Lucca has several parking areas both outside and inside the city walls. Most of them are paid park lots, but outside the old city center you may also find some free ones. If you intend to get to Lucca by car then, you shouldn’t find any difficulty in finding a free spot, except when there are events that always attract thousands of people, like the Comics & Games held annually in late October, for which we highly recommend to use public transports.
They are obviously located outside the city walls, close to the ex hospital building and in the area of Giannotti (except the whole month of September, during which the large parking area is completely taken up by the famous Lucca Fanfair). These parkings are quite close to the old center of the city, so if you feel like walking to the city walls, it will be a pleasant and short stroll - about 10/15 minutes. In alternative, all the outside areas are well connected to the center by city buses. Bus rides are frequent and a 70 minute ticket costs 1.20 euro. Tickets may be also purchased directly on the bus, but costs 2 Euros.
For more information about full schedules and other costs, take a look at the official website.
There are many paid parking lots both outside and inside the city walls; some are located inside a parking building (some of them underground) and others are simply along the roads. Some offer the possibility to buy weekly or monthly tickets with relative reductions, a 24 hours video surveillance and a rental bike service. Others, instead, are simply unattended parking areas with no services added. Let’s take a deeper look into the most important of them (located inside the city walls).
Park Mazzini is an underground lot located to the North-East and is one of the cheapest: rates are € 0.50 per hour (night rate is 1 Euro/hour). It’s opened 24h a day, always offer a video surveillance and weekly-monthly tickets.
Park Cittadella is instead one of the most expensive. Located inside the city walls to the West side, it costs 2 Euro/hour (4 Euro for 3 hours is the only reduction available). No monthly or weekly ticket available.
Park Lorenzini is located close to Cittadella lot and has the same rates, but offer monthly tickets and a rental bike service.
Park Via del Pallone, Corso Garibaldi, Via dei Bacchettoni, Santa Maria and Piazzale Verdi (where the bus station is located) are all located along the road, are unattended, don’t have a video surveillance and don’t offer monthly ticket or rental bike services (in Piazza Santa Maria, however, there are two rental shops just in front of the street parking). Rates are a bit cheaper: from the € 0.50/hour (night rate is the same) at the Park Via dei Bacchettoni (located to the North-West), to the € 0.50/30 minutes and € 1/hour at the Parks Via del Pallone and Corso Garibaldi, and € 1.50/hour at the Parks Piazzale Verdi and Piazza Santa Maria (minimum rate is € 0.50 for 20 minutes).
Outside the city walls, Park Carducci is located to the South-West and costs € 1/hour with a minimum rate of € 0.5 for 30 minutes, but offers a daily rate of 5 Euro. Park Palatucci, situated to the North, is one of the cheapest: it costs only € 0.2 for the first 60 minutes and € 1 for every following hour. Daily rate is 6 euro. Both offer monthly tickets, a bike rental service and - if you prefer public transport instead of biking - 4 free tickets for the bus service till the heart of the city. Both are, moreover, secure parkings with a video surveillance service during the night.
On Viale Castracani there’s another street parking on the West side of the town: it’s a bit more distant respect to the others, but more convenient: it’s free for the first 15 minutes (but you must show the ticket with the arrival time on your car), 0.20 Euro for the first 60 minutes and € 1 for the following hours.
Most of the parking areas located along the road have a parking meter and are indicated with blue lines. Hours are normally from 8 am to 8 pm; that means that if you get to Lucca after 8 pm for a quick night visit of the city or eating something typical and traditional - many delicious restaurants are located along the Fillungo road and in Piazza Anfiteatro - you won’t have to pay to park your car. Just double check with relative road signals placed along the road (be careful to read the signal on the road side where you’ve left your car parked, parking conditions may change from one side to the other of the road).
Parking is usually paid with cash (or coins) at the ticket machines before leaving for the parking lots (some with credit card and pre-paid cards also) or before leaving your car parked along the road (street parkings). In this case display the relative ticket on your car dash or risk a ticket.
That said, I remind you of the several bus rides available from most of the parking areas to the city center, for helping tourists to get inside the city walls and getting around the town.
If you need more information and want to see a detailed map of all the parking lots, take a look at the site http://www.metrosrl.it/
photo credit © Lucca