Living nativity

One of the most delightful events to happen in Bagni di Lucca is coming up. The Presepe Vivente will be held on 4th December. This year it will be in Pieve di Monti di Villa. The residents have been busy preparing the village. Paul Davies dropped in to take some photos.

Living nativity

Living nativity

Living nativity

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This is an event not to be missed.

Living natvity

Living nativity

 

Making figurines

Bagni di Lucca has long been known for making figurines. As a cheaper alternative to carved marble or stone, religious statues were made with Plaster of Paris, or gesso. Presepi, or nativity scenes, were particularly popular and salesmen from Bagni di Lucca took them to the world.

Arte Basanti

The industry still exists in Bagni di Lucca and there is now a plan to introduce a course in the making of figurines. A contribution from Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca has enabled a small group of people including the mayor, Massimo Betti, Alessandro Gabrielli, Sonia Lena and Mariano Mariani to initiate a course of lessons in this traditional art.

The lessons will be open to anyone over 16 and will be managed by Simone Fiori from Arte Basanti, a firm that still makes figurines by hand in the old tradition. (Click here to see the post about it) He will be helped by Mariano Mariano, Luca Marchi and Marco Fontanini from other local businesses.

Arte Basanti

Figurines in BdL

Applications for the course can be made until 23rd December at the education office in the Comune in La Villa or through the website http://www.comunebagnidilucca.it.

The course, or courses, if there is enough interest, will begin in the new year and will consist of lessons over 5 mornings and 2 afternoons. The cost will be €50 for residents and €80 for non residents. Each course will be limited to 10 people.

For information call (39) 0583 809940.

I think this is an excellent initiative and I hope it is successful. It would be great if it becomes popular and attracts people from outside the area as well as locals.

Residents of Bagni di Lucca took their plaster skills all over the world when they migrated to other countries. It would be wonderful  to revive the skill and provide a fun thing for visitors to do.

Please share this post and spread the word.

Autumn in Pieve di Monti di Villa

Local photographer Paul Anthony Davies has taken some lovely photos of autumn in Pieve di Monti di Villa. He has kindly allowed me to share them with you.

Pieve di Monti di Villa

Pieve di Monti di Villa

Pieve di Monti di Villa

Pieve di Monti di Villa

Pieve di Monti di Villa has a restaurant, Rifugio Fiori, which is open part time.

Pieve di Monti di Villa

It also has a bar, a great addition to the village.

Pieve di Monti di Villa

Autumn is a gorgeous season in the mountain villages.

Don’t miss the living navity in Pieve di Monti di Villa on 4th December. It is a wonderful event.

Chestnuts in Lucchio

Lucchio is the village that clings to an almost vertical mountain side. At the top is La Rocca, the ruins of an old fort.

Lucchio

Lucchio

La Rocca was our first destination before seeking out the roasting chestnuts.

Lucchio

It is a steep climb to the top along a rocky path.

Lucchio

We passed an enthusiastic gardener digging his rich looking soil.

Lucchio

Onwards and upwards…

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

There are some steep steps to the very top.

Lucchio

There isn’t much of the fort left, just a few crumbling walls.

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

The views are stunning even on a misty, wet day.

Lucchio

A family found a great spot for a picnic.

Lucchio

We had lunch in the local restaurant, which had drawn a large crowd. Our 3 course lunch was delicious. I forgot to photograph the pasta course and the roast meat, but here is the antipasti.

Lucchio

The chestnuts were being roasted down by the church, so this time we headed down towards the bottom of the village. Not many people live in Lucchio these days, but the village is well loved by those who do live there. The streets are well maintained and clean. There are a few houses for sale, just in case you are looking for a quiet life with great views.

Lucchio

Lucchio

The church was open and later there was to be a concert.

Lucchio

The chestnut roasting  was well underway by the time we got there. I have acquired a taste for necci with ricotta, and this was the best I have had.

Lucchio

Lucchio

The road down offers glimpses of Lucchio through the trees.

Lucchio

Lucchio

Bernabo Spa

The beautiful Bernabo Spa has opened for business. A cosmetic company from Milan visited and fell in love with the elegant old building. Their main interest was the therapeutic water, but when they saw the wonderful marble baths they realised that it would be a great place for them to operate a small spa.

Bernabo Spa

The treatment rooms.

Barnabo Spa

Bernabo Spa

Bernabo Spa

The baths…individual marble baths.

Bernabo Spa

…and the deep, walk in bath.

Barnabo Spa

Barnabo Spa

The source of the thermal water.

Barnabo Spa

As well as the thermal baths they offer massage, manicures, pedicure, facials and much more. Drop in and take a look and make an appointment for a special treatment.

Bernabo Spa

It’s great that the spa has opened. Bagni di Lucca once had 12 operating spas. This one was a favourite of Elisa Bacciocchi, Napoleon’s sister and Princess of Lucca in the early 1800s. Tell all your friends, share this on Facebook, have a treatment, let’s support this new venture.

Hours…Tuesday -Saturday 9.30am – 7.30pm

Bernabo Spa…Via Bagni Caldi 36. Ponte a Serraglio.

Tel. 0583 1808020

centrobernabo@exelor.it

http://www.exelor.it

Facebook…https:/www.facebook.com/centrobernabo/