the view of Lucca from the Torre Guinigi
May 16, 2018 / inspired by my time in Lucca: La Vita Lucchese
Life in Lucca has been pretty magical. This is my first time visiting this small Tuscan town, and the best way that I can describe it, is that it feels like a tinier and much quieter (a.k.a. less touristy) version of Florence. And given that Florence is my favorite city in all of Italy (although Montepulciano is a very close second), I have been absolutely charmed with every little detail of Lucca. Including the Torre Guinigi, which I stumbled across on my walk this afternoon. Although I am not big on heights, I climbed all the way to the top, and found myself rewarded with the most beautiful view of this quaint little Tuscan town.
May 17, 2018
As much as I love adventure, I seem to be equal parts creature of habit. The adventurer in me wants to see and explore as much of Italy (and the world) as possible. And the creature of habit in me wants to experience each new city in the same way – wake up, walk to a café for a cappuccino, go to school, have lunch, and then explore the city. I basically have the same schedule everyday, and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way. This morning’s coffee run brought me to Pinelli. It’s a Lucca classic, and definitely for a reason – their hot out of the oven pastry selection is as heavenly as their coffee is.
May 18, 2018 / inspired by my Italian school in Lucca: Harmony
Today marked the end of my two week stay in Lucca. And for as much as I absolutely loved it, my heart felt ready to move on. I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to study Italian here at the Koine Center, but unfortunately my classes weren’t quite as challenging as I was hoping for, and so this was the perfect time for a change. As I was heading back to my apartment to pack up my things and prepare for my departure, I was happily surprised to find the Mille Miglia pulling through town. Packing can wait, because getting to watch the Mille Miglia in Tuscany is definitely a once in a lifetime experience and the perfect little send-off.
May 19, 2018
I was back on the train bright and early this morning. My heart was racing with excitement, and I could not stop smiling. I was finally going back to Florence. Yes, we are so incredibly blessed to spend so much time in Florence, but somehow it never feels like enough. It is truly the place where my heart and soul feel both at home and on fire all at once. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do first, but I knew that today was going to be a great day.
May 20, 2019
Yesterday I did nothing but wander the city. And today’s plan was exactly the same. I went for an early morning run through the Oltrarno neighborhood and along the Arno River, followed by a cappuccino at Caffè Gilli. After a quick shower, I made it to church just in time, after which I spent the next several hours just walking around the city with no destination in mind. Just as I was getting ready to head home for a little rest, I made a stop for my favorite treat in the whole entire world – a Nougatine Gelato with a (made à la minute) Nougatine Sugar Cone from Venchi. I’m pretty sure that this is “la dolce vita” to a T.
May 21, 2019 / inspired by today: Nourishing My Soul
This morning I woke up and read one of the letters that Ryan had so lovingly prepared for me. I will have been in Italy for three weeks by the time he joins me, and for each day that we are apart, he had written me a letter to open and read in the morning. Aside from being (in my opinion) insanely romantic and thoughtful, he also completely hit the nail on the head with his letter for me today. He wrote, “. . .a new week begins, and with that comes your highly anticipated return to Florence. I am so happy and excited for you, because I know how deeply you love being there, and I know how nourishing for your soul it is to be there.” Nourishing. Yep, he’s exactly right. Florence is most definitely nourishing for my soul.
May 22, 2019 / inspired by this week: New Perspectives
Today’s weather was just too good to not try and spend the entire day outside. So even though my legs were a little bit tired after my hours-long afternoon walk around the city, I still felt like heading up to Piazzale San Michelangelo after dinner to watch the sun set. Yes, it’s typically insanely crowded, but it’s for good reason – it is absolutely breathtaking. And not just the sunset, the walk up to the top is completely worth the effort. Every time I go feels different than the last in the best way, and today was no different.