as we are coming up on the end of our fifth week in italy, i realized that we are almost half way through our lucca experience, and suddenly i began to think about all the things i will miss about this charming town.
i will miss our garden with the sweet smell of wisteria and orange blossoms, and now that the cats have been relocated (humanely, i promise), the utter peace and tranquility. i will miss coming out into our piazza first thing in the morning, always being surprised by something new and exciting taking place. i will miss all the wonderful people who, just one month ago were total strangers, and who now stop us on the street just to say hello, or comment on my haircut, or invite us to a concert they are giving. i will miss the 4:30 gelato break and the afternoon naps. i will miss the wonderful restaurant owners who never flinch when we ask to share a salad and a pasta, and usually offer the third glass of wine at lunch (between the two of us) on the house. i will miss the fact that those same restaurant owners would never, ever, present you with a check until asked, and even then, they will wait a good twenty minutes, just to make sure you really want to leave. their aim is never to turn over a table, rather they want to make sure that the people who are seated are having as good a time as possible. i will miss the dry cleaners who never gives us a ticket, “i know, i know oward. come back next tuesday”. and sure enough, next tuesday, there are howard’s pants, folded and wrapped in beautiful paper and ready for us to take home. i will miss alessandra, my manicurist, who without a word of english and my pigeon italian, has managed, week after week, to give me a great manicure and pedicure. i will miss the walk to the train station and hanging our laundry in the back yard, and i will miss the music that seems to seep out of every church, store and municipal building, not to mention the people on the streets, who seem to spontaneously spring up out of nowhere, with a guitar to sing and play. i will miss the people of all ages, riding their bicycles with children and groceries piled on, but most especially, the women of a certain age, beautifully dressed, and navigating the cobble stone streets and the tourists like lance armstrong in jimmy choos.
most of all, i think i will miss who we have become in this kinder and gentler environment. i will miss sleeping late and getting up early, with nothing more pressing to do then get to the baker or the cheese store before the 1:00 closing. i will miss structuring our days around nothing more important than how many more chapters we want to read in our latest book, before going for a walk, or whether we want to walk or bicycle the wall that day.
there are so many more things i am sure i will miss and that is why i am starting my list so soon. i still have seven more weeks to think about all that i will miss, when lucca is no longer my reality, but just an incredible memory.