Happy New Year from Lucca, Italy! Can you feel the excitement in our writing?
We are Joanne and Judy, friends, travel buddies, aspiring speakers of the Italian language, lovers of Italian food and wine, and daughters of Italian fathers. We met several years ago in an Italian language class in New Mexico and quickly learned that we shared a passion for Italian travel and culture. We hope you will join us as we explore Italy – its people, places, food, traditions– all the things that make Italy our favorite travel destination.
Let’s start with a question: What is your recipe for happiness? Most would say health, love, family, friends, and meaningful work are essential ingredients. We would agree. But is there a magical addition, some special something that kicks it up a notch? A little of this and a pinch of that combined in such a way that the result has you smiling at strangers, dancing in your kitchen, singing out loud, totally in touch with joy? The perfect happiness recipe. For us, that magic ingredient is Italy. Just writing the word brings a smile. Trip planning leads to dancing. Actually being there is when the singing out loud begins. Italy.
Neither one of us is Frances Mayes. We don’t have a restored house in Tuscany, nor the resources to believe we ever will. A small apartment there remains an elusive dream. Neither of us has quit a job, waved goodbye to family and friends, and moved full time to Italy. We aren’t wealthy; our travel style is budget-friendly. But spending time in Italy, exploring cities and countrysides, lakes and villas, vineyards and olive groves, volcanoes and towers, has become a passion and an important ingredient in each of our recipes for happiness. If you want to see me (Joanne) happy, give me a small apartment in Lucca, some time in the market buying picture-perfect produce, some freshly baked focaccia, and an hour to cook up a meal for friends. For Judy, just give her spaghetti con vongole and some music in a piazza anywhere in Italy.
In the end it comes down to this: Whatever the other ingredients, the recipe for a happy life always includes the addition of two parts Italy. - post by JB
PS: If you’d like to know more about us, you can read our profiles under the “About Us” tab.