Rifugio Fiori

Rifugio Fiori in Pieve di Monti di Villa has new operators and things are looking good. We went for Sunday lunch shortly after they opened.

Rifugio Fiori

It was a little cool to sit outside.

Rifugio Fiori

So we found a spot in the cosy room.

The building used to be a school.

Antipasti was pasta fritta with prosciutto.

Rifugio Fiori

Our first course was pasta with ragu.

Rifugio Fiori

Next was delicious veal and fried vegetables.

Rifugio Fiori

Rifugio Fiori

There was an excellent chocolate cake and torta della nonna.

Rifugio Fiori

Rifugio Fiori

It is great to see that Rifugio Fiori is continuing to serve delicious meals. Pieve di Monte di Villa is lucky to have this great asset.


Phone…371 3916108


Yoga lessons at Bar Italia

The newly renovated Bar Italia in Ponte a Serraglio is now home to yoga lessons held by Heather Newmarch.

Bar Italia

Heather is a qualified personal trainer, yoga instructor (Hatha and Ashtanga), qualified in sports nutrition and is a Reiki Master. She specialises in rehabilitation after injuries. She owned and ran a gym in the U.K. before moving to Bagni di Lucca. She enjoys helping people reach their health and fitness goals.

Heather says that yoga is great for flexibility, strength, stress relief and general wellbeing. She prefers to teach small groups to enable personal attention and to allow freedom of movement.

Yoga classes are held in the large room above the bar every Tuesday and Thursday at 9.00am and each session is one hour. Yoga mats are provided. All levels are catered for and beginners are welcome.

Yoga at Bar Italia

After classes people are welcome to stay on and socialise at the bar and enjoy a coffee or tea. I would certainly add one of Annalisa’s delicious pastries or sandwiches.

Bar Italia

Please contact Heather at heather@newmarch.co if you wish to enquire about lessons. Each lesson costs €10.

Riolo, then and now

I love these old photos of the villages of Bagni di Lucca. Sometimes there are big changes, and sometimes not. Here is an old photo of the centre of Riolo.


The road in front of the house in the foreground has been widened to allow cars to get through.



The house now has a pergola in front covered in grape vines.


The path leading up from the piazza looks much the same.



The villages of Bagni di Lucca are all interesting, with their own character.


A new bar for Montefegatesi

It is always sad news when there are closures in the villages of Bagni di Lucca. The wonderful bar in Montefegatesi closed recently but the residents didn’t take long to fix the situation.

A bar is an important part of these small villages. It is not just a place to have coffee or an aperitivo, it is a place to meet friends, exchange news, have some fun and be part of a community. It is certainly where I met people who became friends and got to know about Bagni di Lucca life when I first came to the area 15 years ago.

The local Circolo in Montefegatesi has been renovated and now houses a brand new bar, which opened recently.




Top marks to the people of Montefegatesi for taking matters into their own hands and congratulations on the excellent new bar.

Thank you Lizzy Ashard for providing the photos of the new bar.

A day for artists

The annual art competition organised by Borgo degli Artisti will take place in Villa Fiori park on 8th July.

Artists need to be at Villa Fiori at 8.00am ready to start painting. Work must be finished by 4.00pm and the judging will be at 5.30pm.

Lunch will be held in the park at 12.30pm at a cost of €15. You will need to book for this.

There will be art lessons for children.

Artist day

This is a fun day for everyone and there are generous prizes for winning artists.

For more information call Morena…320 1107330

Geraniums at Ponte a Serraglio

The geraniums on the bridge at Ponte a Serraglio are thriving this year.


I planted them last month and have been taking care of them. There has been some rain, which makes things easier.

I leave for Australia soon and won’t be back until autumn. Annalisa from Bar Italia has kindly offered to let us use her tap beside the bar to water the flowers on the bridge.

I will leave a watering can at the bar. It would be great if anyone interested in keeping the bridge looking good could help out with watering.

Thank you in advance.

Palio L’Osteria, Ponte a Serraglio’s new restaurant

Ponte a Serraglio has a brand new restaurant Palio L’Osteria..and it is excellent. The restaurant is part of the Hotel Nazionale (formerly Hotel Corona) which will open soon after extensive renovations.

Osteria Palio

The restaurant looks wonderful. The dining room is elegant…everything has been carefully chosen to create a charming and relaxed atmosphere.


The gorgeous arched windows make the view of the river the star attraction…I could happily look at that view for hours.



There is a beautiful room devoted to wine, a wonderful setting for tastings.


A couple of days before the opening I spoke to restaurant manager Emiliano, who explained that Osteria Palio will source all of its ingredients locally and in season. The menu will change each month.  He told me with pride about small producers and growers who will supply the restaurant with the very best produce. Inventive chefs will take over from there.

We visited Osteria Palio on just its second night. We were welcomed by Emiliano and his impeccable team and shown our table by the window.

I can happily report that the food was delicious. The dishes are traditional with a modern touch.

The bread is all made in house.


My risotto with artichoke was superb.


The tartare was popular with others in the party.


The gnocchi was eaten with gusto.


The steak was cooked to perfection  and wonderfully tender.


Pasta with seafood was a hit.


My guinea  fowl was excellent.


Some of us had left room for dessert. The coffee pannacotta was exactly the right texture.


Jim ate his tiramisu before I could photograph it. He has been doing Italy wide research on tiramisu and declared this one great.

I had the almond semifreddo…heavenly.


We are delighted to have this fabulous new restaurant in Ponte a Serraglio. We wish Emiliano and his team the best in this new venture.  We intend to dine there often.

Via Serraglia, 78

Ponte a Serraglio.

Phone…(39) 0583 805217

Closed Monday and Tuesday


Osteria Palio