Then and now, Ponte delle Catene

Ponte delle Catene, the chain suspension bridge that connects Fornoli and Chifenti is now a pedestrian bridge. It was commissioned by Carlo Ludovico in 1840 after the original stone bridge dating from 1317 was washed away in a flood.

Here are some old photos.

 

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Lorenzo Nottolini was the architect. He erected arches reminiscent of Roman Triumphal arches on either side of the river. The wooden roadway  was destroyed by retreating Germans in WWII. It was replaced in 1950.

This is a photo of the bridge during the reconstruction. (Thank you to Alessandro for the correction)

Ponte Catene

Today the bridge is still impressive.

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

There are excellent views to be had from the bridge.

Ponte Catene

Ponte Catene

…just another of the treasures in Bagni di Lucca.

Seasons

Just before I left Bagni di Lucca in November I went with friends into the glorious mountains above Montefegatesi. It was a beautiful autumn day.

Autumn Bagni di Luccah

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

autumn Bagni di Lucca

 

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

We came upon a shepherd with his well kept goats. I love to see the old traditions carried on…long may it continue.

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

Autumn Bagni di Lucca

When I return tomorrow the landscape will be quite different. I look forward to another visit to the mountains.

 

Then and now…the school

The school beside the road between Ponte a Serraglio and La Villa used to be so full some students had to move to the Boy Scout (now Red Cross) building opposite.

Old school Bagni di Lucca

Now it is derelict…another building that needs some love.

School Bagni di Lucca

School Bagni di Lucca

School Bagni di Lucca

School Bagni di Lucca

Bagni di Lucca has lots of unloved buildings. I think is one could be turned into apartments. There is room for a garden at the back on the edge of the river…any takers?

Santina, San Cassiano

Santina’s restaurant is well known in Bagni di Lucca. It is one of the first restaurants I went to when I first arrived in the area 13 years ago. It is as good today as my first visit.

Santina San Cassiano

I was there on a Sunday and it didn’t take long for the room to fill.

Santina San Cassiano

At Santina’s the food just keeps on coming. The pasta is delicious, but you need to remember not to eat too much because there are several other courses to enjoy.

Santina San Cassiano

In summer there is a lovely terrace with great views over the valley.

It was a misty autumn day when I was there, but some yellow flowers beside the door brightened up the day.

San Cassiano

San Cassiano

The misty view is delightful.

Santina…Via Chiesa 9, San Cassiano

(39) 0583 809278

A beautiful new place to stay…Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei is the beautiful house where Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning stayed when they visited Bagni di Lucca.

Casa Tolomei

It was recently bought by Laura and Andy and they have worked hard to bring the building back to life. Their renovation is remarkable.

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

In 2016 they finished the upper floor and had B&B rooms available to rent. This year there is a self catering option which includes a suite with 2 bedrooms and bathroom plus the stunning frescoed living room and adjacent kitchen.

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

For summer the whole upper floor will be available. The rental options will be 2 independent self-catering apartments or the whole floor for larger groups…8 – 12 people.

The lovely garden has an above ground pool, with plans for an inground pool this year.

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

Casa Tolomei

Italian lessons will also be available at Casa Tolomei.

Casa Tolomei is in Via Umberto I, La Villa. For enquiries and bookings email Laura at …poggilaura@gmail.com