One of the things I am most asked for about Bagni di Lucca is information on walking trails in the area. The villages that make up Bagni di Lucca are beautiful and there are old mule trails between most of them.
The trails are reasonably well marked once you find them and it is great fun to walk between the villages. The forest is not too dense and the views can be spectacular.
I visited the Information Centre and found a couple of maps.
The orange lines represent roads. The orange broken lines are unsealed roads. The green lines are walking, mountain bike and horse trails and the broken green lines are waking tracks.
On this map the coloured lines represent walking trails, the double black lines are the roads and the broken black lines are unsealed roads.
You can find the originals at the Information Centre in La Villa. It is in Via Umberto I, not far from the Comune building. The young women who work there are very helpful.
Verdemura, the annual garden show started today on the wall of Lucca. It is in a new spot near Porta San Donato and Porta Santa Anna.
There were not quite as many plants as last year. I think this cold spring has held back plant growth. There is still plenty to see and buy and it was a glorious day…perfect for some time on the wall.
Of course there is also food…cheese, salumi and a happy face.
Verdemura continues tomorrow and Sunday. Entry is €6.
Next week in Lucca the annual Verdemura will be held. It begins Friday 7th April and continues on Saturday and Sunday. It is in a new location this year, near Porta San Donato on the stunning wall of Lucca rather than Porta Santa Maria.
This is a great place to find fabulous things for your garden.
The following weekend will be the Azalea Festival at Borgo a Mozzano. The town will be decorated and there will be excellent plants for sale and much more.
With a bit of luck some glorious spring weather will accompany these 2 wonderful events.
The annual spring walk around Bagni di Lucca will take place on Monday 2nd April. You can either walk 2, 4, 10, 18 or 20 kilometres, beginning in Fornoli. You can begin the walk between 7.30am and 8.30am.
This is a fun way to see a different side of Bagni di Lucca. Get a group of friends together and chose your walk. Refreshments are provided along the way and the tracks are well marked.
For more information phone 0583 87932 or 349 6953500
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.
Annalisa was there to welcome everyone.
Her helpers were all there too.
Of course there was lots of food.
…and lots of people.
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.
We will be back bright and early tomorrow morning for our first breakfast at Bar Italia.
Bar Italia in Ponte a Serraglio has been closed for extensive renovations. I can happily report that it will reopen this Saturday, 24th March.
There will be opening celebrations from 5.00pm. I hope everyone will come along to wish Annalisa and her team the best for the new start.
This an old photo. There will lots more of the new bar after the opening.
Our area is now so quiet and peaceful it is difficult to think that it was once heavily involved in the battles of WWII. The Gothic Line was a German defensive line built from Pisa to Rimini and it went through the northern Apennine Mountains around Bagni di Lucca. There is still evidence today of the fortifications built in the area.
Charles McNamara has written a novel, Ineke’s Mitten, about two friends, Norwegian Nels Torkle and Italian Alberto Bisio, who are sent towards the end of the war to fight near Lucca, Bisio’s home town.
The novel tell how two men, forced to hide in America from the Germans during WWII join the Tenth Mountain Division and are sent to train in the mountains of Colorado. Finally, not long before the end of the war, they are sent into combat in Europe.
In early 1945 the division is sent to Lucca in a desperate attempt to dislodge the Germans from their mountain strongholds. The commanders rely on the two friends to find an attack route up a dangerous cliff called Riva Ridge. Because of their efforts, the Germans are sent fleeing from their final stronghold in Europe.
I think it is always interesting to read about events that take place in a familiar area. I’m sure Charles’ book brings to life a very difficult time in our beautiful mountains.