If I were a musician, I would compose a song about primavera (spring) in Italy. I'd sing about the colors, the light, the scent of rain, the feel of the sun on my face and about a gentle season that brings both rain and warmth to nurture landscape and people. But I'm not a musician, and I can assure you that singing is not one of my talents, so I'll just try to describe a Lucchese spring with written words and pictures.
In the past couple of weeks I've watched trees sprout new growth and move into full leaf, lavender flower, and the ginestra (which we call Spanish Broom back home) bloom. Wild buttercups have bloomed along Lucca's wall and figs have appeared on trees along the Serchio river.
The most dramatic sign of spring here in Lucca is the appearance of the glicine (wisteria), which seems to go from dormant branch to full flower overnight. It spills over arbors, walls, terraces, and bridges. For me, wisteria will always be synonymous with spring in Italy.
Glicine, Piazza Parigi, Lucca
First to bloom was a beautiful wall of white wisteria just outside the church of San Giovanni - the scent was delicate and sweet, just like spring itself. Next came waves of violet wisteria throughout town, less scented but every bit as pretty.
Now, I've watched the wisteria blooms fade, replaced by the first roses, wild yellow buttercups, and pretty pots of flowers appearing on windowsills and terraces throughout Lucca. Though it's always a bit sad to see the wisteria go, I know that Lucca will continue to blossom throughout the spring and summer. I look forward to seeing the first hydrangeas in the gardens at Palazzo Pfanner, lemon trees in flower, and the jasmine on my patio bloom. It's hard to mourn the fading wisteria with all that promise ahead. -post by JB