Six Lovely Ladies in Lucca, are enjoying their first meal together. Oops! The owner of Da Leo jumped in the photo. See if you can spot him. He was not part of the Retreat, but added to the fun.
Still traveling in Lucca after the beautiful women have returned to their homes and jobs, I am attempting to write a little about each day we spent in Lucca and the Italian Riviera.
The food in Italy is an essential part of the travel experience, so food will always be included in my writings. Below is a zucchini rotolini made of grilled zucchini slices, wrapped around ricotta, and stuffed with basil leaves. I actually don’t know the recipe used by Osteria San Georgio’s in Lucca, but it was fresh, simple and included local olive oil, which to me is a recipe for perfection.
What’s the point of living la dolce vita was something we wrote about during the workshop part of the Italy Retreat, because that is the point of my retreats–how can we live la dolce vita, the sweet life, wherever we are? For life, for poetic freedom, like Marzio, our driver, said la bella lingua, the beautiful language of Italy is poetic, and with arms wide open, he sang, Anna bella, giving Nancy a new name, and pronouncing Pam as Pam Ella, and Eleanora.
To share food with friends, cook with them, not me alone in the kitchen, laughing, sharing delicious meals we prepared together–that’s part of the sweet life. Following my heart–a quiet walk in the woods where green meets the blueness of the sky, digging in the earth, planting a tulip bulb or chard for a late Fall crop. A cup of hot tea, a sweet book, open arms, a chat with a friend.
Travel to sweet Italia where pesto meets the crucifix and a nonna helps Judy open the door, where our driver tells us his favorite ragu recipe as he drives, and Pam teaches me how to adjust the lighting on my iPad, and then shares her sense of design to help us shop.
And Marie and I laugh far into the night over our spa experience at Grotta Giusti. If you want to know more, you’ll have to call me. Then there’s Melinda flying across the globe to join us bringing Aussie humor, and some blister covers for my toe.
All with open hearts and a willingness to live more of la dolce vita. That’s it–love like the Tuscan sunflowers (girasole) that move to face the sun–growing her seeds for us to eat and share with the birds. The sweet life. And Nancy talking with the Italian nonna in the front of the van returning from our spa day. No idea what she’s saying, but yes some understanding with hugs, laughter and deep connection, because communication goes way beyond the meanings of words.
How will you live la dolce vita…the sweet life?
Learn more about traveling to Italy on Lenora’s Italy Retreats For Women
Find out more about Lenora’s Sweet Life Workshops and Sweet Life Happiness Coaching.
You are welcome to reprint, copy, or distribute Lenora Boyle’s article, provided author credit is included.
What a beautiful page you have created Lenora. It’s a treat in itself. Still have it on my bucket list to join you one year. <3 Love Maryanna
I’m so happy that you’re enjoying my blog. I look forward to you fulfilling your bucket list and joining me in Italy. Vivere la dolce vita.
Hi Lovely so cute an vibrat your Blog! really happy to meet you! 🙂
See You Tomorro my “Student” foer a while! 🙂
Marina, Thanks for dropping by my blog and for teaching me Italian in Lucca. Your wisdom and enthusiasm was inspiring. The days zoomed by and I’ll be back for more.
I’ve been thinking of you so often since this yrs retreat began! Soooooo wish I could have been back there again this yr. I’ve been in contact with my Assisi friends that I made last yr and their excitement has been contagious about Pope Francis being there for the Feast of St. Francis this past week!! So wish I could have been there too!
Sounds like I should just go back, eh??
Cannot wait to hear ALL about your trip this yr!!….Plz call when you get home!
Janey, I wish you were on the retreat again this year also. Wonderful adventures, delicious food, delightful shopping, and well… you know how Italy was for you last year. Every year is a little different concerning the towns we visit and events I add each year.
Ahhh, your post makes me so happy, Lenora! The feeling of ease and finding maximum sensory and heart pleasures in every single little minute takes me right back to last year’s retreat. La dolce vita just happens in Italia! what a miracle. Have to remember to make it happen more here. Love your reminder that it’s in the little things; don’t have to cook something or make a big deal of it. OMG, Janey, thanks for the news of Pope Francis in Assisi!!! I have to check that out. it must have been SO amazing!
So glad you joined us last year. We sure had fun and hope you can join us again sometime. Please remember to live la dolce vita each day.