Lucca is an unforgettable Tuscan town. As if time has stood still, in many ways. The ancient brick walls enclose the old city, keeping their promise to protect it. Now rather than being closed off with enormous wood and iron doors, the wall is punctuated with open arches through which people flow freely to enjoy the unique beauty both inside and outside the wall. Whether going for lunch, an afternoon stroll, window shopping, or antiquing, Lucca offers a soulful brush with history and a guaranteed good time for all.
Outside the wall an incredible sweeping lawn is flanked by shadowy trees that march two by two completely around the perimeter of the city. High atop the wall you can find people walking, running, riding bicycles on the tree-lined promenade that encircles the town. Others are just relaxing in the grass or on a park bench. Seen from particular points along the promenade is Piazza Napoleone, where delightful summer concerts are held. Music in the piazza is what lured us to Lucca on a sunny day in the middle of July.
Arriving early enough to check out the set up, we found another couple doing the same thing, so we struck up a conversation. They were on vacation from the Netherlands with a couple of days scheduled in Lucca. They told us they had planned their entire vacation around that evening’s concert—a performance by the legendary Crosby, Stills and Nash. Very excited and animated, the man told us that he and his wife had waited 40 years to see CSN in concert. We imagined them as a young couple, in their early 20’s when the new band first came onto the music scene with their history-making harmonies. When we asked why they waited so long the answer surprised us. He said that he supposed the Netherlands is just too small to attract such big names. They were thrilled at the opportunity to see and hear CSN after such a long wait. Then as they waved goodbye to us he said, “They’d better be good!” We shared a laugh at his whimsical comment and went our separate ways.
We continued walking around the city, talking about how interesting it is that the Dutch couple was able to hold onto such a “dream” for so long and that after 40 years their enthusiasm was as strong as ever. People are so interesting to observe in the context of their dreams.
As we rounded the corner from the box office we noted that some vendors had set up T-shirt sales stands. We stepped closer to read one shirt in particular that listed the entire 2010 concert tour. We both started laughing out loud at exactly the same time. At the top of the list we read “Crosby, Stills & Nash Concert~Bospop Festival, Weert, Netherlands.” The trio had performed only a week earlier in the couple’s home country.
They had been so busy planning, they didn’t even notice the band’s scheduled performance in their own back yard. Even though they thought their country seemed too small, they continued to dream big and eventually made their dream come true.