My best travel experiences have always had something to do with food.
Upon arriving in Lucca, a place I had visited once before and the only thing I remembered was the excellent restaurant I had eaten at, I was greeted by an immense fortress and the best kept fortress walls in all of Europe. My walk down Via S. Paolino welcomed me with not 1, not 2 but about 4 bakeries!!! I passed up the first one and settled on the second named Caniparoli where I bought some Crema di Gianduia al Cacao (hazelnut spread aka homemade nutella) and Caramel puffed corn which I thought would taste wonderful folded into vanilla icecream!!!! Affixed upon my face was a grin so wide that my cheeks started to hurt....Lucca promised to be gastronomically memorable.
My first destination was to make dinner reservations at Buca di S. Antonio, a place which was nominated a favorite by the editors or 5 guidebooks. Please note that reservations are really necessary....they squeezed us in at 930pm.
After we took a walk to S. Michele, the Duomo, the Roman Amphitheater...in other words we were good tourists but my eyes kept stealing glances at my watch hoping that 930pm would somehow come a bit faster.
We arrived at the restaurant at 9pm and told that our table wasn't ready and were offered a glass of prosecco. We sat outside, drank our "aperitivo" and patiently waited. At 925 we were shown to our table and the feast began:
Antipasti: Rabbit terrine with wild lettuce and Ricotta and Spinich tart with pureed chickpeas (somewhat of a staple in Luccese cooking)
Pasta: All pastas are homemade daily!!!
Maccheroni with with wild rabbit sauce and Meat filled ravioli in a bolognese sauce
Entree: Wild bird with roasted grapes (amazing)and Pork (Cinta) with truffles
Dessert: Oven roasted fruits with chesnut icecream...I swear I started to trip it was so amazing.