It almost seems impossible that this is the week Giuseppe and I were to be married on the rooftop terrace at my home in San Miguel de Allende! Things moved with such breathtaking speed here, that there was barely time to determine if we should cancel our own flights or face having them cancelled by the airlines. It was obvious in the week leading up to our March 12th departure, that traveling was risky. The thought of getting stuck far from Lucca, or worse yet quarantined in unfamiliar cities while also traveling with our dog Luigi, made the decision to sit tight an inevitable one.
And so, we have witnessed the incremental tightening of restrictions, and the sadness of the lives lost. We hold our breaths each night at 6pm, when the numbers are officially announced, waiting for a reverse in the upward trend of casualties.
Truly, it happened almost overnight.
In the beginning, the thought of an undetermined amount of time under lockdown felt somewhere between annoying and terrifying. It would have been difficult to write a balanced blog post in that first week. Now, almost two weeks in, a routine has emerged.
We have learned to do without the things we so dearly love - chief amongst them the ability to ride or walk on the wall, much less anywhere else in the walled city. Road trips, gathering with friends, and of course cooking classes are all something for the future, not now.
The city is indeed empty. We forego the big box grocery stores just outside the wall, opting instead to support the little shops Giuseppe showed you on your class tour. We, of course personally feel the sting of cancellations, and worry greatly for the myriad of small restaurants and services in Lucca dependent on tourism , many of whom may not survive this passage.
But at the heart of it all is the understanding that we do this for the greater good.
Italy has a cherished and enviable geriatric population. Fortunately, the family bonds in this country are still strong, and its citizens recognise their "nonni's" fragility, and the sacrifice we must make to safeguard their collective well being. In this modern world, there is comfort in knowing these essential, organic and decidedly non 21st century norms can be relied on. We adapt.
Now, with the anticipation of at least another month under house arrest ahead of us, we are shifting gears from painting base boards and sorting cabinets alphabetically, to being more productive, and creative! And, that endeavour would seem to coincide with the rest of the worlds foray into their own self-quarantine period.
So, in the coming weeks, we will be featuring some online video instruction classes for some fun dishes, and personal favourites. It seems that food is the one thing we are all taking comfort in, and it feels right to be part of your journey by giving you something to try at home, with the results being a warm and wonderful meal, and personal connection to your own time with us in our kitchen in past classes.
Lastly, I just want to reaffirm, Italians are strong and resilient. We will all make the necessary sacrifices, and look forward to a brighter day for all of us, our families and yours. We look forward to seeing you in our virtual kitchen in a few days for a sweet treat!
Andrà Tutto Bene. xx