One of the things I really enjoy about Bagni di Lucca is occasionally coming across traditional farming activities.
In the area behind Montefegatesi on the way to Orrido di Botri it is not unusual to come across a large herd of goats, with the occasional sheep, being brought in for the evening after a day foraging in the forest.
It doesn’t even matter when the road is taken over for a while.
These goats are milked to make cheese, a labour of love for the couple responsible. I wonder if young people will step up to keep these jobs alive or will they eventually be lost.
La Sosta, near Pescaglia, is a bit of a drive from Bagni di Lucca, but is a great place for Sunday lunch.
The little restaurant is nestled into a pine forest beside a church.
There is an outdoor eating area for sunny days.
We visited on a cool autumn day and chose to sit in the cosy indoor area.
It isn’t a big room and it was soon packed.
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.
Scaloppine with porcini mushrooms.
Excellent fried vegetables.
The table next to us ordered a feast.
La Sosta is open through the week for dinner and Sunday lunch. It is in Pascoso,via Pescaglia or Fabbriche di Vallico.
We have had mixed weather for the last few days. Today was glorious with blue sky and light wind, but there has been heavy rain, fierce wind, hail and snow on the mountains.
The snow melted quickly in the warm sun, but it was pretty while it lasted.
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.
We all love Italian food, but sometimes it is good to eat something else. Who doesn’t love a good hamburger? Eataly has opened a “Hamburgheria” in Via Fillungo in Lucca, and the hamburgers are great. You can have your burger cooked to your liking, rare, medium or well done, the bun is good and it is all well presented. (The chips could be better)
As you would expect from Eataly the cafe is very stylish.
They also have pastries and desserts…to be tried on another visit.
This is well worth a trip to Lucca.
Eataly…91A Via Fillungo, Lucca. It is in a courtyard off Via Fillungo, so you might need to look carefully to find it.
The translation of I Macelli is The Slaughterhouses. I am guessing that the site of this excellent restaurant was once an abattoir. The bright yellow building sits beside a little stream behind the main commercial area of Borgo a Mozzano, the village near the Ponte della Maddalena.
The restaurant is one of our favourite places to dine, with good reason. The food is very good, the setting pleasant and the service is friendly and efficient.
To get there, drive down the one way street in the centre of Borgo a Mozzano and turn left at the sign for the restaurant.
I look forward to many delicious meals at I Macelli when I return to Bagni di Lucca very soon.
After I left Pieve Fosciana I drove a little further on to Castiglione di Garfagnana which sits at 545 metres above the Esarulo River, a tributary of the Serchio River.
The town dates back to a Roman Castra, called Castrum Leonis (Lion’s Castle), built to oversee the valley that leads to the San Pelligrino Pass. The castle was built between1170 and 1227. It became Lucca’s most important garrison in the Serchio valley. In 1390 the “Rocca” or castle was extended and towers were built.
Some of the Rocca remains and you can walk through the narrow streets of the town to the top.
There is a road around the edge of the town outside the wall, offering excellent views of the castle and the surrounding countryside.
I entered the town through the Porta del Ponte Levatoio. It was mid afternoon and the town was deserted, leaving me to wander alone.
I went up into the old castle for some gorgeous views over the town.
Coming down from the top I came across the Church of San Pietro which was built in 723 by 2 Lombard brothers, but was rebuilt in the 12th century by Bishop Guido of Lucca.
I walked on through the pretty streets as it began to rain.
I will return when the town is a bit busier, I am sure there is more to discover.