Thursday, April 16, 2015

How Lucca can you get...

Click to enlarge
The end of civilization as we know it - the perfect menu, in Italy!
Lucca. Need I say more?
On a side street - an abandoned fresco and bike
The main piazza - once a Roman amphitheatre
My companions at lunch - we met Bruce's Perugian friend Giuliano and his Irish friend Ken, who were travelling nearby. G. ordered our lunch, consulting with the waiter about Luccan specialties. Needless to say - delicioso. And molto.
It's really too bad people here don't care at all about beauty and nature.
A statue under repair - and about to take a bath
My companion in the foreground checking our route, as he does so wonderfully. We separated from Giuliano and Ken because Ken wanted to look in antique shops and Bruce wanted to look at art in churches. And I - a shop or two. I bought a plastic cover for my bicycle seat, covered with roses.
Puccini was born in Lucca. Here's one musician with another. We went to the Puccini museum. Bruce more interested than I. As we walked later, a young woman was standing in a doorway practicing singing Nessun dorma beautifully - a sign behind her: Audizione.
The usual pageantry in the streets. Not sure why, but who cares?
These plane trees are right out of Harry Potter.
A crowd of Italian schoolchildren gathered around the statue learning about Puccini. What a patrimony these kids have inherited.

Lucca is as beautiful as it gets - one gorgeous vista, one sudden huge piazza, one narrow glorious street lined with ancient buildings after another. If we'd had more time, the thing to do there is rent a bicycle. The town reminded me of Siena, with its pedestrian streets in the centre - though of course cars and motorbikes go down them anyway. A stunningly lovely city.

The ride home was something of an ordeal, however. We got to the station in plenty of time, as Bruce and I always do - but then the train was delayed. Finally arrived nearly an hour late, and then they announced that they'd changed it to the milk run home, making every stop. B and I were going to go for dinner on arrival, but it was so late we just went home. I'm going to dine on an orange and some cashews. And no wine! It'll do me good. We leave tomorrow morning for Cinque Terre - Bruce just for the weekend, me on the next phase of my journey.

Florence - how lucky I am not just to be here, but to have a friend who knows the city so well. As perhaps I've said before. On the next bit, we're both new. An adventure awaits. Onward. Oh - and thunderstorms predicted.

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