A visit to San Cassiano di Controne

The hamlets that make up San Cassiano were once quite highly populated, but like many of the villages of Bagni di Lucca, it is now a quiet place. We parked the car at the bottom of the village and walked up towards the church and the main square. Along the way we met Arnoldo and his son Fabio who had been collecting fig cuttings to plant.


Arnoldo speaks good English as a result of living in America for 15 years. He came back to his home in San Cassiano in 1971 and has lived here ever since. You can’t blame him, the village is lovely. It sits high on the hill with sunshine all day and spectacular views all around.

He told us that there were 7 parts to San Cassiano. The village will obviously require several visits.

We walked past the War Memorial with the lists of the town’s men who have died in several wars. The list is too long.



Opposite the memorial is the beautiful church, Chiesa Monumentale di S.Cassiano.


The church has been known since 722. The facade is from the period between the 9th and 12th centuries. It was closed so we couldn’t go inside, but the decoration on the outside is lovely.





The campanile is the oldest part of the church.


Spring is coming to San Cassiano.









We were there in time to see a peak hour traffic jam.


Somebody had parked in front of the butcher shop (why not?) and with another car parked on the other side of the road, nobody could get through. Everybody just stopped and had a chat and the customer eventually came out and they went on their way. There was a bit of horn blowing, but not too much.

The mountains behind San Cassiano are quiet spectacular.


There is still evidence of the landslides from the 18th century which wiped out the communities of Celle and Cerro.

The area is beautifully rustic.



There are excellent views of neighbouring villages.




We had a lovely view of San Cassiano in the late afternoon sun as we left.


I have to return to San Cassiano as a restaurant that I particularly like to eat at was not open. Soon spring will really arrive and the village will look completely different on my next visit.

29 thoughts on “A visit to San Cassiano di Controne

  1. Great photos of one of my favourite areas in Bagni di Lucca, the Controneria. We go quite often there, on our way to Prato Fiorito and Montefegatessi. Just as you say, the Church of San Cassiano is beautiful, one of the oldest churches in the area. It is not surprising that it was closed, as there has been people stealing ornaments and valuable antiques in some of the churches, including San Pietro di Corsena. Inside San Cassiano there is a statue by Jacob della Quercia…. so they have to protect their treasures. Try to go on a Sunday and you will find both the Church and the restaurant open.

  2. Your photos of wattle trees have been intriguing me. I looked up Acacia on Wikipedia and found an interesting article, too long to write here. I love the internet for the ability to satisfy my curiosity about so many things. Wonderful photos as always – love the flowers. I am astounded at the size of the churches in these villages. Was the population much larger when they were built?

    • Wattle is called Mimosa here, and it is in blossom everywhere just now. The populations were much bigger when the churches were built. Every village has at least one church.

  3. You definitely warmed my heart today. Many thanks for the reminders from my past. In many ways, I’m sure time appears to have stood still … well, at least on the outside. Now I’m curious about old photos that are still in the family.

    Permission to reblog?

      • If you go to the restaurant again, say thank you for me for the Crema di Limoncello recipe that was waiting for me when I returned to the UK. We ate there every night! Wonderful food, wonderful people.

      • I am on my way back to Brisbane for a while, but when I return in September I will definitely go to the restaurant, it is one of my favourites in Bagni di Lucca.

      • We stayed in the adjacent village that had nowhere to eat, so were recommended to go to “Da Santina”. They plied us with their home made Limoncello or something else, after every meal, but could not find the recipe when we left. I really did not expect her to send it, but she did, so please tell them that Maggi from England said thanks!

  4. Reblogged this on A Frank Angle and commented:
    San Cassiano di Controne, small village high on a mountain above Bagni di Lucca in Tuscany, is where my paternal grandparents grew up. I haven’t been there since 1964, so Debra’s blog has helped take me back. Enjoy! For anyone who loves Italy, see other posts here and/or her Bagni di Lucca and Beyond blog in her sidebar …. and thank you Debra! Ciao.

  5. Pingback: The opening of a new museum in San Cassiano | Bella Bagni di Lucca

  6. Can’t believe I just saw this. My mother was from there and it holds a place near and dear to my heart. The family home is still there (albeit modernized) and I love this photos. I haven’t been back in 2 years and I can’t wait to go again. Beautiful villages in and around there. Grazie mille!

  7. Pingback: On a Heritage Walk « A Frank Angle

  8. Pingback: The villages of Bagni di Lucca | Bella Bagni di Lucca

  9. San Cassiano is quite a beautiful place. Our family lives along Via Coccolaio and we also have relatives and friends in Livizzano…. The church is quite impressive as well is the festival that occurs there every three years in which I have taken part in once. Great for a day trip if you’re staying in Bagni di Lucca. A lot of history and a lot of “rustic” to take in at once.

  10. My maternal grandfather was born there in 1895 and my uncle was born there in 1920. I was there once in 2005. Want to revisit with my siblings.We are the Bastiani & Menchini Family from this village.
    Leon K.

  11. Hi,I log on to your new stuff named “A visit to San Cassiano di Controne | Bella Bagni di Lucca” on a regular basis.Your story-telling style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing! And you can look our website about proxy free list.

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