It is 9pm local time and the streets look quiet but, at the Institute Boccherini at Piazza del Suffragio, the Guitar Concert Series is just ready to begin. Luigi Boccherini, the above statue, would be proud. He was born in Lucca in the 1740's and the Institute is named for him.
The immediately adjacent Institute venue, a former church, seats about 200 of which about half the chairs were filled. Admission was free. At a glance most of the audience was musician types in their 20's and 30's' They sat like eager youngsters waiting in anticipation for Christmas morning - as proteges, aspirants, or peers of the performers, they were thrilled in anticipation of the display of masterful talent about to unfold.
The program was in Italian only, the speakers were in Italian, and the audience was speaking Italian - talk about feeling isolated. But the language of music bridges all cultures.
It's time to head inside and take a seat.
The addition of a stage and acoustic paneling in the former altar area made the hall suitable for musical performances.
I am not an aficionado of the classical guitar. I do attempt to play pop guitar myself for the challenge, joy, and entertainment but, these world-class performers are in a group by themselves. I could never create the beautiful complex sounds they do if I live another 100 years. It was transcendent in it's beauty. You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium so rapt was the attention of the music lovers and students watching and listening.
The first evening performance featured Lorenzo Micheli.
The second evening was Aniello Desiderio.
The third and final evening in the series included soloists, duets, and a guitar and piano duo.
Walking home late in the still night - only the memories and joy of the music remained.