Lucca is very fine, with tree-lined piazzas and little public gardens and all pedestrianized; magnificent great edifices in the grand style along each side of the square with statues and fountains and many huge churches. There are 4km of medieval wall around the old town.
Maria Luisa Borbonia brought fresh clean running water to the town in 1843, and they were very appreciative so they erected a statue of a goddess with a boy in Piazza Napoleone. There are inumerable bicycles and tandems and toddlers in the roads as you wander around.
To cut a long story short, we have a LOT of communication challenges. Dircon say that I have been kidnapped by the forces of evil and am emitting spam at a horrible rate, so they cut off the account and I have had no access to mail or addresses to write to you. BT Openreach disconnected our telephone bell, but they won’t repair it unless Plusnet submit the complaint. Plusnet say to go to their website for FAQs. I fear that the iTIM mobile broadband may have been consumed already. The Samsung Galaxy S2 GT19100 cellphone won’t sync with the ASUS 1025C EeeePC, and I made a foolish bet with Rosemary that I could survive happily as a fruitarian. So now I am living the life of a fruitarian.
The train was late due to an accident on the line (apparently someone smashed his rival over the head with Pela di Pizza – the long paddle they slide into the embers to pull out the crispy “quattro staggione”. There was blood and brains everywhere, so at Santa Maria Novella we missed the connection to Lucca and then we came out of the wrong exit at Lucca stazione.
The taxi refused to pick us up because we have too many suitcases, and he refused to ask base to send an MPV to pick us up, so, in the end, I rang the hotel and the hotel suggested we go back to square one. Luckily there is an angel based in the minicab office who arranged for taxi numero cinque to fetch us.
There were police in the hotel foyer and corridor because “a crime had been committed” and we could not go to the rooms booked. There was crime scene yellow & black striped ribbon across the door to our junior suite and we were interviewed by Inspettore who said “do not leave this area”.
Pisa is closed as you probably heard on the news, because the GPS monument-monitoring company has detected some force 1 seismic tremors with an epicentre very close to Piazza Maggiore. They are the world’s leading technical experts on measuring world heritage inclinations – ITP, Italo-Tekka da Pissa sp.
We attended the opera in Chiesa San Giovanni and found it most touching. Every time anyone walked down the aisle, you can feel the floor tremble beneath your chair. But they assured me that this is normal and nothing to worry about.
The Mezzo-soprano went higher in ecstatic euphoria than anyone I have ever seen in clothes and the Tenore went effortlessly louder and more stentorian than any sergeant major – it was thrilling. The pianist played an intermezzo of the most lilting and delicately nostalgic reminiscence. They all made some mistakes, but what’s a few notes among friends?
Lucca has plenty of teenage youngsters whose jeans only join at the knees and who reveal underpants when do that tribal high-fist-touching routine to salute each other. We are in town for the 25th April Liberation Day parade and celebrations.
As a fruitarian, I find that I have great deal more zip and dash about me than in the earlier phases of life. You should really try it. For meals, we are at separate tables, not all together around the same table like in the film. It is a wee bit cramped navigating a route from your minitable to the sugared croissantsm coffee machine and orange juice. One family got fed up and this was the “crime” which we had heard about. A receptionist was killed with one of those 4-wheel suitcasees when she refused to restock the minibar. The body was found, stuffed inside the minibar, in the maggiore suite next door to ours. She won’t make that mistake again.