The Grapevine is an excellent monthly magazine produced in Lucca by a group of people consisting of ex-pats from various English-speaking nationalities plus a dedicated number of Italian and local Lucchese friends.
The driving force is the editor Norma Jean Bishop whose energy is complimented by a group of about twenty regular contributors who all bring their individual specialisms to the magazine. These contributions range from practical help and advice such as David Collins who advises on property in Tuscany and writes interesting articles on the Lucca’s architecture and buildings.
Naturally the Grapevine is a mine of information about what is happening in town producing a ‘what’s on and where’ pull-out brochure that tries to capture the multitude of things to see and do every month.
The group help to arrange various events in and around Lucca that include regular relaxed and casual lunchtime drinks at home, a casa, often with a special theme and tradition Tuscan snacks or spuntini. More often invitations are received literally ‘through the grapevine’ to attend one-off events, for example individual art exhibitions such as Jill Casty from America who works in colourful glass, often mounted, portrayed and contrasted with sharp designs of hand-engineered stainless steel and stone. This event was held in the Bollicine d’Autore, an elegantly designed champagne and wine bar that is a recent addition to Lucca’s drinking scene! Another enjoyable event was the painting exhibition of a local artist entitled Roberto Pasquinelli and the Landscape which with the addition of an excellent book published by Grapevine Editions captured Roberto’s love and affinity he has for the beautiful countryside particularly around nearby MonteCarlo.
An important and inclusive aspect of the magazine is that they will enthusiastically accept contributions from readers in many forms such as photographs, articles, poems and comments that enhance life in Lucca.
In the April edition of Graapevine I was able myself to write a small article on an exhibition of my paintings at the Antica Drogheria restaurant in Via Elisa, Lucca. The ability to write one's own experiences and have them published locally is a real privilege and gives a great sense of involvement and belonging in the place we have all chosen to live either temporarily or permantently.
At only two euros a copy the Grapevine is an essential monthly purchase and worth every cent!