An excellent new driving service in Bagni di Lucca

Paolo Citti was the first person I met in Bagni di Lucca. He met me at Fornoli station 20 years ago. My wallet had been stolen at the train station in Rome. Fortunately I had just bought my ticket to Bagni di Lucca.

I arrived at the station in Fornoli not knowing how I was going to get to my accommodation, which was Paolo’s apartment above his bar. I walked out of the station and saw a tall, handsome young man standing beside his car. He walked across to me and asked “Are you Debra?” I replied “Yes”. “I am Paolo” he said. We have been friends ever since.

I was his first customer all those years ago and now his has established a professional driving service to his long list of accomplishments. He still has his wonderful Cafe Catene, but he was looking for something extra. He loves Bagni di Lucca and he loves to share it so this is a perfect combination, for him and his lucky customers.

He does airport pickups and he will take you where you want to go. He knows the area like the back of his hand and loves to share his knowledge. He speaks English well. He looks a bit serious in the photo below, but he is good fun.

I think this service is needed in Bagni di Lucca and I can’t think of a better person than Paolo to do it. I wish him luck in his new venture.

Contact Paolo for more information.


Phone…(39) 3924437080



Motogiro D’Italia in Montefegatesi

The 23rd edition of the Motogiro d’Italia happened over the last week. 200 riders joined the historical re-enactment of the oldest and most prestigious motorcycle race. It is done in stages on vintage motorcycles.

On the final day riders stopped in Montefegatesi before heading down to Circolo dei Forestieri for lunch.

Here are some photos Mateo has kindly shared with us.

Montefegatesi had a fun day.

A night at the casino

The casino in Ponte a Serraglio was full of people last night. It is great to see that beautiful building open and full of life. There was delicious food with games to follow.

Annalisa and her crew from Bar Italia did a wonderful job with feeding the crowd who came along to support a great cause and have a fun evening.

Where would we be without Virgilio on an evening like this? He had some help with the games.

Money raised from the event will go to making improvements in the Ponte a Serraglio area.

This is an excellent initiative, well done to all those involved. There will be another chance to attend on 20th May. Keep the date free.

Festival of flowers for Saint Zita

Every year at this time Lucca celebrates the life of one of its patron saints, Saint Zita, who has her own space in San Frediano church.

The Anfiteatro is filled with flower displays and options to buy.

The piazza in fruit of San Frediano also has flower displays.

We thought it fitting to have coffee at Caffe Saint Zita.

The festival last for a couple more days, until 27th April. It is a colourful time in lovely Lucca.

Casino tour

This weekend FAI (a bit like the National Trust) organised walking tours of the Casino and Bernabo Spa in Ponte a Serraglio. The tours were extremely well attended on Saturday and Sunday, bringing lots of new people to the area.

Our tour began at the casino. It is the first purpose built casino in Europe. Carlo Lodovico di Borbone commissioned Giuseppe Pardini to build it in 1837.

We then walked up the hill to the Bernabo Spa. It has been beautifully restored and offers a range of treatments along with a fabulous deep marble bath and natural steam rooms.

There is a great view of Ponte a Serraglio from the terrace in front of the spa.

From there we walked down the hill and stopped briefly in front of what was the English Club, which is now the home of a friend.

We walked back to the casino for an inside tour.

The entrance and sitting room.

This was once a ballroom.

This is the orchestra stage.

The beautiful ceiling.

Detail of some of the decoration.

Delightful Virgilio gave us some lessons in the types of games that were once played in the various casinos that were operating in the area.

Look out for any future walking tours with the FAI.