After 13 years of going to Buralli for breakfast, the wonderful pasticceria served up it’s last cappuccino e dolce. Sono triste (I am sad). In many ways this permanent change is reflective of what is going on in Lucca. After more than 60 years in the same location, Buralli is transferring to a new spot, on Via San Girolami, near one of the main entrances to Lucca, Porta San Pietro. They are hoping for more foot traffic. In moving to a new locale, they will be joining the array of new pasticcerie in town, a phenomena that has occurred as a result of the increase in tourism to the walled city.
The little piazza, Piazza dei Carmine, is as both Romina and Michele, who manage Buralli, have said, una zona morta (a dying zone). That seems odd given the massive increase in tourists and pasticcerie, not to mention gelatorie e i ristoranti. But, having had a home here for the past thirteen years I do understand it. The piazza is simply hidden away from the areas where tourists congreate. To me, that has been it’s charm.
During these many years we have become friendly with the owners, Sergio and Monica. We’ve watched their two kids grow from children to beautiful, young adults. We’ve spent hours talking with Keti, who used to manage the local pasticerria, but who now works at Buralli’s main pasticceria, outside Lucca’s historic walls. We’ve befriended Gioia, Chiara and others who have worked at the wonderful eatery. And, we’ve spent these many mornings with our “breakfast family:” Alberta, who runs the fruit and veggies stand; Roberto and Marcellos, our butchers; Paolo, one of our longest time friends and great chef; neighbors Ighli, Maddelena, Antoine, Francesca, and others, not to mention the dozens of people who drop in from time to time or are there on a regular basis, but who’s names we either didn’t learn or can’t recall – I will miss them all. That of course includes Romina and Michele, who make us smile and laugh on a daily basis.
Keti and Romina
The closing of Buralli, reminds me of the sad day when Pasticceria Pasquinelli closed 13 or so years ago. Pasquinelli had been our morning home for many years and we had become friends with the owners and staff, as well as many of the regulars. I shed more than a few tears the day Pasquinelli shuttered and leaving Buralli this morning, our last morning, brought more tears to my eyes. It took some strength to keep me from blubbering.
Of course, we have our beloved Taddeucci and Pasticceria Pinole, where we go mid-morning and mid-afternoon for meranda. I think if either or both of these closed I’d have a rather hefty meltdown, but that appears very unlikely as Taddeucci had been in business at the same locale for 130 years and I don’t think Pinelli is far behind.
But, as my friend Georgia Osborne once wrote, “Old friends are best” and Buralli is an old friend. In their new venture I say to the Buralli folk, in bocca al lupo, which literally means in the mouth of the wolf, but in reality is used to say good luck, best wishes. I will miss you sitting outside our backdoor.