Demidoff Chapel

Russian prince Nicolai Demidoff donated a hospital to Bagni di Lucca to enable the people of the town to benefit from the thermal waters. It was built in 1825.

He also commissioned the tiny chapel across the stream from the hospital. The Demidoff chapel was designed by Giacomo Marrucci and was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.

Demidoff

Demidoff

Demidoff

There was originally a wooden bridge across to the chapel, but it was destroyed by a flood in 1836. The current stone bridge was built soon after by the son of the prince and designed by Giuseppe Pardini.

Demidoff chapel

Demidoff chapel

The little chapel looks stunning in any season, but particularly when covered with snow.

Demidoff chapel

Here is an early photo of the chapel, before the surrounding trees had grown.

Demidoff chapel

The hospital is now Villagio Globale, a popular place for those wishing to enjoy the thermal waters. You will find Villagio Globale and the chapel in Ponte a Serraglio, on the road towards Granaiola.

La Sosta

La Sosta, near Pescaglia, is a bit of a drive from Bagni di Lucca, but is a great place for Sunday lunch.

La Sosta

The little restaurant is nestled into a pine forest beside a church.

La Sosta

There is an outdoor eating area for sunny days.

La Sosta

We visited on a cool autumn day and chose to sit in the cosy indoor area.

La Sosta

It isn’t a big room and it was soon packed.

La Sosta

The food is great! Porcini mushrooms and pumpkins are in season so it made sense to order some. The pasta below has pumpkin and spicy sausage…delicious.

Pumpkin risotto.

Scaloppine with porcini mushrooms.

La Sosta

Excellent fried vegetables.

La Sosta

The table next to us ordered a feast.

La Sosta

La Sosta

La Sosta is open through the week for dinner and Sunday lunch. It is in Pascoso,via Pescaglia or Fabbriche di Vallico.

Phone…0583 357657

A new Bar Italia

Bar Italia has been the heart of Ponte a Serraglio for decades. It was the first place I went to when I arrived in the village almost 15 years ago. I go there, or to Il Monaco, both belonging to hardworking Annalisa, every day when I am in my apartment. Annalisa is ably helped by her sister Suzanna and her team.

 

Bar Italia

Bar Italia has closed for a little while for renovations. Luckily, Il Monaco will take over until the new bar is ready. I don’t know where I would be without my morning coffee and sfoglia.

Bar Italia

There was a send off on the last night of the old bar and friends gathered for the party. I was not there, but others have taken photos to share. Thank you Paola, Paul and Collette.

Bar Italia

The plans for the new bar were discussed.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Here is a sneak peek at the new chairs.

Bar Italia

Several people chipped in to begin the demolishing of the old bar.

Last to go was the coffee machine.

Bar Italia

I hope the lovely lady stays.

Bar Italia

I wish Annalisa the very best and look forward to the brand new bar. I will be there for the grand opening. I’m sure there will be another party and everyone will be invited.

 

Babbo Natale

This year in Bagni di Lucca a wonderful team has created La Casa Di Babbo Natale in Villa Web, the villa famous for its part time resident, Lord Byron. My friend Paola kindly visited to take some photos so that we can all see Santa’s house.

Walk up from La Villa, past the Terme, and up to Villa Web.

La Villa

Babbo Natale

Villa Web

Open the front door…

Villa Web

Villa Web

Santa was out, probably discussing travel arrangements with his helpers and getting the toys sorted. His chair was waiting for his return.

Babbo Natale

Santa’s green helpers were on hand to show Paola around.

Babbo NataleBabbo Natale

Babbo Natale

Santa’s bedroom looked comfortable and inviting. He needs his rest before the big day.

Babbo Natale

The fire was alight, waiting for Santa’s return.

Babbo Natale

The kitchen is looking festive and the table is set ready for Christmas.

Babbo Natale

Babbo Natale

There is a desk where children can sit to write letters to Santa. Several years ago we visited Santa’s home in Finland where we saw the post office where their letters arrive. There are more letters from Italian children than from other countries.

Babbo Natale

Babbo Natale

Paola took a look a Santa’s list. I’m sure our names will be on it.

Babbo Natale

Well done to all those who set up Casa di Babbo Natale! Thank you Paola for sharing it with us.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and an excellent 2018.