I should have known better. I am aware that next Tuesday May 1 is a holiday all over Europe and most shops will be closed, but I forgot that today April 25 is Liberation Day and a major holiday celebrating the liberation of Italy by the Allies from Nazi Germany. It honors all who died in the war from troops to civilians, but especially the Italian resistance fighters.
At any rate without remembering this I hopped on a train to Pistoia hoping to do a little shopping in their wonderful food shops in the Piazza della Sala. I missed the train I had originally wanted to take this morning and considered walking back into Lucca, but I figured that since I was already at the station I should just wait the 45 minutes for the next train.
I should have gone with my instinct and gone home. When I arrived in Pistoia it seemed very, very quiet. Usually there’s a massive street mercato on Wednesday and I didn’t see a single booth set up. When I got to the Piazza della Sala every shop was shut tight. I wandered over to the tourist information office to inquire as to what was going on and then found out about Liberation Day. I wondered why I didn’t remember it from last year (I was in Arezzo on this date), and then I realized that last year Liberation Day fell on Pasquetta (the day after Easter) which is also holiday!
After wandering around I got the train back to town only to discover a small mercato with food from other provinces set up just inside the wall to the city. All was not lost.