A good news story

The people who run and work at the Auser Bagni di Lucca in Ponte a Serraglio are no longer at work in the shops, so they have redirected their energies into making masks. Many are made from wonderful linen sheets donated by generous people.

They are not meant to offer total protection from Covid 19, but anything that helps even a little is welcome. They can be washed and reused.

They are being distributed to those who want them with the delivery of food.

We need good news stories. Now is not the time to spread conspiracy theories and silly supposed protections and remedies. Take advice from doctors, professionals and official directives.  Unfortunately the internet is full of rubbish. 

I am at our remote house in Garfagnana for the duration of the lockdown. I really miss my morning coffee and sfoglia at Bar Italia. Let’s hope life can go back to normal soon.


Carneval Fornoli 2020

The fun for the student participants, their teachers and parents began around 2.00pm on Sunday across the Ponte Catene.


Everyone gathered in the square with great excitement. The theme of this year’s carneval was the Olympics. It was interesting to see the different interpretations.


Soon the officicials opened proceedings.

And the band began to play.

The procession made its way across the bridge.

It worked its way down the main street.

They gathered in the piazza waiting for the performances to begin.


The infants’ school from Fornoli presented their show, the race between the hares and the tortoises.

The next group performed.

It was the infants’ school from San Cassiano.

The students from Borgo a Mozzano came next. We wondered what the blue fabric was for. We soon found out it was the stream for the canoe team.

Then came the swimmers.

…and the equestrian team.




The fencing team fought with flowers…an excellent idea.



The cycle team really enjoyed themselves.

Corsagna school followed with an Ancient Greek view of the Olympics.


The Fornoli entry was colourful.


The last group sang for us.

The judges retired to consider their choices for the prizes. They soon returned and the first announcement was for the third place which went to Fornoli school.

In second place was Corsagna.

The winners were the students from Borgo a Mozzano. 

Top marks to everyone for the wonderful event. Students, teachers, parent and friends clearly spent many hours to present such a delightful spectacle and it was great fun for participants and spectators.

Thank you Marco Nicoli and the team for organising the event again.







Welcome new Bar Italia

Bar Italia in Ponte a Serraglio opened this evening. A large crowd of well wishers gathered early and the brand new bar was soon full.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Annalisa was there to welcome everyone.

Annalisa Bar Italia

Her helpers were all there too.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Of course there was lots of food.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

…and lots of people.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

I am delighted that Bar Italia is open again. The piazza has been very quiet without it. I look across the piazza to the bar from my apartment and it has been very sad to see it closed.

Bar Italia

We will be back bright and early tomorrow morning for our first breakfast at Bar Italia.

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.


Home gardens

I love that Bagni di Lucca residents grow things in tiny patches of land. Little plots grow vegetables and fruit and olive trees. Grape vines form fences. I often see thriving gardens on my walks around the villages.

I was happy to meet Rino Pacini who proudly showed me his growing vegetables.

His front yard is also lovingly tended.

Growng basil in a pot is about all I can manage on my tiny balcony at Ponte a Serraglio.

San Cassiano War Memorial

The War Memorial in San Cassiano has been lovingly restored. Too many lives were lost from the area. It is heart breaking to see the list of the names of those who died fighting.

Bands played, crowds came…people of all ages, there were speeches, there was food and there was rain.

I saw the restored monument last week and it is looking great. It is clear that these men will not be forgotten.

I wasn’t there today, as I am now on my way back to Australia for a few months. Thank you to Paul Anthony Davies for allowing me to share his wonderful photos.