023 but not if the centro storico is already being taken over by festival setup. Would September be ok? If not, what month would you recommend? My goals are to soak up local Italian life, re-connect with family roots, and continue practicing the language. Grazie!
imodicaDecember 5, 2022 at 6:17 am
Ciao Julie! Setup usually starts the first week of October, so September would be okay. Prices will go up for October so any other month would be good. Let us know when you come, we’d love to meet!
JulieDecember 5, 2022 at 7:36 am
Wonderful! Thank you!