My girlfriend and I decided to take a day trip to Lucca yesterday. With such wonderful weather we've been having, I couldn't wait for our trip to Lucca. The last time I visited Lucca was almost three years ago and I remembered how much I liked it. I enjoy taking day trips in the spring because there seem to be fewer tourists. The streets in Florence were rather busy yesterday morning when we left, but I don't notice the crowds that much until I'm a part of them.
The bus driver drove through Florence and then onto the autostrada (highway) to get to Lucca. We jumped off the bus at the main bus stop in Lucca and walked down a long street that led toward il centro (the downtown area). My friend and I both noticed a sign for the Fondazione Paolo Cresci. The museo (museum) had a small courtyard in front that was very inviting so we poked our heads inside only to find out that there was a small collection of items from Italians who emigrated from Italy. I was very interested in the museo (museum) because both of my nonni (grandparents) immigrated to the States when they were very young.
I enjoyed looking at the beautiful blown up pictures of families on boats, people lugging suitcases, and storefronts of businesses opened by the Italian immigrants. The museo also had many other items, like letters, postcards, immigration documents, and much more.
On the placards hanging along the walls of the rooms, they explained a little bit about how and why Italians emigrated to other countries around the world. I knew that times were bad in certain parts of Italy, but I didn't realize how many people from the same area picked up and left to go to a foreign country where the people didn't even speak the same language. It must have taken courage and faith to make such an important move with their entire families in tow.
I am fortunate in that I moved to Italy alone the first time and chose to stay here, but I always knew that if things didn't work out, I could go back to the States. I didn't have to move to Italy to make a living or to create a better life for myself. I moved to Italy because I feel more at home here than anywhere else.
We visited my favorite sites in Lucca, like the Duomo, the anfiteatro (amphitheater), Piazza San Michele, and the Palazzo Guinigi where I took the picture of the city streets below the torre (tower). We shopped along the narrow and busy streets and had lunch in a small osteria tucked behind a large piazza.
It was pleasant to just walk around the city that fell asleep at around 1pm and woke up again a little after 3pm. We even sat out on a small covered terrazza (terrace) for a pastry and coffee.
We walked along the mura (wall) of the city to stroll among the trees, look down onto the city and see the mountains a bit better. We passed through a porta (door) under the mura to arrive at the stazione (train station) for our train back to Florence. We purchased our tickets from the machine and boarded the train that was arriving.
We were both exhausted from the trip and enjoyed sitting on the train as it weaved its way through the countryside. I kept thinking about the museo we went to and remembered that the woman said that we could also visit the archivio (archive) on another day. I hope to have the opportunity to take a look at the archivio because I would love to learn more about the Italian immigrants.
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