Dinner with the huntsmen of Casabasciana


The name Casabasciana probably comes from the Roman settler called Bassius, who built his house here. The town is perched on the side of the hill about 4 kilometres up from Fabbriche di Casabasciana on the SS12.
My friend and I were invited by Heather Jarman from Sapori e Saperi to join the dinner put on by the Squadra di Cacciatori , the hunting team from Casabasciana, an offer too good to refuse, especially since the proceeds of the evening are to be used to renovate a building in town to provide help for some of the older residents.
We went up to the village in the late afternoon to discover the delights of Casabasciana.
The streets of the village are narrow, winding and steep.




There are lots of lovely old buildings to see.









I spotted a small statue of the Madonna in an alcove opposite the main church.


She was standing on an interesting base.


We wandered to the outskirts of the town where the buildings end and some of the farming area still exists.


We met Giovanni with his tractor loaded with wood.


He has lived all his life in Casabasciana and proudly showed us the house that belonged to his grandfather which he has renovated for his daughter.


He keeps a very neat wood pile.


Spring is coming to Casabasciana.




We met Heather who showed us some of the things we missed.


The communal washing area, which is still used.


Her garden shed.


Another little shrine.


Beautiful building decoration.


The oldest, and apparently the best water supply.


The lovely little church beyond the village.

The fresco inside the old church.

We were on the edge of town to see the sunset.




We went to the main square which looked beautiful at night.


The town is tiny, but it has a bar and an excellent shop which stocks everything.


We had a cup of tea in Heather’s lovely kitchen.


Her house has lots of gorgeous rooms.


Finally it was time for dinner.


Tommaso and Anna Rosa serving the crostini.


First course.


Patiently waiting for the next delicious course.


The pasta.


The chingiale arrives.



The vegetables are served by Dalida.

Renato carving the porchetta.





My porchetta.


Alfredo enjoying his stinco (shin bone)


Pannacotta for dolce.

And as is that wasn’t enough, there were frittelle di San Giuseppe to follow.


If you get the chance to attend any of these local dinners, do so, you will love it.

Take a look at Heather’s website and blog. She knows all about the local festivals.



Casabasciana from above.



33 thoughts on “Dinner with the huntsmen of Casabasciana

  1. This place looks like heaven Debra…Where to begin? The old timber doors are wonderful. And I love Giovanni’s wood stack too! As for the pasta and the cinghiale… Non ne posso piu’! 😉

  2. Love your blog but especially love your village posts. Some of these places have long been forgotten and you are helping to bring them back to life. They are among the treasures of Italy and should not be abandoned.
    The food alone makes it worth the trip! Add scenery, wonderful people, the beautiful sound of the Italian language, lovely weather and you’re in heaven.

    • So many people have left these villages over the years some are dying, which is such a shame. Some of the families come back for the summer and foreigners are buying old houses in the villages and renovating them. This all helps, but it is not the same.

  3. Oh Debra, this post is absolutely enchanting. The photos are really superb. You capture the personalities of the people so well I could just hug them. I loved the sunsets, the Madonna and the other statue, the houses, the doors, the woodstack and then the food!!! I’m vegetarian/diabetic but I would die to have been there! Thank you so much.

  4. Typical Italian streets and houses… How fascinating me… Dear Debra, you captured so beautiful photographs, do you know what I thought while I was watching them, you know what I want to see, or if I were there what pictures I would have taken… So, it’s been so exciting and so enjoyable to watch your photographs… You never miss any detail… I loved so much. Thank you for taking me with you through these photographs… 🙂 Of course I can’t breathe the weather and eat these delicious meals but still it is great moments for me. Have a nice day, with my love, nia

    • It is meeting the people that really makes it special. Giovanni was delighted to talk to us. He told me he loved geography when he was a boy, and that he loved to travel in his head. He has been happy to live in Casabasciana, but he loved to read about other places.

  5. I’m wondering about the Madonna resting her foot on an apple. Possibly a reference to Eve, Adam and the Garden of Eden? The food looks delish. If they ever want to come over here and cook, we’d love to have them!

  6. Your photography is absolutely stunning! The colors, the textures… This village is so beautiful. I envy you so much living there and being able to discover so much, tasting everything there is in this incredible part of the world… Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

  7. Wonderful, as usual Debra. I love that shot of the communal washing area with such a nice view, and also the sot of the town at night…it looked so deserted and quiet. Thanks again!

  8. I can’t believe my sister (anniesingerart) hasn’t commented on this. Our time in central Italy was consumed with ‘hunting out’ rather than actually hunting down, the best porchetta. The cinghiale you had looks fabulous and the night looks like a great time. I look forward to seeing some more of the local village customs and celebrations.
    Maria Luisa

  9. E’ proprio bellissimo, Debra, complimenti ! Spero di poter vivere una serata in questa stupenda località e cenando con questo cibo delizioso !

  10. Pingback: Meet Heather from Casabasciana | Bella Bagni di Lucca

  11. Pingback: My 2012 in Bagni di Lucca | Bella Bagni di Lucca

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