In December my husband, Timothy and I, felt very secretive and glamorous as we hopped our Delta flight to Pisa, Italy.
It was late at night and we knew on the other side of the Atlantic a villa awaited us that was nestled in the hillside surrounding the Northern Tuscan town of Lucca. We chose this area because we knew it was the "most authentic Tuscany left" and lesser known.
We arrived and were greeted by Mark, our incredible villa owner, who took us to the sweetest stone villa with a full view of Lucca. He owned the villa up the hill also and lived next door to Marcello Mastriantonio's villa.
He took us to the super market and we learned that we could order just about any price range of meat and still be salivating for more. From the bread, cheese, fruit, etc. we were in absolute heaven and almost none of our friends knew we were even there!
On New Year's Day we drove up to Cinque Terre and it was 75 degrees. We set out and hiked for almost five hours into the sunset. We only completed half of the walk and then boarded a train that whipped us back to where our car was and we raced back to Lucca for the countdown. We had no idea what to expect.
We had biked around Lucca's Medieval walls, walked it's thin, colorful, cobblestone streets but how did these folks celebrate. All of a sudden we heard Maddona's "Material World" blasting from the distance and fireworks exploding. We ran, grabbed some beers at the local deli and were just in time for the countdown.
A crazy band of folks dressed in boas and sleek Italian suits in purple and green danced all over the stage singing Bon Jovi, Def Lepoard and all of our fav 80's tunes. The Lucchese people were screaming at the tops of their lungs, pouring champagne down each others throats and hugging and kissing like it was well, a new year. It couldn't have been better. Such joy and life in this tiny square in Lucca. Such warm people, great rabbit and wild boar (sorry vegetarians!) and a way of life that takes every moment and squeezes it for all it's worth.
We arrived home exhausted from trying to live life like a Lucchese. Being happy and in the moment gets tired for us running around Americans. I have to say, it has effected my life for the better for ever!!!!! Thanks, Lucca.