On Monday Frank and I took the train from the Santa Maria Novello train station and headed northwest to the medieval city of Lucca in Tuscany. This beautiful little town is surrounded by it’s original city wall, which you can walk or bike around and see the beautiful hills of Tuscany beyond. We plan on taking that walk the next time we visit Lucca, most probably on one the the Sundays when the antique or craft market is in town.
This is the main entrance door, or porta, into the city of Lucca.
Giacomo Puccini was Lucca’s most favorite and famous son, and there are many trattoria’s, cafès and streets named after him. Some of his most famous operas are La Boheme, Tosca and Madame Butterfly. This statue of Puccini is right outside his home in Lucca, which is now a museum in his honor. There are many original letters and musical scores exhibited, along with letters to his lover, Elvira Gemignani, whom he eventually married after divorcing is first wife as well as the fact that her first husband was killed by the husband of another woman due to infidelity….whew…a very active scene back then in little Lucca.
Statue of Giacomo Puccini in his piazza….
One of my favorite arias from La Bohème…audio http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgaN3vIqJUY
Palazzo Pfanner is a 17th-century villa with magnificent gardens and a visit there is well worthwhile. Although we couldn’t get into the palazzo, which is something I would have loved to do, the gardens were worthwhile. Here are some of the views, although you need to actually be there to feel the peace and quiet.
Of course you can’t visit anywhere in Italy without seeing some beautiful cathedrals and churches. It was hard to get photos of some of the churches because they are so large. Here are a few…
So far I think I’m coming across pretty much like a tourist, and that’s something I’m trying to avoid. We’ve gotten to know a few people here; Andrè the owner of the wine shop down the street; Massimo, owner of a men’s shop in San Ambrogia; Roberto, the owner of a small trattoria near Piazza de Republica; and Angelo, a very knowledgeable guide who is an archeologist when he’s not showing off beautiful Firenze.
Here’s a photo that I think really shows that we are trying to live like the locals….our laundry drying in the guest bedroom! No dryers here, just a very slow washing machine.
Now for my Italian practice. I was proudly able to tell the waitress at lunch today at Cafè Cibreo in San Ambrogia that “noi abbiamo un apartmento a Firenze per tre mezis”.
Here goes using some Google for help…..Oggi il sole era fouri per la mattina, ma ora piove un po. Stasera noi siamo cucinare a il appartamento – pollo è rucola, e pasta con zucchini e melanzana. Andrè ci ha dato un bottiglia di vino bianco da un suo amico che possiede un vigneto locale. Daremo una prova, dovrebbe assaggiare qualcosa come una vernaccia o vermentino, ed è biologico.
Absolutely beautiful. The garden with all the statues looks so peaceful and serene. I’m enjoying your photos and updates!
Absolutely beautiful. The garden with the statues looks so peaceful and serene. I’m enjoying your photos and updates!