Riolo, then and now

I love these old photos of the villages of Bagni di Lucca. Sometimes there are big changes, and sometimes not. Here is an old photo of the centre of Riolo.

Riolo

The road in front of the house in the foreground has been widened to allow cars to get through.

 

Riolo

The house now has a pergola in front covered in grape vines.

Riolo

The path leading up from the piazza looks much the same.

Riolo

Riolo

The villages of Bagni di Lucca are all interesting, with their own character.

 

A new bar for Montefegatesi

It is always sad news when there are closures in the villages of Bagni di Lucca. The wonderful bar in Montefegatesi closed recently but the residents didn’t take long to fix the situation.

A bar is an important part of these small villages. It is not just a place to have coffee or an aperitivo, it is a place to meet friends, exchange news, have some fun and be part of a community. It is certainly where I met people who became friends and got to know about Bagni di Lucca life when I first came to the area 15 years ago.

The local Circolo in Montefegatesi has been renovated and now houses a brand new bar, which opened recently.

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Top marks to the people of Montefegatesi for taking matters into their own hands and congratulations on the excellent new bar.

Thank you Lizzy Ashard for providing the photos of the new bar.

Geraniums at Ponte a Serraglio

The geraniums on the bridge at Ponte a Serraglio are thriving this year.

P1080842.JPG

I planted them last month and have been taking care of them. There has been some rain, which makes things easier.

I leave for Australia soon and won’t be back until autumn. Annalisa from Bar Italia has kindly offered to let us use her tap beside the bar to water the flowers on the bridge.

I will leave a watering can at the bar. It would be great if anyone interested in keeping the bridge looking good could help out with watering.

Thank you in advance.

Ancient forest

If you drive, or walk, past Montefegatesi on the way to Orrido di Botri you will find yourself in another world. Ancient forests of chestnut, oak and beech trees shrouded in mist seem from another time and place. It wouldn’t have surprised me if a goblin had dashed out from a hollow tree.

Chestnut forest

Chestnut

Chestnut forestChestnut forest

Chestnut forest

Chestnut forest

There are the remains of stone metati, chestnut drying huts, unused for decades.

Chestnut forest

Chestnut forest

Chestnut forest

If only the trees could talk and share their stories of the people who once lived and worked here, hard lives, but at times it must have been a beautiful place to work.

I think the trees look beautiful on a cold winter day, but I will be back in spring to see them again when the green leaves appear.

 

It’s freezing!

“The Beast from the East” is certainly making its presence felt in Bagni di Lucca. It was below zero on my balcony at Ponte a Serraglio this morning.

We don’t have deep snow like Rome. There were a few flurries the other day and fierce wind, but no snow on the ground.

After being shut in the house for a couple of days I decided to drive up to Montefegatesi, the highest of the Bagni di Lucca villages at around 840 metres above sea level, in the hope if finding some snow. Apart from a few patches of snow in shaded areas the village was clear. The temperature was -7!

Montefegatesi looks wonderful whatever the weather. Here it is with its winter coat.

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

There was little snow, but lots of frozen puddles.

The surrounding mountains are covered with snow.

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

I visited when I was here in autumn, a beautiful season in Montefegatesi.

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Soon it will be spring and everything will look different again.