It's a short 35-minute drive to Lucca from the airport in Pisa. Driving in I catch my first glimpse of le mura, the walls surrounding the old city, I take a deep breath, break out in an enormous grin, and know that I've come home to Lucca.
This trip I've brought my friend Martha with me and will enjoy introducing her to "my" Lucca over the next week or so. After that she is off to Florence and I will stay here through April and into the first week of May. I'm looking forward to watching spring unfold, taking several weeks of language classes at Lucca Italian School, celebrating Easter here with friends, spending a few days in Bologna, and greeting Judy when she arrives in a few weeks. I have a great apartment with a perfect little study for writing and a well-equipped kitchen. I will enjoy every minute of shopping for and preparing meals here.
Above all I'm happy just to be here, to walk this beautiful city, to visit my favorite fruttivendolo and salumeria (green grocer and deli), and have a morning cappuccino al bar (in a bar/cafe).
As an added bonus, I found an artisanal chocolate festival on my first day here. Fortunata! Here are a few pictures from the chocolate festival.
Chocolate hearts at the festival welcomed me back to Lucca.
The chocolates came in many interesting shapes. Even these shoes were chocolate.
Balloon creations at the chocolate festival. The local kids loved these!
My time here is off to a great start. I'll post lots more from beautiful Lucca and the surrounding areas over the next few weeks. And I promise all the photos won't be of chocolate!
-post by JB