The end of the Tiglio tunnel?

The drive into Ponte a Serraglio from Fornoli beneath the gorgeous Tiglio trees is a delight. It is a wonderful introduction to the villages of Bagni di Lucca.

In winter the bare branches form a dramatic arch against the winter sky.

In spring the new leaves appear as if by magic and a beautiful tunnel appears to filter the sunlight.

Tiglio trees

Tiglio trees

In autumn the leaves turn gold and fall to the ground. I love driving or walking through with the golden leaves falling around me.

Tiglio trees

Tiglio trees

Tiglio trees

Tiglio trees

Now it seems they might be cut down. The trees are old and some may be diseased. I really hope this doesn’t happen. This Tiglio tunnel is one of the loveliest things in Bagni di Lucca.

I hope a better solution can be found than removing all of the trees. Surely the best trees can be retained and some new ones planted? It just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Demidoff Chapel

Russian prince Nicolai Demidoff donated a hospital to Bagni di Lucca to enable the people of the town to benefit from the thermal waters. It was built in 1825.

He also commissioned the tiny chapel across the stream from the hospital. The Demidoff chapel was designed by Giacomo Marrucci and was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.

Demidoff

Demidoff

Demidoff

There was originally a wooden bridge across to the chapel, but it was destroyed by a flood in 1836. The current stone bridge was built soon after by the son of the prince and designed by Giuseppe Pardini.

Demidoff chapel

Demidoff chapel

The little chapel looks stunning in any season, but particularly when covered with snow.

Demidoff chapel

Here is an early photo of the chapel, before the surrounding trees had grown.

Demidoff chapel

The hospital is now Villagio Globale, a popular place for those wishing to enjoy the thermal waters. You will find Villagio Globale and the chapel in Ponte a Serraglio, on the road towards Granaiola.

La Sosta

La Sosta, near Pescaglia, is a bit of a drive from Bagni di Lucca, but is a great place for Sunday lunch.

La Sosta

The little restaurant is nestled into a pine forest beside a church.

La Sosta

There is an outdoor eating area for sunny days.

La Sosta

We visited on a cool autumn day and chose to sit in the cosy indoor area.

La Sosta

It isn’t a big room and it was soon packed.

La Sosta

The food is great! Porcini mushrooms and pumpkins are in season so it made sense to order some. The pasta below has pumpkin and spicy sausage…delicious.

Pumpkin risotto.

Scaloppine with porcini mushrooms.

La Sosta

Excellent fried vegetables.

La Sosta

The table next to us ordered a feast.

La Sosta

La Sosta

La Sosta is open through the week for dinner and Sunday lunch. It is in Pascoso,via Pescaglia or Fabbriche di Vallico.

Phone…0583 357657

A new Bar Italia

Bar Italia has been the heart of Ponte a Serraglio for decades. It was the first place I went to when I arrived in the village almost 15 years ago. I go there, or to Il Monaco, both belonging to hardworking Annalisa, every day when I am in my apartment. Annalisa is ably helped by her sister Suzanna and her team.

 

Bar Italia

Bar Italia has closed for a little while for renovations. Luckily, Il Monaco will take over until the new bar is ready. I don’t know where I would be without my morning coffee and sfoglia.

Bar Italia

There was a send off on the last night of the old bar and friends gathered for the party. I was not there, but others have taken photos to share. Thank you Paola, Paul and Collette.

Bar Italia

The plans for the new bar were discussed.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Here is a sneak peek at the new chairs.

Bar Italia

Several people chipped in to begin the demolishing of the old bar.

Last to go was the coffee machine.

Bar Italia

I hope the lovely lady stays.

Bar Italia

I wish Annalisa the very best and look forward to the brand new bar. I will be there for the grand opening. I’m sure there will be another party and everyone will be invited.