I have had the opportunity to travel abroad to a few pretty spectacular places. There are wonders that will hold a place in my life, but I have to admit that Italy captured my heart. The ironic thing is that it wasn’t the typical city that caught my attention and drew me in, it wasn’t Venice at all. As a matter of fact, Venice was one of my least favorite places. It was almost as if the one thing that most women fell in love with Italy for was nothing that I found particularly impressive. I suppose that is due to my interest in getting away from the tourist spots that everyone gets to see and taking a closer look at places that most don’t bother to find.
I fell in love with Italy because of Lucca. Lucca is a small town out of the way which is forever seared in my memory. The time that I spent in this town captured the essence of exactly what I had been in search of. Here I quietly walked the old city wall and discovered qualities that would have likely been overshadowed had I never spent a little time away from the flash of the hot spots that they so like to show off. It wasn’t easy to find and when reaching the destination, I discovered that the language that I spoke was not as well learned in this area which caused some communication problems at first, however I was unwilling to give up.
Approaching the wall of the city was a bit intimidating for what was held inside was homes, family, friends, beliefs, the treasures that were beyond any earthly price. The wall was carefully constructed to keep invaders out. To protect all that was held with the utmost love and respect. The image of guards protecting every corner immediately filled my mind.
As I entered in the gate and slowly climbed the steps I entered a world that would take an eternity to explore. I started by walking around the top of the wall. It was on the wall that I became fascinated with all that it contained. On one side there were warning cannon balls that would knock me off if I threatened the safety of this world, while just up the walk a piece there was a swing set inviting me to get comfortable and let myself sink into the surrounding. It took me hours to just stroll around the wall and before I realized how long I had been allowed to stay, it was made known that it was time to head back to more tourist ridden areas.
I reluctantly left having not even been able to explore more. I longed to stay, to be able to feel the warmth and safety wrapped around me. The cobblestone streets leading to learning, laughing, tears, activities, romance, and more pulled at every desire in me to never leave. Descending out of such a place in heartbreaking and leaves one wanting.