Friday morning, May 15th, Jim was in the altana and he called for me to come upstairs quickly. I panicked and rushed upstairs, ready for any kind of emergency, and he pointed to this beautiful double rainbow. The lower one ended on the Lucca wall. How beautiful is that!
The beauty of Lucca… Spring Flowers!
We’ve been allowed to walk on the walls of Lucca since May 4th, so we’ve had a chance to enjoy the spring flowers across town. Before May 4th, my goal was to get in at least 3000 steps per day; now, most days go well over 10000 steps.
I’ve been enjoying taking pictures, so this blog post will be a lot of pictures with a description for each.
In past years, there have been several flower festivals/events. I’m disappointed that they weren’t held this year, but am looking forward to them in the future. And are enjoying all of the signs of Spring throughout Lucca.
Everyday life in Lucca… shopping for food
Everyday life in Lucca is different than in the United States. Some things are much better (plentiful fresh food available daily), some are worse (the bureaucracy!) and some are just different. Part of the reason that we moved to Italy was to experience these differences… In this and upcoming blog posts, I’ll talk about some of these differences. Last month I talked about the trash and recycling; this month, it’s shopping for food.
In Virginia, Jim and I had adopted some Italian food shopping habits. We went almost day to get food and purchased mostly fresh and unprocessed food (fruits, vegetables, meat, cheeses, etc.). We typically went to Harris Teeter with an occasional trip to one of the other nice supermarkets – Wegman’s, Giant, or Balducci’s when we wanted something special. We especially appreciated that many of the stores were open 24 hours and usually at least one open on holidays. It’s different in Lucca.
Some larger cities in Italy have everyday markets, such as the Central Market of Florence or the smaller and more authentic Sant’Ambrogio. Lucca has several weekly markets, but most of them haven’t been active during the coronavirus restrictions and aren’t very convenient to where we live. So we have found a set of small markets that we frequent regularly. On a given day, we may go to a few of these shops. Not very efficient, but the food we buy is local, fresh and delicious!
The coronavirus infection rates have been under control and reducing for
several weeks. On May 4th some of the restrictions were lifted and more changes are expected on May 18th. At times it can be confusing to understand the rules and how they all interact. There are decrees set at the country level (i.e., for all of Italy), rules at the regional level (i.e., for all of Tuscany) and further clarifications and interpretations at the commune level (i.e., for
Lucca). Oh, and they keep changing… I belong to several Facebook groups for English speakers in Lucca and we all try to hash out what this all means for us. So here’s my summary of past and upcoming changes:
· Never closed: food stores, pharmacy stores, gas stations, and other stores that sell true essentials (like wine stores!)
· May 4th: parks opened, restaurants could begin carry out and delivery (including gelato and coffee!)
· May 18th: most other stores that sell merchandise can open
· June 1st: restaurants for dine in, hairdressers, barber shops, etc.
Breaking news! the June 1st openings have now been moved to May 18th. Not sure what I’m looking forward to most – dinner out or a haircut! And we can finally start decorating our apartment.
Jim and I remain healthy and are vigilant every time we go out.