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.
Just before I left Italy in early November I drove up to Montefegatesi hoping to see some autumn colour in the forest just outside the village. I was a bit early, but I could see the changes.
It is always good to stop at the little church beside the road on the way down the mountain.
By now the leaves will probably be gone and the scene will be wintery. That is wonderful too.
It has been a good year for chestnuts this year. Try some delicious chestnut pancakes in Montefegatesi on Sunday.
If you can’t make it on Sunday perhaps you could make your own necci.
You will need…
2 cups chestnut flour.
slightly less than 2 cups water
a pinch of salt
1 cup of ricotta (sweetened with a little sugar or honey if you wish)
Place the flour in a bowl with the salt. Slowly pour the water into the flour and stir with a whisk until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
Heat a little olive oil in a frypan and pour in a large spoonful of batter. Swirl the pan to spread the batter evenly. Cook until the bottom is golden then flip and cook the other side.
Stack the necci on a plate until all the batter is used.
Whip the ricotta and spread on the necci and roll up.
Here is one I enjoyed at the chestnut festival in Lucchio last year.
It took me a while to acquire a taste for necci, but I now find them delicious.
We have had a dramatic change in the weather. The lovely sunny days gave way to torrential rain, howling wind, thunder and lightning in the last couple of days.
The river has turned brown and is moving quickly.
The first showers made for some lovely autumn scenes.
I hope the weather is fine for these 2 events coming up in Bagni di Lucca.
The sun is out now. Let’s hope it lasts for a while.
Chestnuts are ripening on trees all over Bagni di Lucca. I went up to the lovely chestnut forest just outside Montefegatesi hoping to see some autumn colour. The trees are still green, but the beginnings of change can be seen. Best of all some of the trees are laden with chestnuts.
Autumn is the time for chestnut festivals. I have attended several of these over the years and I find them great fun.
Here are a few coming up soon in Garfagnana.
Cascio has a wonderful chestnut festival. I have been twice. This year it will be held on Sunday 7th October. This one attracts a big audience. Be early if you want to find a place in the car park. Festivities usually begin at about 11.00am.
Castiglione di Garfagnana is a gorgeous hilltop town. The chestnut festival is set for 14th October.
Trassilico will also hold its festival on 14th October. I have been to this one too and enjoyed it immensely.
Lucchio will have its chestnut festival on 21st October. I went last year and had delicious necci.
Castelnuovo’s will be held over 2 days, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th October.
Lupinaia has a wonderful chestnut festival. I attended several years ago. This year it will be held on Sunday 11th November.
I will be back in a few weeks to see the Montefegatesi trees in their autumn colours.
This is the last show of autumn colour in the park in La Villa. Heavy rain has washed away the autumn leaves and soon the trees will take on their winter look.
Each season is beautiful in its own way.