The first four days of my Italy Retreat For Women were spent in Cinque Terre and the last six were enjoyed here in Lucca, Italy. I will continue to write posts about the fun we had and the food we ate! It is hard to believe that they have returned to their homes and I am now settling in for two weeks divided between Lucca and Rome, to study Italian and plan for the next Italy Retreat For Women to live the Sweet Life, la dolce vita.
What sweeter way than to have pizza and salad for lunch, rent a red bicycle, ride on the city wall and through the city center to burn off some calories, then indulge in one of the favorite sweets of Lucca–buccellato with a cup of espresso. The center of this dessert is soft and sweet, filled with sultana raisins and aniseed. In Lucca, buccellato traditionally can be soaked in cappuccino or even in wine. I have seen many variations of it but the traditional classic Lucca buccellato recipe has just flour, sugar, aniseed and raisin.
Today, at a local spot, it was served with a pudding in the center with strawberry sauce on top. Deliciously anise!
For lunch, I ordered a Four Seasons Pizza, quattro stagione with olives, cheese, prosciutto, and mushrooms. (I didn’t get the prosciutto). This is a small pizza! I ate half and asked for the rest, portare via, (to go). I was surprised to find out that the olives still had pits in them. Delicious.
Then after an evening at the antiques fair set up in the Duomo Piazza, sampling free hot bread and polenta in Piazza Napoleane, listening to music and watching the stilt man make balloons, I settle into my apartment.
From here I can see one of the 40+ churches that exist inside the Lucca walls–The Church of San Francesco. I took this picture late last night when all was quiet and empty. That was not the case tonight, Saturday. Music and happy voices, including a group of boys taking turns running and jumping over the back of a bench, echo throughout the piazza–Grandmas and young families, tourists, and someone with a guitar celebrate the warm summer weather.
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