Gombereto

I walked to Gombereto down the path from San Gemignano. In just a few minutes the village comes into view.

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The fruit trees look wonderful in blossom.

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The path is lined with wild flowers and bees the size of my thumb were having a great time. They won’t sit still for a photo unfortunately.

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The first building I came to on the path is the tiny church.

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I went on further to the Piazza dei Caduti.

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From there several tiny lanes lead off to different parts of the village.

Old tree trunks and barrels have been put to good use as planters.

Grape vines are sprouting.

There was a pigeon party happening on a rooftop.

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…and a lone cat out for a walk.

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There are some wonderful old doors in my favourite colour.

Here is the view of Gombereto from Longoio…another place to visit soon.

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San Gemignano di Controne

Bagni di Lucca’s San Gemignano is not to be confused with the town with many towers, San Gimignano. Our sleepy hamlet is part of La Controneria, the largest and most populated area of Bagni di Lucca. La Controneria includes Guzzano, Gombereto, Mobbiano, Longoio, San Gemignano, Pieve di Controne, Vetteglia and San Cassiano.

San Gemignano is 532 metres above sea level and 7.5 kilometres along a narrow, winding road from La Villa. I visited on an overcast spring day…come for a walk through the village.

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The views are lovely, even on a dull day.

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There is a small shop at the top of the town and a narrow lane heads down hill from there. Old stone houses line the street.

There is a track to Vetteglia.

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…and a track down the other way to Gombereto.

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A bit further along the main street is the church dedicated to S Gemignano Vescovo who is said to have saved the Emperor of Constantinople’s daughter from the devil.

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The bell tower dates from the late 1800s. The church dates from 1581, but was rebuilt last century after an earthquake. It wasn’t open the day I was there…another visit is required.

Spring is showing its pretty face in the gardens and along the sides of the roads and tracks. There are wildflowers everywhere and some fruit trees are in blossom.

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I passed a peony plant covered with flowers the size of cabbages.

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Watch out for Gessy…although he doesn’t look all that fierce to me.

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At the end of the town is a chestnut forrest leading to Pieve di Controne…another day.

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Verde Mura Lucca

This annual garden show is on in Lucca right now. It started today and continues tomorrow, Saturday 5th April and Sunday 6th April. If you love looking at beautiful plants this is the place to be.

I went today and the rain cleared just as the gates opened. I was one of the first in, so I had the place almost to myself. Come for a little wander with me.

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My first stop was this stand with metal ornaments for your garden. I love their birds.

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There was an endless variety of beautiful plants.

Of course there was food.

…and lots of other things I had no idea I needed, until I saw them.

If you are close to Lucca this weekend you shouldn’t miss this event.

www.verdemura.it

Restoration of the English Cemetery

I had a request for some photos of the grave of Henry Stisted so I visited the English cemetery to se the latest restorations. Quite a few more graves have been cleaned and the cemetery itself is looking clean and well cared for. There was a lovely old gentleman there trimming plants. His wife was enjoying a sit in the warm spring sun. He happily told me he was working ‘piano, piano’ to spruce up the grounds. He is doing a fine job.

Henry Stisted’s grave has been cleaned beautifully.

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The broken tiles in front of the head stone have been replaced and it looks like new. Click here and here to see previous posts about the cemetery.

Several other graves have been cleaned, including Ouida’s.

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There is still a bit of work to be done.

But the cemetery is looking good, not a bad place to rest in peace.

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A fine day for a flea market

Spring has returned, bringing warm, sunny weather. The temperature reached 20 degrees today…a perfect day to wander through the flea market in La Villa.

There were more than 50 stalls, not bad for the first time. Stalls were set up in front of Circolo dei Forestieri and along the main street.

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There were some lovely old toys for sale. Little boys must have once treasured the cars and lots of dolls were left behind when little girls grew up.

Anyone for a plate of piglets?

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I liked this fellow with the wobbly head.

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A pair of Barbies enjoyed the sun.

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There were lots of bits and pieces.

I hope this little puppet theatre found a home.

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Perhaps someone will want old photos.

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I’m sure I once had a book like this, where you collected stickers to put in the correct place.

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I managed to find a pair of gold angels to take home with me.

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It was a great first flea market. The next one will be at the end of June.