I prefer my milk straight from the cow. When I was a child a local dairy farmer delivered fresh milk to us in a bucket. He poured the milk into bowl and when it had settled Mum would spoon the cream off the top and pour it into bottles.
I can still remember the taste…a far cry from the stuff we buy at the supermarket now. It is pasteurised, homogenised, skimmed, vitamins added etc, etc, and it no longer tastes like milk.
Luckily there is a place nearby where it is possible to buy milk straight from the dairy…the mechanical cow, or latteria as it is called.
The little hut is in the car park at the Penny Market in Borgo a Mozzano.
For 20 cents you can buy a bottle and €1 gets you a litre of fresh milk.
There is even a photo of the dairies the milk comes from.
I think it is a great idea and I have become a regular at the mechanical cow.
Olives grow all around Bagni di Lucca on terraces in the mountains. Autumn is the time to pick olives. It would be difficult to find a more beautiful setting for an afternoon of olive picking.
When we arrived the nets were being set beneath the trees.
We were shown how to pull the olives from the branches…a bit like milking a cow.
It is good fun picking olives…but I don’t have to do it for days on end. I may change my mind if I had to do it regularly, or I had to climb the trees to get at the top branches, or set the nets.
It is much easier to pick olives while standing on the ground.
…and look at the view.
The best part of this is the delicious new olive oil. It is best when fresh. Look for the new season olive oil now in your favourite deli or market.
Not far from Bagni di Lucca on the road to Gallicano, Al Barchetto is a great place to have lunch. I have passed it many times and finally made my way there on a lovely autumn day.
The restaurant is set beside a fishing lake.
The interior is bright and cheerful, and the service is much the same.
We ordered the workman’s lunch for €10 and it was excellent.
The restaurant has a tradition of home style cooking and quality service. Their hand made tordelli has been mentioned a few times by those in the know, so I am going to order that next time. We saw some very delicious looking meals being delivered all around us…maybe a few visits are necessary.
The summer outdoor setting had just closed when we were there. In summer it would be wonderful to sit by the lake.
Al Barchetto. Via Magenta 71
Grapevine magazine has been around for 20 years, helping people to find out what is happening in our area.
The first issue appeared in October 1994.
This is what was written in their first editorial.
“This is the first issue of GRAPEVINE, a monthly guide in English to what’s on in Lucca and the surrounding area. There is a lot going on in this area but finding out about it is not always easy and can depend on picking up a leaflet by chance in a hotel reception area or spotting a poster in town. Now the visitor to Lucca can find information collected together as never before.
GRAPEVINE is not just a list of events and activities. The articles reflect many different aspects of local life and news and are not limited just to items of traditional tourist interest.
We believe that a monthly of this kind, which looks at Lucca with a different eye from thatbof established local publications, will be of interest not only to people passing through this area but also to those who live here permanently.”
I have found the magazine very useful in the 10 years I have been coming to Bagni di Lucca, and still have most of the copies I have bought over the years. It is a great way to keep up with local activities.
Look out for the magazine in local newsagents and you can also sign up to read Grapevine on line.
Congratulations on the first 20 years…may there be many more.
Not far from Bagni di Lucca, there is a road through the mountains called Passo delle Radici. It is part of the border between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna. It is a place of many signs.
It was a cold autumn day when we drove through the beautiful mountains. There was a distinct difference between the Modena side and the Lucca side.
Here is what greeted us from the road looking towards Emilia Romagna.
This was on the Tuscany side of the mountains.
In between is the tiny town of San Pellegrino.
There is a wonderful olld church there with 2 pilgrims in an elaborate glass case. Click here to see an earlier post about them.
The views from the edge of town are spectacular and the drive up there is excellent. It is about 1 hour from Bagni di Lucca, taking things slowly to enjoy the view.
Today we had our first real taste of winter. The temperature stayed around 6 degrees for most of the day and it rained…a perfect day for a drive in the mountains.
There has been snow on Prato Fiorito, making it look gorgeous.
As we climbed higher towards Montefegatesi the snow was falling quite heavily.
Montefegatesi looks great at any time, but a dusting of snow makes it look even better.
We went for a short walk around the village. The temperature up there was zero.
There are storms all around us again tonight. Perhaps there will be even more snow tomorrow.
Click here and here for more on Montefegatesi.
Tuija and Mario have recently opened a new business in La Villa, providing supplies to household and businesses.
They have a great range of paper products and cleaning items.
Drop in to the shop at 40 Via Umberto II and wish them well in their new venture.