In celebration of women

Beginning on 8th March for 1 week there will be a Celebration of Women at the Casino in Ponte a Serraglio.The opening event will be at 5.00pm on the 8th.There will be music, art, craft and photography.

Omaggio alla Donna

Something will be happening every day…something for everyone.

Omaggio alla Donna

Here is a sneak peek inside the Casino. I hope you will all come along.

Omaggio alla Donna

 

12 years ago

Today, 1st March, is the twelfth anniversary of the first time we stood on the bridge at Ponte a Serraglio and decided Bagni di Lucca was where we wanted to buy our little piece of Italy.

A lot of water has passed under the Ponte since then, but I can safely say that it was an excellent decision. We love the village and enjoy spending several months a year here. It really is our second home.

I celebrated by planted pansies on the bridge with the help of the newest Australian to buy a house at Ponte a Serraglio…meet Paul.

Paul at Ponte

…and the pansies. Daffodils are also making an appearance. I was hoping for some sun to help them along…maybe tomorrow.

Ponte pansies

Ponte daffodils

Ponte pansies

Thanks Ponte a Serraglio for making us welcome.

Salt and tobacco

I have seen these signs all over Italy.

Sali e Tabacchi

But I had not really looked at them carefully. I read a blog by Zoe Boccabella, and she recently wrote about Tabacchi, the shops in Italy where you can buy cigarettes, bus tickets, lottery tickets, top up your phone cards and pay bills.

What I hadn’t realised was that they were, for a long time, the only places you could buy salt when it was a monopoly of the state. This is why the word salt…Sali…is included in the sign.

We have a Tabacchi in Ponte a Serraglio, but it has a new sign where the word salt doesn’t appear…pity really. Maybe the traditional signs are on the way out.

Tabacchi

Voting for the Italy Magazine Blog Awards closes on 28th February. It appears that you can vote many times. I would love it if you would click here to vote for Bella Bagni di Lucca in the Best Single Art and Culture Post.

…and here to vote for the Best Single Travel Post.

The winners are announced on 3rd March. I will tell you the good, or bad news as soon as I know.

Faces at the Carnevale

On Sunday I wanted to be in 2 places at once. There was a mini Carnevale at Fornoli at the same time as the one in Viareggio. I went early to the one in Fornoli hoping to get some photos, but there was nothing happening so I unfortunately I have nothing to show you.

It was the last day time parade in Viareggio and it was a gorgeous day, so I headed off with a group of friends to join in the fun. I took hundreds of photos and have done a couple of posts. In this one I will concentrate on the people who dress up to take part, either as part of the exhibition or the enthusiastic audience. I love the way people get involved and make the event the exciting happening that it is.

Viareggio Carnevale 2015Carnevale Viareggio 2015.Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

 

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Carnevale Viareggio 2015

Whole families go along to have fun. It is a great day…the result of huge amounts of work by many people. I’m sure next year is already being worked on. I hope I will be there to see it.

Go to Bagni di Lucca and Beyond to see more on the floats in the parade.

A view spoiled

One of the best places to get a view of Ponte a Serraglio is from the litte square in front of the Bernabo baths.

Bernabo baths

Ponte a Serraglio

Many of my favourite photos have been taken from there. I have been admiring the view for 12 years. In the foreground you can see the top of the acacia trees (the bright green ones) which are now threatening to obscure the view.

Ponte a Serraglio

This is the view now. The acacias have not been trimmed for a few years and they have become very high.

Ponte a Serraglio

Ponte a Serraglio

These are the offending trees.

Ponte a Serraglio

Right now the view is not too bad because the crop of acacia trees that has sprung up is free of leaves, but soon spring will be here and the view will be completely obstructed.

I have tried asking who owns the land the trees are growing on, but I have had no luck. Does anyone out there know who to approach to have the trees cut?

It would be a real pity if these pesky trees are allowed to keep growing and ruining one of our best views.

Bread and pizza

Just up the road (Via Letizia) from my apartment in Ponte a Serraglio is a small shop selling bread and pizza by the slice. I am ashamed to say that I hadn’t been there in my 10 years in Ponte. Bread and pizza at Ponte a Serraglio It was clear that I should remedy this and when some friends suggested I join them for a mortadella and beer evening there I quickly agreed. It was great fun and I have also been to a fish and chip evening…also excellent. Keep an ear to the ground for these enjoyable events.

The friendly owner makes delicious bread, biscuits, apple pies and pizza. I have now become a regular.

The shop is on the right as you go towards La Villa. There is lots of parking, but it is an easy walk from Ponte a Serraglio.

The Italy Magazine Blog Awards

I am delighted to tell you that Bella Bagni di Lucca has been shortlisted again this year for the Italy Magazine Blog Awards.

This is largely because lots of you took the time to nominate the blog, thank you very much.

Two blog posts have been shortlisted and now I would like to once again ask for your help. I would love it if you would vote for the posts. Bella Bagni di Lucca won a category last year and new readers came all year from Italy Magazine…more people who get to know about Bagni di Lucca.

An old tradition in Bagni di Lucca is shortlisted in the Best Single Art and Culture Single Post. Click here to vote for the post. Just click on the black area below the blog name.

Arte Barsanti

 

Arte Barsanti

 

Pinocchio Park is shortlisted in the Best Single Travel Post. Click here to vote for the post.

Pinocchio Park

Pinocchio Park

My other blog, Bagni di Lucca and Beyond, has also been shortlisted for a post called Massacre at Sant’Anna di Stazzema. Click here to vote for the post.

Massacre at Sant'Anna di Stazzema

 

Massacre at Sant'Anna di Stazzema

I have already mentioned the blog awards on Bagni di Lucca and Beyond, so if you have already seen this and have voted, thank you very much.

Voting closes on 27th February and the winners will be announced on 3rd March. I will be sure to let you know what happens.