Allora oggi . . . the silver lining in the Firenze Airbnb drama is Massimo and Le Giare Bed and Breakfast in Lucca. Le Giare is a spectacular bed and breakfast with warm Italian hospitality just outside of the ancient walled city of Lucca. When I was left scrabbling for alternative lodging after the last minute cancellation in Firenze and during the small window that I had access to the internet, I began to frantically search for a bed and breakfast in Lucca. Why Lucca you might ask? Luckily for me the day before I was thrown into a cancellation tizzy, I took a train ride to Lucca so that I could meet my online Italian language teacher who lives in Lucca. Since January I have been studying Italian online so that I could preserve my meager Italian language skills. After considering and registering for an online class at Oregon State University, I decided that a native speaker of Italian was what I needed most so L’italiano da lontano at http://www.italianlanguageclass.com was meant for me. Anyway, back to the why Lucca part of the story. It has been about ten years since I was last in Lucca and my recollection of Lucca was a bit fuzzy. So when I visited the day before, I was reminded of what a lovely city Lucca is and struck by the lack of crowding in the ancient streets.
Okay, the silver lining part of the story. Within 15 minutes or so of investigating a last minute booking, I find Le Giare Bed and Breakfast via Booking.com. One of the advantages to Booking.com is the instant confirmation for reservations. After filling out the online form with dates of arrival and departure, I cross my fingers, Bham . . . confirmation! Yippee, at least I know that we have a place to stay for the next six nights. The best part of this story is how fabulous the BnB is and how amazing the hosts are. We arrive after dark. My spouse is a walking zombie after travelling more than 24 hours and Massimo, the host, receives us with the warmth and comfort of an old friend. Massimo goes out of his way and chauffeurs us to a near by restaurant for some authentic Tuscan cuisine. He patiently listens to me butcher Italian and Massimo speaks slowly enough when we talk that I can understand what he says to me in Italian. Massimo and Le Giare are an affirmation to trust the process.