This is the first year since we bought our apartment in Ponte a Serraglio in 2003 that I have been here for an entire summer. I usually go home to Australia to enjoy our wonderful sub tropical Brisbane winter. I am not a fan of hot weather, but Covid has changed many plans.
It is also the first year I have been here to look after the flowers I plant on the bridge in front of our apartment all summer. The plants are exposed to everything the weather can hit them with and they require quite a lot of watering, fertilising and general care. Because of the harsh conditions they don’t always do well. Even geraniums struggle to survive.
I planted geraniums and a bit later, marigolds, in late spring. The geraniums have not done well, but the marigolds have thrived. A few have recently dropped dead, but new seedlings are growing to replace them. They put on a very good show and there will be marigolds on the bridge next year.
The flowers on my balcony have finally come good after a slow start. These need watering almost daily to survive. I doubt I will plant them again even though they are very pretty.
The plant outside my bathroom window is the easiest to water. I can can reach them from my shower.
Since I will probably be here all winter I will be looking for something that will survive the cold.
After weeks of rain some fine weather has finally arrived! Ponte a Serraglio is looking gorgeous.
I hope to visit lots of the other villages that make up Bagni di Lucca soon.
This morning I planted the geraniums on the bridge at Ponte a Serraglio. I was happy to see Bar Italia open for takeaway. The fresh food shop next door was open and busy. The pharmacy had a well spaced queue in front and the Tabacchi was open. Life is beginning to return to the piazza.
It was a beautiful spring morning.
I left the yellow pansies because they have some life left in them. With some luck they will last until the geraniums grow bigger.
Just before I left Bagni di Lucca for Australia in November the first snow of the season fell on the mountains around us.
The autumn weather makes for some beautiful views while driving around the area.
When I return next month I hope to see much more snow.
The views of Montefegatesi are gorgeous in any season. Before I left Bagni di Lucca in November autumn colour was beginning to appear.
When I return early in the new year winter will be in full swing, bringing its own beauty.
The beautiful tiglio trees form a tunnel to drive through as you enter Fornoli and Bagni di Lucca. Before I left for Australia the last of the leaves were falling from the trees.
When I return early next year they will have taken on their stark winter appearance…also beautiful.
I love to see traditions continue in Bagni di Lucca. It is great to see a shepherd bringing the goats down from their grazing. It was excellent to see a young shepherd. I hope this means the old ways will go on.
A little further along the road from Monti di Villa I spotted some healthy looking cattle grazing.
You never know what you will see as you drive between the villages.
Autumn is a great time to take a drive to Abetone, the ski village 40 kilometres from Bagni di Lucca.
As you get close to Abetone the vegetation changes and autumn is in full swing. The photos were taken from a moving car, so some are a bit blurry.
In the centre of Abetone there are 2 stone pyramids erected to celebrate the opening of the Strada Regia Modenese, Modenese Royal Road.
On the Tuscan side of the road.
On the Modena side.
The road was begun in 1766 and was completed about 10 years later. It secured an important trade route, joining the territories of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy Modena. It was financed jointly by Pietro Leopoldo and Francesco III.
From this position in the village it is possible the see some of the ski runs without snow.
The skiing in Abetone is great and the village comes alive when the snow falls, but it is very pretty right now. Take a drive and enjoy the autumn colour.
Autumn is a lovely time to be in Bagni di Lucca. The days are still warm and sunny and the mornings and evenings deliciously cool.
On clear, bright days the Lima River at Ponte a Serraglio looks stunning with the buildings reflected in the still water.
We have had some spectacular sunsets as well.
If you look closely at this photo you will see 2 birds standing on the wall in the river at Ponte a Serraglio.
One is a cormorant (I think. I am happy to be corrected) The black bird was drying his wings in the sun. He wasn’t there long before he flew off, no doubt looking for lunch.
It always surprises me to see seagulls on our river, but I suppose it is not all that far as the crow (or seagull) flies from the sea.
Green buds are beginning to appear on the trees. Spring is underway.
The sun is shining, but there is a fierce wind blowing.