Liberation Day

Giorno della Liberazione or Festa della Resistenza is celebrated in Italy on 25th April. It recognises the end of the Italian Civil War and the end of Nazi occupation of Italy in WWII in April 1945.

The liberation led to a referendum on June 2nd which resulted in the end of the monarchy and the creation of the Italian Republic.

April 25th was designated a national holiday in 1949 by Alcide De Gaspari, the last Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Italy.

There are celebrations all over Italy to mark the day. There are marching bands, parades and political rallies.

We attended an event in Vergemoli in Garfagnana. It seems difficult to believe that this tiny town with a population of about 100 people was caught up in the conflict, but the most northern of the fortifications the German army built across Italy, the Gothic Line, went right through the area.

Old army vehicles assembled in front of the comune.

Inside there was a collection of old photos. The tiny village saw lots of action and the village itself was bombed.

The photos are by Attilio Viziano.

Here you can see Vergemoli being bombed.

The people in front of this air raid shelter look remarkably cheerful.

Vergemoli

This is a photo of Vergemoli. It is interesting to note that there are no forests around the town as there are today. All the land was cultivated in those days. The hills were planted with wheat, grape vines and vegetables. No doubt this helped the people survive the horrors of war.

I can’t imagine having to live through what these people did. What a pity we don’t seem to learn enough from past conflicts.

A book has been put together by Andrea Giannasi and Moreno Maffucci about the Gothic Line in Garfagnana where these photos and more have been included.

We bought it even though it is in Italian. It will be good practice to try to read it.

Learn Italian in Bagni di Lucca

Laura Poggi, from the gorgeous Casa Tolomei in Via Umberto I in La Villa, is starting a small language school. She and her family have many years of experience and Laura is keen to start a new venture in Bagni di Lucca.

In a previous post I wrote about the amazing transformation Laura and her husband Andy have achieved in the house where Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning spent a couple of summers in the 19th century.  They bought it 5 years ago and have brought the beautiful house back to life. See the post here.

Work continues, but a couple of rooms are now available to rent and Laura can turn her attention to Italian lessons. This beautiful room will be for small groups. Larger groups will be in another part of the house.

It is possible to have one on one lessions with Laura, or to be part of a group lesson, the classes are flexible. Laura is delightful and I know her classes will be a lot of fun, the best way to learn a new language. Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, a course can be tailored for you.

Residential courses are also available, where you can stay at Casa Tolomei, take lessons in the morning and practise your Italian while exploring the villages.

Please email Laura at poggilaura@gmail.com for more information.

http://www.casaTolomei.com

Pleaee share this post with anyone you think might enjoy learning Italian in Bagni di Lucca.

A new restaurant for Bagni di Lucca

Bagni di Lucca has a new restaurant, La Tana del Ghiro. It is not far from the pedestrian bridge from La Villa…on the opposite side of the river from the town.

The interior is pleasantly furnished.

All the food is prepared from local produce. We were delighted with our selections.

Bread, hot from the oven. It is a pizza base with oil and herbs.

…and regular bread.

Antipasti.

Ravioli with local trout.

Trout with roast potatoes.

Prosciutto with potatoes.

Beans with onions.

Pannacotta with fruit of the forest.

La Tana del Ghiro is a great addition to Bagni di Lucca’s list of restaurants. The food is good and reasonably priced, the service is friendly…I hope they do well. They will also be selling local produce in the future.

Phone…0583 805 869

Email…latanadelghiro@hotmail.com

 

 

Don’t forget Verde Mura

Friday 31st March is the first day of the Verde Mura, the wonderful garden event held every year on the wall of Lucca.

Here is a reminder of what to expect.

Friday 31st March…12.00 – 19.00

Saturday 1st April…9.30 – 19.00

Sunday 2nd April…9.30 – 19.00

Entry fee €6 for 1 day

€10 for 2 days

€15 for 3 days.

There is a reduced price of €3 for those over 65 and for children.

A wet day at Devil’s Bridge

I took this photo of the wonderful Ponte della Maddelena through the windscreen of the car. (I wasn’t driving).

It is a pity there isn’t a footpath on the road near the bridge. It could be done. A small foot path could be built beside the road, over the river. It would make a great viewing platform.  I tried walking along the road once…never again!

Here are a few photos I have taken of the fabulous bridge over the years.

I took the photos below years ago with my first digital camera. It must have been 2004. The conditions were perfect.

Whatever the season the bridge looks great.

The bridge was decorated for the 150th anniversary if the unification of Italy.

The bridge always looks stunning. Fortunately it never changes…everything around it does.