Abandoned

At the meeting point of the roads from Gombereto, Vetteglia, Montefegatesi and San Cassiano is an abandoned church…la Chiesa del Colle.

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

At some time it must have been a popular refuge for those travelling between the villages. Now it is crumbling and being taken over by the surrounding forest.

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

image

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

There is a path on the right of the church which must come from the villages below.

Chiesa del Colle

Behind the church is a pretty path leading through the trees to who knows where. I can see that it must have been a shady place to rest or perhaps to have a picnic.

Chiesa del Colle

Chiesa del Colle

If only this old chestnut tree could talk.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see these old buildings restored?

Sad news at Ponte a Serraglio

The news Kiosk at Ponte a Serraglio is a very important part of our little community. Olga, who owns it, is a delight. She is always smiling and has been a great help to visitors to our village.

I sadly have to report that she is leaving soon. The kiosk is for sale and it will close next week. I really hope that Olga is able to sell the business. We need it at Ponte. Is there anyone out there who would like to buy the kiosk??

Here is Olga when she took over the business a couple of years ago.

News kiosk Ponte a Serraglio

This is last week. It is great to see Graziano as well. He has been very unwell and it is good to see him back on track.

News kiosk Ponte a Serraglio

Good luck Olga on the next stage of your life. We will miss you at Ponte.

Italy Magazine is once again holding their blogger awards for blogs about Italy. I would love it if you could nominate Bella Bagni di Lucca. The blog won the “Best single travel post” last year and lots of readers came to the blog as a result. It would be fun to do well again this year.

Click here to go to the nomination page. I will let you know if the blog makes the short list.

 

Cascio and chestnuts

October and November are great months for autumn festivals in the mountains. I attended several this year and one of my favourites was the one in Cascio.

Cascio is a tiny village in the Garfagnana. It is of early medieval origin situated on the ancient road linking Modena and Lucca. These days it is a sleepy village basking in the Tuscan sun. It has some wonderful ancient building and they are well preserved.

Cascio chestnut festival

Hundreds of people descended on the village on the day of the chestnut festival. The little square was full of stalls selling all sorts of interesting things.

People gathered on the grassy field waiting for the chestnuts to be roasted and the food prepared.

Below the village there was another area for food preparation…and eating. The cooks were kept very busy making the pancakes and putting the plates together.

Above the village beside the castle sweets were served. I stopped on the way to admire the view.

Cascio chestnut festival

The old castle looks wonderful. I will go back one day to explore further.

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio chestnut festival

As I was about to leave a group of musicians and dancers put on a fine show and I stayed to watch.


The Cascio festival is one of the best I have attended. It was a perfect sunny autumn day and everyone had a great time.Look out for it next year. I’m sure you will love it.

Cascio chestnut festival

Cascio chestnut festival

Italy Magazine is conducting its Blogger Awards again this year. I would love it if you would nominate Bella Bagni di Lucca. Click here to go to the nomination page.

Cider by Chris

My friend Chris Buxton has a lovely little cottage in Colle, above Ponte a Serraglio.

This is Chris…I’ll let him tell you the cider story.

Chris' cider

At a lovely late September barbecue, looking over an orchard teeming with fruit, missing my English pub and the real ales and ciders, I wondered what is done with all the apples…not much it seems…and no one makes or drinks cider…what a waste.

My friend, Super Mario, as I call him, found the owner, who said I could help myself to the apples. Others knocked on my door and Mario Morotti offered me the apples below his vineyard. If only I had known how steep and how far below!

It looked as though I had passed the point of no return. Thankfully some Ponte people offered their assistance and cider production was underway…with some extra help from Luna.

Chris' cider

Chris' cider

Chris' cider

There was a bit of research, a bit of borrowing equipment from friends and neighbours and some advice from local wine makers.

Chris' cider

Chris' cider

Chris' cider…some supervision by Luna.

Chris' cider I won’t bore you with the details, but there’s not an awful lot more to do than get the juice from the apples and let nature take its course.

The end result? Some weak, some strong, some bottled clear and fizzy, some the way traditionalists like it, natural and cloudy.

Chris' cider

It has been fun tasting it, sharing it…

Chris' cider

…but alas it is not to everyone’s taste.

Chris' cider

Thank you Chris for sharing your tale of cider. I hope there is some left when I get back to Bagni di Lucca.

2 events in Bagni di Lucca

Talented local artist Morena Guarnaschelli will be exhibiting her latest work at Gabrielli Center at Ponte a Serraglio in conjunction with Andrea’s La Via Interiore and Borgo degli Artisti.

Morena Guarnascelli exhibition

Morena will exhibit 9 water colours inspired by her trip to the Holy Land 2 years ago. The title INSIEME has a double meaning…through art we can see Hebrew and Muslim side by side.

Morena Guarnaschelli exhibition

Morena Guarnaschelli exhibition

Morena Guarnaschelli exhibition

Morena is also offering  a Zentangle Course…doodling while meditating…on Friday, 5.30pm  and Saturday 3.00pm. Call her on 320 1107330 if you would like to take part.

The second event is the annual dinner of Borgo degli Artisti. Everyone is welcome and they will present the 2015 calendar of events.

Borgo degli Artisti event
I am sure both events wil be well attended…have fun.

Pizza and more at dalle Padella alla Brace

The friendly man from Pio X at Bagni Caldi has opened a new restaurant at Chifenti.

We arrived early one evening and were the first there, giving us time to look around. It is bright and colourful inside and the pizza oven was burning brightly.

dalle Padella alla Brace

dalle Padella alla Brace

dalle Padella alla Brace

We were able to watch our pizza dough being prepared.

dalle Padella alla Brace

dalle Padella alla Brace

dalle Padella alla Brace

dalle Padella alla Brace

The pizzas were great. They have a thicker base than at other places in the area. I like both,  thick, and thin and crispy. Our toppings were delicious.

class Padella alla Brace

dalle Padella alla Brace

Next time I will try the pasta.

dalle Padella alla Brace

Via del Brennero, 15

Chifenti.

0583 1798188

dalle Padella alla Brace