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We underdogs have to look out for each other, right?

Giulia Marcovaldo is the tritagonist of the 2021 DisneyPixar animated feature film, Luca. An Italian teenage girl, staying with her father Massimo in Portorosso for the summer, she befriends Luca and Alberto and tries to help them win the Portorosso Cup.


Giulia was born to Massimo Marcovaldo, a fisherman, and Maria Marcovaldo, an artist. At some point in her childhood, her parents separated, with Massimo living in Portorosso and her mother living in Genoa. Giulia stayed with her mother and her pet dog, Nerone, and attended school for most of the year, but stayed with Massimo and his pet cat, Machiavelli, for summer break. Her summers in Portorosso often ended losing, however, as her participation in the Portorosso Cup race resulted in humiliation from the town bully Ercole Visconti. During the year prior to the film's Portorosso Cup race, Giulia lost due to getting sick from eating too much pasta, causing her to be nicknamed "Spewlia" by Ercole.

Official Description

Giulia Marcovaldo is an outgoing and charming adventurer with a love of books and learning. She only spends summers in Portorosso, so she hasn’t cultivated many friendships, which makes her the main target of the Portorosso bully. But when two new kids show up who clearly need an ally, Giulia is more than happy to oblige – especially when they agree to team up with her in a local race she desperately wants to win.[1]


Giulia described herself as a local outcast in Portorosso who was different from the rest of the crowd as a way to explain her reasoning for standing up for Luca and Alberto. Her dislike for Ercole because of being bullied by him often also helped fuel her actions. She tried to paint herself as someone independent at first, as she was reluctant to accept help from runaways but began to open up to the two boys when they helped dislodge her bike from an out-of-place stone brick.

After losing and embarrassing herself at the Portorosso Cup race one time, Giulia developed a stronger desire to keep competing in the race until she won and beat Ercole, the five-time champion, to pay him back for always making her life miserable. However, Giulia later reveals her strong desire to win is also a way for people to accept her for who she is, as she has been bullied due to being considered weird, especially after being humiliated the last time she entered the Portorosso Cup race.

As she gets to know Luca better, she tells him more about herself, including her interest in stargazing and her school in Genova. Her giving her book on the universe away to Luca suggests that those she meets earn her trust after a period of time spent together with the person.

Giulia did not believe in sea monsters and was frightened when Alberto revealed himself as one. She later discovered that Luca was one too, but knew they meant no harm and asked Luca to leave town as she feared for his safety. Giulia stood up for Luca and Alberto against Ercole, and their friendship strengthened.

Physical appearance

Giulia is a young Italian girl with red, short curly hair, brown eyes, and lightly tanned skin with freckles. She wears a sky-blue beanie, a reddish-orange-and-white striped T-shirt, turquoise jeans with a blue patch on the right knee, and brown sandals.

Her school uniform consists of a white shirt with a red bow, a pale blue plaid skirt, white socks, and brown slip-on shoes. Giulia also still wears her sky-blue beanie with her school uniform. For her swim outfit, she wears a one piece leopard suit with water goggles.

Role in the film

Giulia is first seen when Luca and Alberto first arrived in Portorosso. As Ercole pesters Luca and Alberto, Giulia rescues them while declaring that she will finally win the oncoming Portorosso Cup, in reference to her longstanding rivalry with Ercole. After getting Luca and Alberto to safety, Giulia continues her deliveries to earn money for the competition’s entry fee. Luca and Alberto, in an attempt to earn money for their own vespa, talks their way into forming a team with Giulia, who often works solo, but is inspired by the notion of “underdogs” sticking together. She thusly names their team, “The Underdogs”.

Giulia invites Luca and Alberto to dinner at her house. That’s where Luca and Alberto meet Massimo, Giulia’s intimidating, fisherman father. When Massimo asks where the boys are from, Giulia covers up, saying that they’re classmates from Genova, Luca and Alberto, who came for the race. Massimo talks to Giulia, not wanting her to enter the race due to her past experiences and their shortage of money. On the fly, Luca offers that he and Alberto can help, with Alberto stating that they know lots of fish. Massimo accepts. Later that night, Giulia offers Luca and Alberto to stay in her treehouse. Early the next morning, Giulia decides to wake Luca and Alberto by pretending to play the military wake up call. While she returns to the town to make deliveries, Luca and Alberto join Massimo on the sea to catch fish—which, due to their sea monster heritage, they are able to accomplish spectacularly. Giulia gets the money for the entry fee from her dad and the kids run off to sign up.

Giulia returns home to train Alberto for his part in the race, which will be eating pasta. Luca, meanwhile, is trained in bike-riding, while Giulia is tasked with swimming. During Giulia’s training, the trio are attacked by Ercole, though he is foiled by his sidekick Guido. Later that night, Giulia and Luca are left alone while Alberto goes to work with Massimo. During which, the two grow closer as Giulia teaches Luca about the world and the cosmos. Luca, enraptured by this new information, finds himself less interested in a vespa and more so on learning and knowledge. As Alberto arrives to collect Luca, Luca asks if he can borrow Giulia’s astronomy book for the night. Instead, Giulia gifts him the book, crossing out her name and writing his. Unknown to them both, Alberto is growing increasingly jealous of Luca and Giulia‘s relationship, which worsens as the two spend more time together—separate from Alberto—throughout the next few days.

