Scenes from an Italian Neighborhood

Each time I arrive in Italy, I spend the first couple of days wandering the neighborhoods of whatever town I'm visiting. Still feeling the effects of jet lag, wandering helps me to orient myself, scout places for future exploration and soak up the Italian vibe.

 A shop display in Lucca.

A shop display in Lucca.

Even when I've visited a city before, such as Rome or Florence or Lucca, I enjoy my hours wandering. I am reminded that I am in vacanza (on vacation) with no need for hurrying. Inevitably, I find sights I have not seen before or I capture a new angle on an old favorite.

 San Michele Church in Lucca.

San Michele Church in Lucca.

 Neighbors chat outside a produce store.

Neighbors chat outside a produce store.

The social aspect of Italian life is always on display in some form - finding neighbors chatting or spotting old friends walking arm in arm makes me feel part of the warm culture, even if I'm wandering alone from time to time.

 A nun walks toward a sun-splashed area of town.

A nun walks toward a sun-splashed area of town.

 Kids pedal their way through town.

Kids pedal their way through town.

With no goal in mind, no destination I have to reach, I find myself more relaxed than ever and more in tune with la dolce vita (the sweet life) of Italy.

-post by JG