Bagni di Lucca’s San Gemignano is not to be confused with the town with many towers, San Gimignano. Our sleepy hamlet is part of La Controneria, the largest and most populated area of Bagni di Lucca. La Controneria includes Guzzano, Gombereto, Mobbiano, Longoio, San Gemignano, Pieve di Controne, Vetteglia and San Cassiano.
San Gemignano is 532 metres above sea level and 7.5 kilometres along a narrow, winding road from La Villa. I visited on an overcast spring day…come for a walk through the village.
The views are lovely, even on a dull day.
There is a small shop at the top of the town and a narrow lane heads down hill from there. Old stone houses line the street.
There is a track to Vetteglia.
…and a track down the other way to Gombereto.
A bit further along the main street is the church dedicated to S Gemignano Vescovo who is said to have saved the Emperor of Constantinople’s daughter from the devil.
The bell tower dates from the late 1800s. The church dates from 1581, but was rebuilt last century after an earthquake. It wasn’t open the day I was there…another visit is required.
Spring is showing its pretty face in the gardens and along the sides of the roads and tracks. There are wildflowers everywhere and some fruit trees are in blossom.
I passed a peony plant covered with flowers the size of cabbages.
Watch out for Gessy…although he doesn’t look all that fierce to me.
At the end of the town is a chestnut forrest leading to Pieve di Controne…another day.
❤ ❤ ❤ the village my family is from. The fresco in your photos is from the house that has been traced back to my family for several hundred years.
Thank you for making your way up to San Gemignano : )
Tony, I was wondering if you saw this!
Of course Susan. I love, love, love this blog!!
I was a bit worried about intruding when I climbed the steps to take the photo of the fresco, but it is wonderful…I’m glad I did.
It is always a delight to walk through these villages. I want to visit in different seasons. I hope to get back when summer comes.
This village my family is from too. I’m French and my grand-mother’s name is SILVESTRI. I’m so happy to see these pictures and I’m so happy to see that there an other SILVESTRI di Baggni di Lucca in the world.
Thank you for your beautifull blog because I’m so proud fo my ancester’s country.
How very nice to hear from you. I hear of so many connections from all over the world of people who come from Bagni di Lucca. I hope you come to visit one day.
There should be a wood oven somewhere. I remember that a couple of years ago the Marcia dei colli passed through this village and there was a wonderful hot pizza waiting for us!
Yes Paola the communal oven is directly across from the home with the fresco painting in the photos. I too, have been lucky enough to enjoy pizza from the oven : )
I would like to try that.
Such beauty and history! I can’t wait to explore, only three weeks to go 🙂
Spring will have worked some more of its magic by then.
A gorgeous walk to do. I am waking up slowly in Melbourne, longing to be back somewhere in the Grarfagnana on a Spring day.
It is raining today, but still gorgeous.
I remember this village well. We visited several times and strolled along the few streets and lanes that lead away from the village. It looks as though spring has arrived and the flowers are starting to bloom everywhere. Thanks for the look around Deb.
I love the wild flowers and there are bumblebees the size of my thumb gathering pollen.
Looks fabulous, I cannot wait to see it all.
I believe we are going to be neighbours soon.
Yes about 4 weeks. I can hardly wait
It is a beautiful town and the church is worth a visit, although, because of thefts, you need to check when it is open, which is usually around Mass times. This link is useful http://www.diocesilucca.it/parrocchie.php?p=diocesi&s=parrocchie&id=254
Thank you for the link, I will find out when the church is open and try again.
Great post. I’ve read the comments from the people who come from the area (or their family does), but are now in other parts of the world. I think its really great that your blog keeps people in touch with their roots. People of Italian descent are all over the world including Australia and the US. Its great to think they can look at you blog and see something of the old country. For me its a great pleasure to be able to look at the scenes of San Gemignano I know so well.
I love the villages of Bagni di Lucca and it is a delight to walk through and find interesting things to photograph. I am pleased the photos give people pleasure.
They grey day almost adds to this beautiful scene Deb, just as you say. Brings out the colours somehow.
It was a subdued spring day, beautiful even without lots of sun.
How many colours there are in spring! I forget that, being in Oz for so long.
How is your peony???
I have a little collection of peonies now, and they all seem to be doing well. There will be a Casa Debbio garden update soon.
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We visited here in 1976. My wife’s grandfather was born here (I believe in the house closest to camera, just left of center in the 2nd photograph). He was Silvio Silvestri (1877-1939), son of Innocento Silvestri (b. about 1840) and Annunziata Buonamici (b. about 1850). I believe that Silvio’s sister, Mea (b. about 1880) lived in the house until her death (sometime after 1932). I don’t remember the name of the cousin who was living in the house when we visited, but we had a very pleasant time. The priest at the church had recently finished a history of San Gemignano di Controne, which included a section of family trees. It looked like almost everyone in town was named Silvestri.
How lovely for you to visit the town and see where your wife’s ancestors came from. I wanted to visit my grandfather’s town in Finland, but it is now part of Russia and there is probably nothing left of it.
You may be talking about the historical book published in 1971, by Pievano Don Elio Carlotti titled Pieve di Controne – Note Storiche. I have seen this book as well as the reprinted second edition done by my good friend Ann Barsi. In fact, through years of research she has finished some of the family trees to include present day descendants like myself. I believe Debra has done a article here on the blog about the second edition of the book to which you may be able to order a copy. From some of the earliest records I’ve seen there were 6 different families that shared the Silvestri surname from San Gemignano. Actually Silvestri is a very common surname in Italy. I do recognize some of the names you have mentioned from reading the books. I highly recommend you contact Ann (firstname.lastname@example.org) and picking up a copy. Also Debra I was wondering if I could contact you directly. I have a favor to ask of you.
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