Sometime later, while training for the bike race, Luca proposes that he and Alberto join Giulia in school at the end of the summer. This infuriates Alberto, who does not believe sea monsters will be accepted in school or even by Giulia. In anger, he reveals himself as a sea monster to prove his point, shocking and scaring Giulia. Luca, who couldn't bring himself to show his true form, pretends to be stunned, as well, betraying Alberto in the process. Afterward, Giulia and Luca return to Giulia's house. Giulia and Luca are silent, lost in their thoughts as to what had just happened. With Alberto absent, a worried Massimo goes out to find him. Meanwhile, Luca begins to panic, and as a means of calming him down, Giulia throws a glass of water at Luca, revealing his true form. Giulia, though accepting of Luca’s true form, voices frustration and concern over his decision to hide out in a town notorious for its hatred of sea monsters. Despite how happy she has become since meeting Luca, Giulia reluctantly urges him to town for his own safety, to which he agreed to.

The best day, Giulia attempts to complete the Portorosso Cup alone, though Luca arrives to compete as well, determined to buy a vespa. This aggravates Giulia, who is firmly against Luca risking his life. She nevertheless subtly aids him in the competition, as does a returning Alberto. Near the end, rain falls over Portorosso, revealing Luca and Alberto to be sea monsters. Ercole, wanting the reward money for their capture, hunts the duo down and attempts to kill them with his harpoon. He is foiled by Giulia, who sacrifices the race to save her friends. Massimo soon arrives and is initially hostile towards the sea monsters, until he realizes their identities as Luca and Alberto. He then proclaims the boys, and his daughter, the winners of the race. Ercole says that they can't have won, saying that they aren't “people”. Massimo has Signora Marssegliese determine if so or not. The bike that Luca and Alberto abandoned is across the finish line. She proclaims that technically and legally, they won. While Ercole and the local fisherman attempt to kill the boys regardless, they are swayed in doing otherwise by the fearsome Massimo. As Ercole stares in disbelief, Luca, Alberto and Giulia grab and destroy his harpoon. Ercole orders for Ciccio and Guido to help, but the two refuse. Ercole insults them by calling them idiots and tells them to "be useful, for once in your pathetic lives!" Ciccio and Guido, fed up with Ercole's cruel treatment, throw him and his wool sweater into the fountain in revolt. Giulia happily declares the reign of terror over.

The kids are soon joined by Luca's parents, who transform in front of the crowd. Finally, the Underdogs are given their reward, a trophy as winners of the Portorosso Cup. The three begin rejoicing, jumping around, happy to have won. Meanwhile, they receive applause from the crowd. Many kids begin running up to them, congratulating them. Giulia laughs with joys as she looks on, happy to have made her goal a reality.

Later on, the three buy a Vespa with the prize money. While Giulia prepares for school, Luca and Alberto plan to stay behind and prepare their Vespa for travel. At the train station, Luca and Alberto prepare to send Giulia off. To Luca’s surprise, Alberto and Luca’s family have bought an extra ticket and packed for Luca to join Giulia and attend school in her hometown of Genova. The credits chronicle the following months, in which Luca lives with Giulia and her mother, enjoying his life as both a human and open sea monster while keeping in touch with his parents and Alberto.


The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Giulia Marcovaldo.


  • Giulia's birthday is on March 18.[2]
  • The Italian name Giulia is pronounced exactly like the English name "Julia".
  • Giulia's name was once used for a deleted character from Cars 2.
  • Most of her exclaims include some kind of cheese, like gorgonzola, ricotta, mozzarella, etc.
  • In an earlier version of the film, Giulia discovers Luca and Alberto's secret very early on while visiting Isola del Mare to take pictures of the place. This changed as the filmmakers realized that it lessened the tension of the story. This version of the film also made it implicit that Luca was enamored with Giulia and was changed to make their relationship more platonic and less romantic.
    • In early deleted scenes, Giulia was actually slightly older than Luca and Alberto. It wasn’t specified what her age was exactly, but her body design and voice sounded slightly older than the Giulia we see in the film. It’s safe to say that Giulia in these early renditions of the movie was around 15 or 16 years old.
    • Giulia, according to deleted scenes of the movie, used to actually be somewhat acquainted with Ercole, as he mentioned in one of the deleted scenes that he was "never letting [her] use one of his boats again." However, this was changed as in another deleted scene, she actually sees Ercole as a menace, saying that "he's gone insane with power."
    • Giulia originally was really enthusiastic about trying to find and kill sea monsters. This was shown when Giulia proclaimed excitedly to the boys that they could come to her and her dad’s sea monster hunt later as they were invited.
  • A Paperino (Donald Duck in Italian) plush toy can be seen in Giulia's bedroom.
    • In that same location, there is a record by 4*Town, Mei Lee's favorite band, which can be seen under the phonograph in Giulia's bedroom. This is a reference to Pixar's next film, Turning Red, albeit adapted into Italian as "4*Villaggi".
  • To prepare for the role of Giulia, Emma Berman did some research by visiting a local Italian restaurant in San Francisco and met with an Italian waiter working there, who taught her how to speak Italian through some Zoom sessions.


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