The Opera season has just begun….. There are chestnuts, porcini mushrooms and truffles in abundance, the long hot summer is over and life in Lucca begins to fall back in to its lazy lifestyle……Just as we are about to leave!
The famous walls are in their full autumnal glory, the rich colour of the leaves bringing a warmness to the city and complementing the red of the millions of tiny bricks. A gust of wind blows a fresh selection of leaves down from the trees, falling like little golden snowflakes in the late afternoon sun before landing at our feet. We have stayed here long enough, its time to move on. We make our way up from the bench and begin along Lucca’s grand defence.
The carpet of dry leaves crunch beneath our feet as we walk along the wide promenade. The leaves which remain on the trees are intensive in their colour, some flame red, others a soft yellow ochre while a few trees have lost their foliage completely. There is an older lady collecting chesnuts, We watch as she slowly scans the ground and carefully selects the best of the millions of chestnuts on offer, hidden under dry dead leaves. We stop and give her a hand for a few minutes, Her carrier bag is well over half full when we say our goodbyes, she thanks us profusely and as we carry on with our final walk of the walls I contemplate her plans for the chesnuts. Will she make a sweet dessert, a roasted snack or maybe she’s supplying one of the Chestnuts vendors which appear around the city this time of year!
Lucca, I love you at this time of year and I will miss you!