Don’t go there!

Road works are being carried out between Ponte a Serraglio and La Villa. Old water pipes are being replaced…a necessary thing.

We have a multitude of signs in the piazza at Ponte a Serraglio to let us know where we can go. The road has been reduced to one way, going towards La Villa.

Road signs Ponte a SerraglioAt some times the road is blocked completely.road signs Ponte a Serraglio

The other night, a car coming from La Villa ignored the sign and drove through. By the time he got to Ponte there was a line of cars in his way. There was nothing for him to do but reverse all the way to La Villa.

You have to laugh.

You also have to feel for the road workers who have to cope with the coming and going of cars, people and dogs.

road works Ponte a Serraglio

road works Ppnte a Serraglio

road works Ponte a Serraglio

road works Ponte a Serraglio

All of a sudden it seemed to be over and all the men and equipment left.

Ponte a Serraglio

…I am expecting a return.

Colomba di Pasqua

Annalisa and the team from Il Monaco have been busy baking Colomba di Pasqua…and they are beautifully wrapped for you. Colombia di Pasqua Colomba di Pasqua is a traditional Easter cake similar to panettone and pandoro. It contains candied peel instead of raisins and is baked in the shape of a dove, to represent the Holy Spirit.

My friend Maria has told me of an old legend about this dessert. They say that when the King of Longobards, Alboino, conquered the city of Pavia, he requested that all the gold and treasures of the city should be given to him together with 12 virgins.

The poor girls were sent to the castle to await their fate and they were crying in despair. All, except for one, who asked to be given some honey, flour and dried fruits as she wanted to bake a cake. With these ingredients, she prepared a dough and gave it the shape of a dove and asked the guardians to have it baked.

When she was called to see Alboino, she carried the cake on a tray. The king was surprised and thought that the girl wanted to poison him, so he asked her to taste the cake first. The girl ate a piece and Alboino, seeing that she looked so confident, did the same. He found the cake delicious…possibly he had not been eating cake during his campaign. So, as a reward, he ordered his guards to free the clever girl. Nobody knows what happened to the other girls.

The seige of the City of Pavia ended on the eve of Easter Sunday, hence the link between the cake and Easter celebrations.

The girls at Il Monaco have also been busy making the first gelato of the season…spring must be on the way. gelato at Il Monaco …what to eat first!!!

This Sunday, 29th March, at 4.00pm at the Teatro Accademico at La Villa, will be a performance of a Folkloric group from Varenna. The tickets are only €5. Call 3396 167580 for more information.

A night of music

Last night at the lovely Teatro Accademico there was a delightful evening of music. Songs by Puccini, Verdi, Mascagni, Bizet, Rossini and others were performed by some very talented people.

The event was well attended.

Teatro Accademico

Teatro Accademico

Teatro Accademico

The singers were…

Valentina Boi, a soprano with an exquisite voice.

Teatro Accademico

Laura Brioli, mezzosoprano.

Teatro Accademico

Angelo Fiore, tenor.

Teatro Accademico

Franco Rossi, baritone, shown here delivering a rousing rendition of The Barber of Seville.

Teatro Accademico

They were accompanied by Laura Pasqualetti on the piano.

It was a very enjoyable evening. If you missed it there will be another on 12th April. I will remind you at a later date.

Teatro Accademico

Brought back to life

A famous residence in  La Villa has been lovingly brought back to life. The house is famous because it was the summer home for English poets Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in 1853 and 1857.

Barrett a Browning houseIt has been in a sad state of repair for several years, but fortunately someone has bought it and has set about restoring it. The scaffolding was recently removed from the front of the house to reveal a very beautiful facade.

Barrett Browning house

Barrett Browning house

Barrett Browning house

Barrett Browning house

Barrett Browning  houseBarrett Browning houseBarrett Browning houseBarrett Browning houseBarrett Browning house

The work is being overseen by local architect Franceso Rondina and the Art Nouveau decorating has been done by local artist Belinda Pieroni.

Work continues on the rest of the house. Some of the cement has been removed near one of the side windows revealing a different style of design underneath. I look forward to seeing what happens there.

Barrett Browning house

Peering through the gate we could see a lovely old garden wall. I’m sure that will live again too.

Barrett Browning house

Congratulations to all concerned. The house will be much admired by everyone who sees it and will be a happy addition to Bagni di Lucca.

Here are a couple of old photos of the house.

Art Nouveau house La Villa

Art Nouveau house La Villa

They show just what a great job has been done to bring the house back to the way it was.

Ghostly Granaiola

Spring will soon be here and that will be great…but I do like the winter landscapes, especially the lovely mists that swirl in and around the mountains.

I don’t have to go far to see the misty views. From my balcony, or from the bridge below, Granaiola puts on a fine show on winter mornings.

winter mists

winter mists

winter mists

winter mists

winter mists

winter mists

It is raining now, which is good for my flowers. So far we haven’t had the predicted heavy falls…and we don’t want them.

My wet daffodils

Women at the casino

The Celebration of Women event at the casino in Ponte a Serraglio has been well attended. The opening night was a lot of fun. There were speeches by the organisers and the mayor.

Women at the casino

Women at the casino

Barbara from Granaiola sang for us beautifully.

Barbara singing at the casino

There are lots of paintings and photographs to see, but my favourite part of the exhibition is the one put together by Gemma Fazzi and her team. This year it focuses on the bedroom and they have done a great job collecting things from times gone by to show us how people would have decorated their bedrooms.

Women at the casino

Women at the casino

Women at the casino

There are still 3 nights to go for the exhibition….don’t miss it.

Omaggio alla Donna

For more on the celebrations please go to Francis’ blog. Click here.