This blog is a re-post from May 13. If these windows could talk
As we strolled the narrow streets of the walled city of Lucca today, my attention was drawn most often to the windows.
In a city where every inch has been built upon over the past 17 centuries, where streets are barely wide enough for one small car to pass a pedestrian or bicyclist, where there is virtually no private green space, windows are invaluable outlets to the world.
Flowerpots brighten the windows. Bars protect the windows. Laundry hangs from windows.
People of European descent have been creating a story in the United States for a few hundred years. Few of the buildings in the U.S. have survived that long. Many buildings in Lucca – churches in particular – have seen 1,000+ years of human activity.
It is daunting to think what these buildings – and the people who lived in them – have been through. On any given day, people looked out the windows and saw Roman legions build an amphitheater or called welcome to pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land or felt fear as Napoleon stormed into Italy.
Meanwhile, these same people lived everyday lives, going to work, buying meat, milk and produce to put meals on the table, chatting with their neighbors in the piazza. Perhaps they stopped to applaud the workmen who were putting the latest addition on the church that was already several hundred years old.
And they leaned out the windows to greet a neighbor who lived across the street and who was also leaning out to hang out her laundry.