This weekend FAI (a bit like the National Trust) organised walking tours of the Casino and Bernabo Spa in Ponte a Serraglio. The tours were extremely well attended on Saturday and Sunday, bringing lots of new people to the area.
Our tour began at the casino. It is the first purpose built casino in Europe. Carlo Lodovico di Borbone commissioned Giuseppe Pardini to build it in 1837.
We then walked up the hill to the Bernabo Spa. It has been beautifully restored and offers a range of treatments along with a fabulous deep marble bath and natural steam rooms.
There is a great view of Ponte a Serraglio from the terrace in front of the spa.
From there we walked down the hill and stopped briefly in front of what was the English Club, which is now the home of a friend.
We walked back to the casino for an inside tour.
The entrance and sitting room.
This was once a ballroom.
This is the orchestra stage.
The beautiful ceiling.
Detail of some of the decoration.
Delightful Virgilio gave us some lessons in the types of games that were once played in the various casinos that were operating in the area.
Look out for any future walking tours with the FAI.
This looks really interesting. Is there an official website of the FAI? Just wondering how to find out about more walking tours in the future? Many thanks
I’m sure if you Google FAI you will find more information. I usually see what is coming up, but I missed information about this. Our apartment is almost opposite the Casino so I saw the queue.
This is the type of events and activities needed.Well done!
Is there a link to find out about more events in the future please?
Events at the casino are run by many different organisations. Unfortunately it can be quite difficult to find information about coming events. Sometimes it can mean seeing a poster at a local bar a few days before the event.
800 people attended the event, which is excellent. The talk was in rapid fire Italian otherwise I would have shared more information. I don’t expect them to do it in English, but a printed short summary in English would be great.
So often the case in Italy. But I try my best to learn the basics. If I ask the docent beforehand I’ve found that often they will add asides in either English or ‘slow’ Italian for us.
I love that you could see the types of casino games played
I have seen Virgilio do this before at various events. He is excellent.
This looks like such a lovely restoration and I’m sure the Spa is also. It’s heartwarming to see the area preserved little by little. I hope to visit again some day. As always your excellent photography conveys the beauty and history so well. Thanks…… Doug
The casino was renovated not long after we came here in 2003. I think it was 2005. They did a great job. Bernabo Spa is excellent and they seem to be doing well, which is good to see.
I continue to become excited each time I see your emails. Thank you so much.
Thank you. Bagni di Lucca has much to offer.