Sicilian delights at Ponte a Serraglio

Piera, who owns and runs the excellent fruit and vegetable shop in Ponte a Serraglio, is from Sicily. She and her husband are now selling snap frozen Sicilian delights in the shop. They have arancini and pastries in different sizes.

There are sauces to go with them as well.

Of course they still sell a great range of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Drop in a say hello to lovely Piera.

Bernabo baths are open

It is great to see new business in Bagni di Lucca. The Bernabo baths in Ponte a Serraglio have been renovated and are now open to the public.

The first building was constructed in 1593 and the marble baths date from this time. The new company has done a great job renewing the interior and the beautiful old baths.

They offer an extensive range of treatments as well as thermal baths and stream grotto.

The terrace in front of the baths offers one of the best views in the area.

The baths are open Monday to Sunday from 8.30am until 7.00pm.

Via Bagni Caldi 34

Phone 0583 995383 or 331 171 9014 for information or an appointment.

http://www.bagnobernabo.it

bagnidiluccasrl@libero.it

A nearby festival

Most festivals in Italy have not happened over the last 2 years because of Covid. It is encouraging to see this about to change this year.

We dropped in briefly to an olive oil festival in Valdottavo on Sunday.

We were there early and wandered through the pretty main street of the town to see lots of stalls set up.

The first stand had a familiar face. This family also runs the wonderful fruit and vegetable shop in Ponte a Serraglio. We picked up a few supplies on the way out.

We gathered a few other things on our walk through the town, including olive oil, a fennel disgestivo and some locally made sausages. It is a good way to get to know local growers and producers.

We had to leave before lunch which was a pity. Long tables were being set up and I’m sure the food would have been delicious.

Valdottavo is a pretty, well kept town with some impressive buildings. I think it needs another visit.

Verdemura 2022

The wonderful Verdemura is happening on the Lucca wall this weekend. It started yesterday and continues today until 7.30pm and tomorrow from 9.00am until 7.30pm.

We went yesterday to find the usual excellent selection of plants, garden accessories, hand made items and food.

Tickets are on sale at the entrance and online…verdemura.it

Tickets are €10 or €8 for over 65s or children from 8 – 14.

Online tickets are €8 + €1 booking fee.

I hope the rain doesn’t ruin the event. We haven’t had rain for months, making it difficult for nurseries to get their plants growing and now it rains on their opportunity to sell them.

We found everything we were looking for…and much more.

A new chef at Albergo Corona

The restaurant at Algergo Corona is in a beautiful setting over looking over the Lima River. In spring and summer it is especiially delightful when there are tables outside on the terraces. With the weather beginning to warm up the outdoor dining should begin soon..

We were invited last night to meet the new chef, Stefano Gallo, and try the new menu. Stefano has lots of experience both in Italy and overseas. This is evident in the execution and presentation of the dishes we enjoyed.
We chose a five course degustation menu and asked the chef to select them for us. Every one was delicious…take a look. 1. red mullet with pappa al pomodoro. 2.seafood soup. 3. cacio e pepe (particularly delicious) 4. cappelletti (another favourite) 5. cod with endive. The cheesecake dessert was a delightful extra.

I look forward to trying more dishes on the menu soon. I’m sure they will be every bit as good as the ones we enjoyed.

Build a wall

I have been asked a few times recently if I can recommend someone who can build stone walls. I can confidently suggest Gazmir Ulqini who lives in Fornoli.

Gazmir and his workers did a wonderful job building walls for us at our mountain house. Here they are not long after they were built.

They are wearing well. This is what they looked like last summer.

They also made us a barbecue built onto the walls of the old house we had to pull down because it was too far gone to repair.

He builds other things besides walls. He is easy to work with, comes when he says he will and works quickly…what more could you wish for?

Gazmir Ulqini…349 3158495

Pansies on the bridge

I braved the freezing wind today to plant pansies on the bridge at Ponte a Serraglio. The bridge will be closed for a week from tomorrow so I wanted to get them in first.

The magnolia tree in the background will be in bloom soon.

I am expecting several plants to be stolen, it happens every year. Last week a miserable grub chopped off some lovely little daffodils and placed them carefully in the pot.

Anyway, I love to see flowers on the bridge…spring is on the way.

Update on the landslide at the Ponte della Maddalena

A few months ago there was a landslide near the Ponte Maddalena in Borgo a Mozzano, on the road to and from Bagni di Lucca. The road was closed for sometime while the fallen rocks and soil was cleared and the road reinforced.

Here is a photo I took of earlier work on the landslide.

The work continues and recently I climbed to the top of the bridge to see the workmen on the hillside.


The view from the top of the bridge is spectacular.

I hope those men and their equipment are securely tied to something sturdy!