I'm sitting here under a big old tree on the grassy city walls of Lucca, lapping up the glorious afternoon sun and watching people italian-style.
Everyone continuously tells me that the Italians prance around when they walk. I hadn't really seen it until today, but up here overlooking the town, I know what they were talking about.
There's couples holding hands and lingering over a kiss; elegant - always elegant - elderly ladies walking their miniature dogs; fathers chasing two year olds from one side of the wall to the other, yelling Claudia, Ciara, ciao!, their words a melody.
There's a group of old men sitting around a wooden table, playing chess in deep concentration. Everyone is watching on, heads bent over the moving pieces, each one made of marble from Carrara, I assume.
They all have chocolate brown hair and olive skin, are tall and slim, and generally extremely good looking. I see none of the characteristics of the macho Italian-Australians that I am so used to; God gave these people style and grace, and right now, I wish I were Italian too. They stroll, they stop to chat to people they know, they have no hurry and no worry in the world.
We've been to so many "tourist attractions" over the last few overcast and rainy days that I was beginning to doubt whether there were in fact still Italians in Italy. At times, its disheartening as you pay exhorbitant prices for absolutely everything only to be surrounded by tourists from every end of the world.
But alas, this afternoon, the Italiano have showed their faces and are out in force, generally with hordes of stunning children dressed in pastels and with clean haircuts.
Its something that I enjoy seeing far above all the churches and monuments and buildings in the world.
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