Tis Returns to Italy! Day 38: Returning to A Old Love

Published by Lisa Tisdale on

Lucca View from Apartment
Lucca View from Apartment

Lisa of Tis Travels is on a three-month journey through Italy, exploring, eating, and living like an Italian. Follow along on “Tis Travels” on Facebook and Instagram!

Tis Returns to Italy! Day 38: Returning to A Old Love

Lisa of Tis Travels is on a three-month journey through Italy, exploring, eating, and living like an Italian. Follow along on “Tis Travels” on Facebook and Instagram!

Today I said goodbye to Genova and made the journey into Tuscany. Before the pandemic, I rented a beautiful apartment in Lucca for a month. It was a gift to myself for a milestone birthday to return to a place I’ve been before and love. When the pandemic hit, I kept moving the dates but kept my reservation, determined to celebrate my birthday.

Finally the day arrived, and I was headed to my little apartment with a view of the red rooftops of Lucca and its oval piazza. The apartment I am staying in is actually built into the walls of an old Roman amphitheater. As there were no elevators in Roman times, I have many flights to climb. What adds a level of difficulty one could never fully expect, is how steep the stairs are. Upon arrival, I found myself flinging my belongings up the stairs in waves. 

Once everything was safely inside the apartment, I took a moment to look around. After 20 years of roaming the world, my favorite way to celebrate is usually to explore somewhere new. There is nothing like arriving in an unknown place, and slowly making it your own. However, I have also learned to appreciate finding the places in the world that belong to you in a way. Places you appreciate. Places that fit you. Lucca is one of those places for me. 

The first time I came to Lucca, it was not the popular tourist destination it is now. I arrived a little after 8 in the evening, after struggling to find a place to park my rental car. When I arrived at my hotel to check in, I was immediately told by the very kind man at the front desk, to leave my bags and immediately go for dinner as everything was closing in about a half-hour. Having no cash and no ATMs of the five on the square willing to give me cash, I returned to my new friend at the hotel’s front desk. He said to go down the street to Trattoria Da Leo and tell them I was staying at the hotel and would come back tomorrow to pay the bill. I almost laughed. That works I thought? Having nothing to lose, I decided to try it. 

Upon arrival at Trattoria Da Leo, I tried to explain my situation to a very confused waiter. He finally understood and told me to please sit anywhere. I enjoyed a lovely meal, including a limoncello on the house afterward. As I was leaving, I offered a credit card or my driver’s license as a promise to return which they declined and wished me a good night. 

The next day, I sorted out my bank challenges and returned to pay my bill. The same man from the night before seemed not to remember. When he recalled, he asked me what I had. I was surprised no one had even bothered to write it down. If I had not come back they might never have thought of it again.

Now, every time I return to Lucca, I make a stop or two at Trattoria Da Leo, try and eat at my same table, and remember the kindness shown to a complete stranger.

Ciao for now! 


Lisa Tisdale

Lisa Tisdale has traveled all over the world, writing about her experiences and making local contacts. She recently completed a three-month trip through Italy, exploring her favorite country’s food, wine, and sites, and making new friends!

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published.