A question for you

I have been asked to do a survey.

In past years in summer, part of the main street in La Villa is closed to traffic and the area in the centre becomes a pedestrian area. The restaurants put tables outside on the street and the area in front of the Circolo dei Forestieri becomes a fun place for people to sit to eat and for children to play safely without the worry of cars.

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This photo was taken yesterday, so you need to imagine that the trees are green and there are flowers everywhere.

Some car parking spaces are lost when the street is closed, but there is more parking behind the town. There is a road that goes behind the main street, so traffic is not disrupted.

There has been some talk that the street closing may not happen this year because a few businesses are not in favour of it.

I think it is a great idea, but I would like to know what you think. Would you like to see the centre of La Villa become a pedestrian area for a couple of months in summer?

If so, what hours would you like to see the street closed. If not, what are your objections?

Whatever your opinion, please leave a comment below, or send me an email….debrakolkka@gmail.com

102 thoughts on “A question for you

  1. The closure of the road to traffic does not affect us because we always walk from our house to La Villa. Also, there is parking available at the back and the distance is short, the equivalent of what you have to walk in a large shopping centre. Traffic disruption is minimal. Perhaps, I would create a 15 minutes loading zone only for those who need it. And I would make it a pedestrian zone only in summer. With perhaps a couple of hours during the day for loading and unloading only. I think that making La Villa a pedestrian area only for a couple of months in summer will not affect business in the area. On the contrary. Besides, walking is good for all of us.

    • The proposed pedestrian zone would only be for a couple of months in the summer and certainly there should be ample time in the mornings made available for deliveries to the shops and restaurants.

  2. I think it’s a great idea! If you would close the road from 11 till midnight, there will be enough time for businesses to make their delivery’s. In our town in Holland they do the same and that is working very good! For me it’s a YES.

  3. I think to make it no traffic area or to make it pedestrian area is so nice… In some places in here we have it. Early in the morning it is open for traffic then for example from morning 10 o’clock till to the late night it is closed again to the traffic… They have time for traffic between late night and early morning… I really don’t remember the hours… Thanks and Love, nia

  4. great idea…my opinion might sound interested, I’m discussing this point for years, it is nice for tourists, it would be betetr for business and safer for children…
    Thank you Debra

  5. It is a brilliant idea. We enjoy meals out every time this is done and it promotes a fantatsic atmosphere in the village. The kids love playing and sitting outside with no cars is perfect. Well done for bringing this up 🙂 x

  6. Yes, you should definitely do this from the afternoons onwards. It would add so much more to what is on offer in the town during the summer months. Good luck with getting it passed.

  7. We have no objection to this at all, there is plenty of alternative parking! Being able to sit outside and eat is so lovely especiall in the summer. It gives atmosphere to Bagni di Lucca… That is what summer is all about, ENJOYMENT….

  8. Its an idea that should definately happen – it would encourage people to visit more of the restaurants and shops and create an atmosphere that would make Bagni di Lucca an even more attractive place to visit and enjoy.
    Please do it!!

  9. Yes, this would be a great idea. My family and I have already enjoyed sitting outside in the evening on several occasions, enjoying the atmosphere and mixing with the locals. I can understand concerns regarding access for people with disabilities and deliveries but in my opinion the pro’s certainly outweigh the cons. School summer holidays in Italy are long and the area could be used for activities that both local families and children could enjoy.

  10. Great idea. We usually encounter one street occasionally closed in the summer and would love to see ALL of La Villa closed to pedestrian traffic from early evening until midnight. This compromise would probably be satisfactory to the older people coming down from the villages who cannot walk far to get to the Comune, the pharmacy, the bank, etc.

  11. Hi,
    I think thst it is a great idea to close the road in frony of the circolo di forestiere, it makes a focal point for the town in the summer, and allows for entertainment in the piazza

  12. Perhaps the businesses affected by the street closure would think of ways to get involved, to attract customers, to focus on the idea of community, which is so cherished. Those customers could carry on into the quieter months beyond summer (=$$/€ !!).

  13. I agree, closing the road for the evening would be good. I like it when they close the road in Ponte a Seraglio to have music in the square and the tables and chairs are put outside for diners in the restaurants – it creates a lovely atmosphere.

  14. I have also enjoyed the weekend closure in La Villa in recent years very much. And I think it is a great idea. But it really needs the commune and the local shopkeepers to be behind it and be willing to organise,late opening, musical events, night markets, etc to make it really worthwhile. A good compromise would be to have a closure say three evenings a week with people committed to making things happen on those evenings which would attract people into town. Up to now it has been down to the proprietors at a couple of restaurants and bars to organise events. Bagni di Lucca could be a really exciting place in the summer months, and a lot more could be done at the lovely littlle theatre, but it does take a lot of energy to make it happen. Where is that energy going to come from? Peggy

  15. Great idea,to be able to relax or rent a bike and not have to worry about autos. I vote “YES”, if Lucca can do it Bagni can do it! Fresh air for a couple of months should do wonder for the business holders as well, even the complainers in the lot.

  16. Whenever there has been a road closure when we have been there it has been great! There is a really warm, pleasant, friendly atmosphere that is difficult to achieve with traffic (together with the occasional inconsiderate drivers) going along the main street. Even if the road was only closed in the evenings and weekends I would not have thought that would harm any of the businesses – quite the opposite really.
    Good luck witht this and thank you.
    JohnB

  17. A definite YES to the pedestrian area it is much more relaxing walking about from shop to shop, shops could bring their business onto the street also, the restaurants could have their tables outside like il Ristorante Del Sonno does on occasions.

