01 LUCCA SUMMER FESTIVAL
We’re lucky to have superstars come to Lucca for this summer festival, running from 7-25 July. Norah Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Gorillaz — this year’s headliners look as impressive as ever. But what I find really special about this festival is the fact that the concerts don’t take place in a stadium, but right in the city itself, in the Piazza Napoleone, one of the main squares.
02 PUCCINI FESTIVAL
One of the highlights of the Tuscan calendar, the festival takes place in the outdoor theatre by the composer’s home at Torre del Lago from 14 July to 25 August. Make sure to book a seat in the first few rows for the best sound, and take something warm to wear — it can get chilly by the lake.
03 PUCCINI E LA SUA LUCCA FESTIVAL
Missed the Puccini Festival? You can still get your fix of his work (and Verdi’s) every night from April to October at the church of San Giovanni in Lucca. While the church doesn’t quite have the beautiful setting of Torre del Lago, I find the intimate atmosphere quite magical.
04 ANFITEATRO JAZZ
If jazz is your thing, head for the Piazza dell’Anfiteatro in summer. I’d almost recommend this as much for the venue as the music. This is one of Italy’s smaller jazz festivals and those who perform here are generally from the region, so it’s where I’d go to get a flavour of jazz — Tuscan style.
05 LUCCA COMIC AND GAMES FESTIVAL
You might not think this is the place to go for musical entertainment but I’d recommend it nonetheless. At the end of October, free concerts take place on the city wall. Festivalgoers dress up in costumes of their favourite comic and game characters.
Valentina Petri is the concierge at To-Tuscany.com. Tuscan born and bred, she knows Lucca and the region as only a local can, and now shares her knowledge with guests of the villa-booking website.
Published in the July/August 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)