This is a view of Via Degli Angeli, a street in Lucca, Italy in front of the Hotel Alla Corte Degli Angeli, where I was hosted during my stay. I love the color and light here and was charmed by the morning light and warmth of this ancient city. I cannot wait to return for another visit soon so I can walk the streets at dawn.
Twilight in the Tuscan city of Lucca Italy is an enchanting moment in time. I was up at dawn every day of my press-junket this fall in order to capture that beautiful moment of clarity. The light is just beginning to kiss the ancient buildings with warmth, the sky is pink, the cobbles and tiles of the streets are damp with morning dew, and the air smells clean and fresh as if the wind has drifted down from the surrounding mountains. This lovely city of Lucca is somewhere you must visit; it is historically rich, exquisitely beautiful, and passionately timeless. Lucca is a gloriously exquisite city filled with secret gardens and quaint cobbled streets which has captured my heart. Surrounded by a wall that has become a pedestrian promenade where visitors and residents bike, stroll, and exercise, Lucca offers beauty as well as historical importance to the traveler.
Appetizers in Lucca at the restaurant at Hotel Alla Corte degli Angeli were magnificent. Above you see lovely slices of cured bacon and fresh olives were delicious fuel for the evening from Chef Leonardo Calò. He spent time with me to help choose grain-free diet-conscious bites.
One of the challenges I often have with my wellness lifestyle and traveling is trying to find foods that will fit my very specialized anti-inflammatory diet, particularly when overseas. The requirements: no dairy, no grain, and no sugar. When I travel I sometimes “cheat” and have “gluten-free” if it’s available, but generally speaking, I try to stay faithful to the no grain as it reduces my chronic pain immensely. When I was in Lucca Provence I found it easy – all I had to do was ask, and as you can see by the delicious photos, the local restaurants jumped to help me find a solution on their menu. Regional foods in Italy are often picked fresh and come in straight from the field to be prepared. This helps food taste better, of course, and helped enable me to have a delicious experience even with my special diet.
Above is a Tuscan Ribollita soup made of beans, vegetables, and gluten-free bread instead of traditional wheat. This deliciousness came at lunch while we visited Fattoria Borgo La Torre in Montecarlo village in the Tuscan hills of Lucca Provence. Ribollita literally means “reboiled” and is a soup built from leftovers; using the vegetable soup from yesterday to make a fresh soup today. Below you see another dish from Fattoria Borgo La Torre; Pork in Squash Sauce with Walnuts. This tasted delicious and the sauce was wonderfully mild. Note to oneself — use squash instead of cream sauce and you won’t miss the cream at all.
Traveling with food allergies or chronic pain can be made a lot easier by bringing a written list of local language-specific foods that you cannot consume. Speaking in the same language as the locals make it clear what your special requirements are when you order. For example, the following words were on my travel list as inflammatory foods I needed to avoid while in Italy; milk (latte) or dairy (latteria), wheat (Grano) and gluten (glutine), peanuts (arachide), and soy (soia). Almond milk was not readily found in Italian restaurants, so I generally did without a dairy substitute since I cannot consume soy.
Ristorante Ciccarelli Esplanade in the Lucca Provence of Viareggio on the Versilia Coast served a magnificent seafood salad. A lovely beach town filled with tourists, cafes, and restaurants, Viareggio is gorgeous and sunny. This restaurant truly had one of the best meals of my Italian experience as the seafood salad is filled with freshness from the sea and delicious flavors. Shellfish can be inflammatory to some people, but I do not have a reaction, so consumed it with delight.
My trip to Italy was AMAZING and filled with delicious food THAT I COULD EAT WITH ABANDON because I took the time to ask the restaurants for something that would work for me. Ask when you travel and you shall receive. If you’re traveling for the holidays and beyond, be sure to plan in advance for what you need for your diet and traveling conditions. It’s easy to shoot an email out if you have a question if you give yourself enough planning time. Meanwhile, I’ve created a handy-dandy travel list for you (above) which features three tips to help you with chronic pain and arthritis when you travel.
Special thanks to LuccaPromos and the Italian National Tourist Board for their generous trip to The Lands of Giacomo Puccini; Lucca and Lucca Provence in Tuscany. Above you see the view from my rooms at the Hotel Alla Corte Degli Angeli in Lucca Italy – wow! My astounding visit to Lucca city center, Garfagnana Valley, and the Versilia Coast will be covered in more upcoming posts and publications. #LandofPuccini #ad #Lucca #LuccaPromos