With the latest restrictions on travel and interactions outside one’s family making life so difficult, I thought it was a good time to UPDATE & repost an article by my happy self six months ago…

Having arrived May 13th, I am looking forward to completing my first week soon! (In the spring, everyone arriving from outside the county was required to self-isolate for two weeks before venturing outside.)

Even from my lockdown in isolation, there are things I love about Lucca:

~ awakening to church bells… Each church seems to have a different role; there are different tollings at 8, at 9, at 10:15, at noon, from different directions, as San Paolino, San Michele, San Frediano and the Torre delle Ore – a 13th century hour keeper – each play their singular songs. 

~ a breakfast of budini from Pasticceria Dianda – like so many caffe`s and restaurants during COVID,  they deliver! 

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Fresh or toasted, dunked in coffee or wine, layered with strawberries or ice cream, it’s hard to go wrong with buccellato…

Nothing could be more delicious, except maybe…

~ toasted buccellato with a cappuccino for breakfast!  Authentic buccellato from Pasticceria Taddeucci of course.  Only they know the secret recipe for this marvelous anise-flavored, raisin-filled loaf of deliciousness which, they say, has been Lucca’s favorite since Romans introduced the concept of a round loaf that they could easily carry with them on expeditions.

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Pasticceria Dianda makes the most delicious rice pudding pastries called budini – perfect with a cappuccino for breakfast!

~ the sounds of the city awakening.  Now that the most severe quarantining is over, people can circulate (with social distancing) wearing masks.  I can hear voices again echoing up the narrow canyon of medieval streets.  Fewer cars.  More bikes.  More delivery trucks.  The rattling of supply carts, the sounds of stores feeling their way to reopening.

~ the Spring sky.  Yes, it rained all night, pounding the rooftops, exploding in lightning and thunder.  But now the clouds break as the sun forces its way through.  There’s always a breeze in Lucca that pushes the bad weather out of the valley and into the hills and mountains beyond, leaving behind wildflowers and the greenest moss… 

AND NOW THE AUTUMN SKY ADDS A DIFFERENT SHADE TO THE SUN AND TREES WHICH RENDERS THEM JUST AS BEAUTIFUL, AND EVEN MORE A SIGHT TO BE APPRECIATED…

~ the spirit of Lucchesi.  They will never give up, still they respect the need for patience.  They’ve shown that they can band together to care about one another, especially the suffering.  With prudence, they’re moving on to a better place socially and economically.

In the meantime, I’ll relish the little things…