  18. Dear Debra

    Thank you for asking my opinion. I have been coming to Bagni di Lucca for 30 years and 10 years ago bought a house in the hills above, so I live there as much as I can, I have a great affection for the town and would love to see it thriving and the local economy booming.

    Over the years I have seen summer traffic get heavier and activity in the centre become less, so that the charm and character of the town is struggling to survive.

    I believe that by taking cars away from La Villa Centre and encouraging existing traders to open up onto the street, having summer events and temporary traders will encourage an atmosphere of festivity and bring summer visitors and more for local people. But it will also need a good marketing strategy to maximise the potential of this, and bring business to those who need it.

    Best wishes

    Carol

    • Hi Carol, I think I met you once at the Circolo? Like you, I would love to see our lovely villages thriving and happy. I don’t know that many of the local people understand marketing at all. It is not something that have had to do in the past, but times have changed and more needs to be done to attract business.
      Thank you for taking the time to offer your opinion.

      • Hi Debra
        I think we have met! Most small businesses are of course trying hard to survive at all and there will be an understandable fear of losing custom if people can’t park right next to the shops, but if there were enough events/markets/late opening of shops planned for the summer this would be compensated for: freedom to wander without being run over, lots of outside cafe tables, interesting activities and good advertising via main tourist info, local business websites and by social networking would encourage people to come in for the day and spend money..

      • I agree with you. I understand that business become concerned when their livelihoods are concerned, but I don’t think the shops in La Villa would be adversely affected by road closures. I hope a compromise is agreed to.

  19. Roland and Teresa Wells, who have a house in Gombereto, are thoroughly in favour of the streeet closures and evening events. We often have friends to stay and they have enjoyed many happy evenings there. It must be to the benefit of the community and local businesses as it brings extra visitors who spend money, of course.

  20. I think that it is a great idea, closing the piazza off. It creates a wonderful atmosphere and if the shopkeepers were to stay open I am sure they would benefit!

      • I think closing the street for a couple of months in the summer is a great idea. Traffic can use the other routes, there are still places to park and it creates a safe environment for all. I look forward to seeing this happen.

  21. I have been in Bagni di Lucca in the summer months on days when the streets are closed in the evening and I have enjoyed it very much. I think this practice should continue. I think it gives La Villa a festive atmosphere and promotes a healthy interaction between tourists and locals.

    My opinion is that the street closing should be during the evening dinner hour, possibly beginning at 7 PM until closing.

    I’m not sure if I’m in favor of closing the streets every night. I think having the streets closed two or three nights per week would make those evenings seem special.

    During my stay in Bagni di Lucca in July 2 years ago I found it difficult navigating the closed streets to get up to Gombereto. I would like to see better signage for the evenings that the streets are closed.

  22. Sounds like a wonderful idea as long as an alternate driving route is explained well to visitors. Having a traffic-free pedestrian area to eat in and walk through is one of the greatest aspects of Italy.

  23. Hi Debra Ilario told us of this in March.
    What a shame to stop this yearly custom because of a few killjoys
    the road does not close till the shops are closed for the day
    We think it creates a lovely atmosphere
    for locals and visitors .We are looking forward to eating in the street when eleven
    of our children and grandchildren come to stay in August

  24. Before you conclude your survey and I assume pass it on to Dottor Betti, I do want to add another comment. I do hope they decide to close ALL of the streets in La Villa in summer evenings. In the past, I have heard comments expressing resentment that only a few businesses were being favored over others by closing only one street where those businesses are. I would like to see all businesses being given an equal opportunity.

  25. Dear Debra!
    Thank you for your excellent initiative.
    We spend many weeks every year in Bagni di Lucca Corsena and enjoy visiting La Vila. Especially on warm summer evenings when the main street is closed to vehicular traffic. Then you sense the lovely atmosphere and the beautiful life in outdoor restaurants – and sometimes you will experience great entertainment outside the restaurants – for example, with Jayne and Ilario at Restaurant Del Sono.
    IT’S LA VILA.
    The main street could for example be closed to vehicular traffic from 1.00 pm to 2.00 am throughout the summer.
    Thank you
    Henning

  26. A big late yesssssss from me and than also extend the same concept to Ponte Seraglio. Make these places come alive with people and activities and less vehicles. Thanks for the brilliant idea Deb. see you soon.

  27. We would love to see this happen this year, as the town is in desperate need of Tourist business, and anything that would encourage people/families into the town would be welcome. Some added entertainment either musical or performance art would be an attraction as well.

    • I agree with you, speak to the mayor and let him know what you think. The survey results were given to him some time ago and I don’t think a decision has been made yet and summer is almost here.

  28. I agree with you for only a few days, during the week end, for examples, but i’m not agree for two months, it’s too much time, there will be fewer parking and the risk is that cars passing from the street behind the main street, can not find parking and not knowing what could be organized to go away!! (pant, pant!!! My first post in english!)

  29. I’ll be coming to Bagni di Lucca for the first time in September. Having not been there before I can’t really speak to this but from the photo the sidewalks do appear a little small and congested. As a tourist, my family and I would definitely enjoy the option of outdoor dining and a traffic-free pedestrian friendly place to walk and take in the charm of the city.

  30. Hi there,
    I believe the street should be closed as it adds ambiance to town in the evenings and should generate more business as more people would be out and about thus spending more money

    • I agree with you, but there are several traders who don’t want it to happen. If you can, speak to the mayor. He has been given a copy of the survey, but I’m not sure it is going to happen.

  31. I arrived in Bagni di Lucca on 1 July. Yesterday I had dinner at Il Sonno and asked Illario about the street closings. He told me the practice of creating a “pedonale” in La Villa will continue and is schedlued for each Thuursday and Friday evening throughout the summer.

    Osvaldo Barsi

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