Morning in classes during a two weeks at an Italian school in Lucca, Italy, sightseeing in the afternoon in a storm.
Today’s lesson started with a revision of the vocabulary from yesterday and then we read a text about a woman on a train to Sicily. In the text there was a man named Piero and after describing the Sicilian countryside and the other passengers on the train, the text noted that he found out she was a journalist and that he’d always wanted to be a journalist. We were asked to respond (while working in our groups of three) to a few questions. One of the questions was “Who is Piero?”. So we had to guess what his background story was. In the end we came up with Piero wanting to be a journalist because he’s really a Russian spy and he’s tired of needing to travel around a lot. After a group discussion, we were given the real background story which is that he’s a train conductor. I think our story was much better!
We started doing some grammar today which was all about the conditional tense (yay!). The teacher knew I’d done it for several days last week but the students from the previous week and the new students needed to work on it. So we spent most of the class doing that. I’m getting really good at using it and explaining it to other students!
This being my last chance for a ‘Lucca sightseeing day’, it was time to finally see the inside of churches. My first stop was Chiesa di San Michele, which is less than a minute from my apartment. It was lovely inside but not overly exciting.
My next stop was the Duomo di San Martino, which my ‘Donna’ had told me is the one to go to if I only had time for one. The Duomo, besides being the largest ‘church’ in the town by a large margin, also had a campanile (tower) that you can climb. It also has the wooden cruxifix which is the reason behind the parade the week before.
There are a few options for tickets that I only discovered after paying. To enter the Duomo the ticket costs 3 euros, it’s another 3 euros to climb the tower or you can buy a combination ticket for 9 euros which includes the Duomo, its museum, the tower and entry to San Gionvanni (a nearby church) which has another tower with excellent views of the Duomo.
It was raining with a storm approaching, so I thought I’d start in the Duomo and then climb the tower to watch the storm. While none of the towers in Lucca compare to the tower in Bologna (which is over two times higher), they all still have very nice views. The lightning off in the distance only added to the effect.
Since I had the combination ticket, I also took a peek into the museum and over to San Giovanni, which is now used mostly for Puccinni related concerts. Near the back of the church you can view and walk through an excavated area of the remains of a Roman church over which the current church was built. So a church within a church! The view from the tower was also nice and similar to the view from the Campanile but the real surprise (besides it even being there – I had no idea) was it’s awesome view of the Duomo (which is where I took the picture at the top of this post).
In the evening, Bjorn, Tina, Tom and I met up at Enoteca Vanni for a pre-dinner drink. The enoteca is located a piazza from my apartment and in the same piazza as the water fountain where everyone fills up their bottles (which I only discovered the day before was 30 seconds from my apartment!).
After sharing a lovely bottle of wine and being asked if we were a family (ha!), we went to Osteria del Neni for an 8pm reservation and sat inside since the weather was pretty bad. The meal was lovely as we shared a platter of breads, meats and cheese and then all had a secondo. For dessert I had a limoncello, while Tom had a zambucca with two mosche (two flies, which are actually coffee beans), Tina had an afogatto and Bjorn had a cheesecake. At one point I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. I’m going to miss these guys when I leave on Friday!