My apartment is called the Luigi Boccherini apartment. I didn’t know Boccherini Luigi was an Italian composer and cellist who was born in Lucca when I made my booking online. I’m embarrassed to admit that I thought it was the name of the person who owned the apartment 😦 Turns out he wrote a very famous minuet which is popular at weddings. I’m sure you’ll know it.
Lucca is also the birthplace of Alfredo Catalani Giacomo Pucchini. Puccini was the black sheep of Lucca. His crime was to be from the middle-lower class and to have had an affair with a woman who was married to one of the most prominent merchants in Lucca at the time. The “mentally restricted and bourgeois” people of Lucca couldn’t handle that so Puccini left Lucca and made his home in a town nearby. Although he visited often, he never spent a night in Lucca during the rest of his life.
It has taken some time, but the City of Lucca has come to forgive its most celebrated son. Performances of his work are held every night of the year with a different programme each night. I am by no means a fan of opera but I had a very happy hour last night listening two beautiful singers performing a selection of Puccini’s music in the church where he was baptised.
Puccini looking relaxed, and just slightly smug, at being back in Lucca.
As I walked back to my apartment after the concert Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” was drifting out of a pizzeria and across one of the deserted piazzas. It felt quite appropriate. Here I am in Lucca searching for something…maybe my own heart of gold.