Dining • Culinary Shop
EVOO Cooking School

OCT 21, Lucca

Rain! The locals reported this as very unusual this early in the season. Our plans for an early morning start to go the two hour drive to Lucca was in vain. Our tour guide half jokingly stated something about a plan “b” due to the weather report. The bus driver came without checking the weather report so we climbed a board. Before long lighting was flashing and thunder clapping instantly after. We were still in the hills but water was rushing in the ditches beside the road. Then Paola’s phone rang. It was the baker stating the river between Lucca and them was rising rapidly. Paola puts down the phone and says she thinks we will not be able to reach the bakery today. Plan “b” becomes a reality.

She begins to rearrange our activities so we won’t miss anything. Paola starts calling our artisans; what may we move to today? After several dropped calls and waiting to get a connection, Paola announced she was now up to plan “m.” Nobody could make the change to accommodate. Understandable given that all were responding to the same worsening weather. So our driver turns around and heads toward Greve. There we can shop and enjoy the cafes.

We had lunch at the butcher in town, where we tasted wines at will while eating their cheeses and prosciutto. Chianti Classico is the region’s famous varietal. Here and only here the term chianti Classico may be used on the label. The symbol for the location is a black rooster, the legend of which is another story. If a wine maker is a member of the union, they may use the rooster on their labels indicating the terroir. Only so many barrels of chianti from here each season are allowed, as designated by the state, and all extra wine may not be called Classico. With the “extra wine” they blend what are known as Super Tuscans. These are more robust and all are more expensive than a single chianti. We like the very much.

Our wonderful hosts at our villa have agreed to move their cooking class to this afternoon. We will make our own dinner. By now our guide, Paola, has figured out the rest of the week. And by now the rain has stopped. No more lightening and thunder, and even a patch of blue sky.