Mario Lena, poet at Ponte a Serraglio and remarkable previous Mayor of Bagni di Lucca, recently celebrated entering his 90th year. Maura Bertolozzi and Agostino Rieter organised a marble plaque to be hand carved in Pietrasanta with one of Mario’s poems. It was installed at Il Monaco, where Mario likes to have his breakfast in the morning. Our current Mayor, Dr Massimo Betti, officiated the ceremony to unveil the plaque.
Mario Lena was a respected scientist and teacher as well as a very popular mayor for 10 years from 1960.
Friends of poetry and Mario gathered for the unveiling of the poem.
Take the time to read the poem next time you are at Il Monaco and say hello if you see him. He is a very friendly and delightful man.
A few days later a second plaque was unveiled at the edge of Agostino’s property, beside a seat, where visitors are invited to rest a while, enjoy the poem and the magnificent view of Mario’s favourite place, Bagni di Lucca.
Writers from Great Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Holland and Italy have been drawn to Bagni di Lucca for centuries…Byron, Shelley, the Barrett Brownings and many more have spent time in the beautiful villages, no doubt taking inspiration from their surroundings, just like Mario Lena.
Agostino has had the brilliant idea to establish a “Poetry Path” and connect 17 sites around Ponte a Serraglio, Bagni Caldi, Il Paretaio, Bagno alla Villa and La Villa where famous writers lived or visited. People will be invited to walk to the sites, admire the view and read about the writers.
A proposal has been put to the Foundatione Michel de Montaigne and if approval is given, anyone interested in helping to get the idea off the ground will be invited to get involved.
We are hoping the Mayor and the Council of the Comune will give full cooperation. I will keep you up to date with developments.
I think something that encourages locals and visitors alike to walk around the area and appreciate the spectacular scenery and learn something about our literary residents and visitors is a wonderful idea.