Friday, April 5, 2019
This lazy day took us back on the streets of Lucca. By now, we have our baker (Forno a Vapore), our butcher (Macelleria Tuccori), and our friendly grocer (Carefour Express).
We are getting closer to the end of week one, and haven’t left Lucca yet (lol). Actually, I could stay the whole month without leaving Lucca! We even got used to the nearby clock tower that joyfully chimes every 15 minutes, not to mention that I finally have the garbage collection figured out (talk about a complicated schedule!). I even plan to stop at the bookstore to purchase an Italian novel, and that will be an adventure in itself (after reading my first book in Sicilian 2 years ago, I feel brave enough…).
After our traditional gelato, we found an Italian oasis, one that should not be missed: Palazzo Pfanner (www.palazzopfanner.it). It is a magnificent villa built around 1660 by the Moriconi family, members of the merchants’ nobility. But bankruptcy forced them to sell and as with many of such properties, they fall in disarray before another wealthy owner comes to the rescue. This was the case when Felix Pfanner, an Austrian, bought the villa in the 19th century and converted it into a brewery. In 1995, the family undertook massive restorations and open the Palazzo and its garden to visitors. You can rent apartment “Principe Frederico” for 110 to 160 euros a night, accommodating 4 people. Actually not a bad deal. Interested? Come while we are still here!
We did spend over 2 hours in the magnificently manicured garden, and it really felt like an oasis of beauty, peace, and tranquillity! The lemon trees were at their peak, and the bright yellow was a wonderful contrast to the green lawns and perfectly trimmed edges. Magnolias, peonies and some shy azaleas were also showing off their colours. We left at closing hour, still not ready to leave…
Fun fact: In 1996, the villa was chosen to film Portrait of a lady, with Nicole Kidman, and the grand staircase was immortalized in Il Marchese del Grillo, a film by Monicelli, in 1981.
Dinner at home since the butcher sliced some fresh chicken breasts for us… they also make an assortment of fresh pasta and several sauces. Stay tuned for those…