For the past ten years April is the month when I pack my bags and head to Italy for my Panini Girl week in Lucca. This year due to a wedding in California in early May I planned my tour for mid September. Little did I know that our world would be shaken up and now I’m wondering if I’ll even be traveling to Italy in the fall.
I stumbled upon Lucca on my very first trip to Italy nineteen years ago. J. and I were driving from the Sienna area to Milan (clueless as to how far this trip really was) and saw a sign for Lucca’s centro storico. It was lunch time, we were hungry and we got off the road, parked, found a restaurant and walked on the wall. What a charming place!
My heart goes out to the Italian people. It’s hard to imagine them not out and about socializing, standing at the bar for their morning coffee, sitting in a piazza chatting with friends, sharing meals with family members. Of course we aren’t doing these things either, but I’ve always felt that these rituals are much more part of the lives of the Italian people than we Americans.
I’m holding out hope that I will be back in Lucca this September, that I’ll be sitting around the dining table with my group, touring wineries, eating gelato, baking bread, making pasta, visiting Florence and being enchanted by all that makes Italy so spectacular.