An excellent new driving service in Bagni di Lucca

Paolo Citti was the first person I met in Bagni di Lucca. He met me at Fornoli station 20 years ago. My wallet had been stolen at the train station in Rome. Fortunately I had just bought my ticket to Bagni di Lucca.

I arrived at the station in Fornoli not knowing how I was going to get to my accommodation, which was Paolo’s apartment above his bar. I walked out of the station and saw a tall, handsome young man standing beside his car. He walked across to me and asked “Are you Debra?” I replied “Yes”. “I am Paolo” he said. We have been friends ever since.

I was his first customer all those years ago and now his has established a professional driving service to his long list of accomplishments. He still has his wonderful Cafe Catene, but he was looking for something extra. He loves Bagni di Lucca and he loves to share it so this is a perfect combination, for him and his lucky customers.

He does airport pickups and he will take you where you want to go. He knows the area like the back of his hand and loves to share his knowledge. He speaks English well. He looks a bit serious in the photo below, but he is good fun.

I think this service is needed in Bagni di Lucca and I can’t think of a better person than Paolo to do it. I wish him luck in his new venture.

Contact Paolo for more information.


Phone…(39) 3924437080



Motogiro D’Italia in Montefegatesi

The 23rd edition of the Motogiro d’Italia happened over the last week. 200 riders joined the historical re-enactment of the oldest and most prestigious motorcycle race. It is done in stages on vintage motorcycles.

On the final day riders stopped in Montefegatesi before heading down to Circolo dei Forestieri for lunch.

Here are some photos Mateo has kindly shared with us.

Montefegatesi had a fun day.

Ponte flowers

The lovely pansies on the bridge at Ponte a Serraglio are almost at the end. Some seem to be still flourishing while others have died. The weather has been strange to say the least.

I have begun planting yellow marigolds in the place of the dead pansies. They will all be planted over the next couple of weeks.
As usual, I will be returning to Australia in early June. If anyone is interested in helping to water the flowers when I leave please leave a message below.

A night at the casino

The casino in Ponte a Serraglio was full of people last night. It is great to see that beautiful building open and full of life. There was delicious food with games to follow.

Annalisa and her crew from Bar Italia did a wonderful job with feeding the crowd who came along to support a great cause and have a fun evening.

Where would we be without Virgilio on an evening like this? He had some help with the games.

Money raised from the event will go to making improvements in the Ponte a Serraglio area.

This is an excellent initiative, well done to all those involved. There will be another chance to attend on 20th May. Keep the date free.

Festival of flowers for Saint Zita

Every year at this time Lucca celebrates the life of one of its patron saints, Saint Zita, who has her own space in San Frediano church.

The Anfiteatro is filled with flower displays and options to buy.

The piazza in fruit of San Frediano also has flower displays.

We thought it fitting to have coffee at Caffe Saint Zita.

The festival last for a couple more days, until 27th April. It is a colourful time in lovely Lucca.

Il Mulino Vecchio in Fabbriche di Valico

There is an excellent restaurant in the small village of Fabbriche di Vallico, about 30 minutes from Bagni di Lucca. The food is good, local fare served by cheerful people…what more could you want?

The village is beside a small, but fast flowing river. We parked in the central car park and wandered through the village

The restaurant takes its name from the still operating flour mill, which is beside the restaurant building.

The mill dates from 1726. It still uses flowing water from the torrent to drive the machinery to make flour from chick peas, chestnuts, farro and wheat. The water flows under the mill.

We were given a tour of the mill before making our purchases. Grains are ground in different rooms.

On the ground floor is the shop where you can buy the flour.

After selecting our flour we walked next door to the restaurant. It was a cool day so we sat inside. There is an open area which would be lovely in summer.

The food is typical of the area. We enjoyed our delicious lunch and mill tour.

Fabricche di Vallico is a pretty drive from Bagni di Lucca, well worth a visit.