The first few days after arriving in Lucca are all about settling in.
This involves getting used to a new apartment, often in a slightly different neighborhood than on previous visits, revisiting favorite places, reconnecting with friends, taking a slow stroll through town, and discovering the inevitable changes that have taken place since my last visit.
I enjoy the settling in process - making the transition from the me that lives in New Mexico to the me that lives (temporarily) in Italy. Being here for a long stay means that I have the luxury of slowly overcoming my jet lag, of taking time to reacquaint my ear (and my tongue) with the sound of the Italian language, and of adopting my Italian identity - here, they call me Giovanna.
I arrived here a few days ago and am now fairly well settled. I've unpacked and organized. I've stocked my apartment with groceries and caught up with some old friends. This morning I walked the short distance from my apartment to the ramp leading up to le mura (the wall which surrounds the historic city) and made the easy 20 minute walk to the school where I will study Italian for the next 6 weeks. Although I am definitely not a superstar when it comes to learning a new language, there is something very special about studying Italian in the place where it was born - here in Tuscany - and then getting to use it as you go about daily life.
As I wandered around today I was reminded of how beautiful this town is with its classic Italian architecture, its towers and piazze, and its wide wall full of bicyclists, walkers, runners, and endless vistas. For now, this is home, and I'm delighted to be a part of it all.
I'll be experiencing (and writing about) many things while I'm here in Italy, beginning with the festival of Santa Croce which I'll write about next week. For now, here is a sampling of some of the views I found as I walked along le mura this morning. Post by JMB
Piazza Santa Maria, a good place to rent a bike or a 4 wheeled surrey.