The festival Paese de Balocchi (I call it the Pinocchio festival) was a great success. The weather was perfect and people came out in droves to enjoy the entertainment on offer.
The umbrella installation in Via Umberto provided an extra level of colour.
The many stalls offered lots of things to buy.
The old fashioned games kept the children, and parents, busy.
There was a wonderful girl band making their way up and down the street, led by the marvellous Roberto Lucchesi.
A dinosaur, with rider, was a big hit.
Face painting is always popular.
There was a jumping castle, people in costume, balloons and more.
Well done to the organisers. The festival gets better each year.
This weekend is the time for the annual Pinocchio festival in La Villa.
It promises to be a lot of fun…don’t miss it.
Ristorante del Sonno in La Villa has had a delivery of porcini mushrooms. A clever person found a hidden cluster deep in the forest nearby and rushed them into the restaurant.
With the recent rain there should be some more soon.
Opposite the Villa Fiori car park in Ponge a Serraglio is a little tower hidden in the trees.
It needs a little love and attention, like many things around here.
Does anyone know anything about the tower?
The wooden horse and rider in the museum at San Cassiano is not just any horse. The sculpture has been attributed to Jacopo della Quercia. He was an early Renaissance artist from Querciagrossa, near Siena. He became a resident of Lucca when his family moved there.
He was in the contest to design the Doors of Paradise at the Baptistery in Florence, but lost out to Ghiberto. One of his most famous works is the exquisite sarcophagus of Ilaria in the cathedral in Lucca.
On a recent trip to San Cassiano I was delighted to find the museum open. It is housed in the Oratory opposite the church.
Up close the wooden carving is beautiful. In 1909 it was found in a state of considerable neglect. It was restored in the 1920s and again in the early 1990s.
The sculpture is made up of 3 elements of linden wood. 2 elements make up most of the horse, while the bust of the saint is carved from a single block of wood.
Behind the horse are 2 other carvings. Both are carved from a single block of poplar wood, with the exception of some parts of the hands and the head. On the left of the altar is Archangel Gabriel and on the right The Virgin of the Annunciation.
The church was open on the day I visited as well.
The interior is stunning. It looks ancient.
The floor has been worn down by centuries of feet.
The villages of Bagni di Lucca are a treasure trove for those who go looking.
Like many towns in Italy, Bagni di Lucca was keen to help the Italian earthquake victims. A long table dinner took over the main street in La Villa recently and 417 enthusiastic participants joined in.
Local restaurants stepped up to provide delicious food. Trattroria Borghesi made the pasta all’Amatriciana, Da Mamo provided the roast meats, Circolo dei Forestieri contributed the contorni (side dishes) and Gelateria Primavera served fruit salad and gelato.
The evening was a great success and close to € 8,000 was raised. The money will go to a project for restoration.
Well done Bagni di Lucca!
I was not there as I don’t arrive in Bagni di Lucca until late next week, so I have no photos to share with you. Take a look at Francis Pettitt’s blog to see some photos and more on the event.
Campiglia Alta is another area of Bagni di Lucca I was unaware of until recently. The turnoff is on the road from La Villa to San Cassiano.
It is really just a collection of houses in a gorgeous setting.
A peaceful tree lined road takes you up the mountain.
I was there in late spring. Everything was bright green.
The views are fabulous and the silence is wonderful.
…a special place to live.