Topo Gigio

On the road from Bagni di Lucca to Abetone at Fabbriche di Casabascana you will find Trattoria Bar Topo Gigio.

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio

I had heard it was a fun place to stop for coffee or lunch so with some friends I decided to try it.

The tables were all full, but fortunately somebody left as we arrived and we found a spot. It is always a good sign when a place is packed at lunch time.

The service is brisk and friendly and soon our lunch arrived.

Topo Gigio

We ordered ravioli with the Gigio sauce, which is deliciously spicy.

Topo Gigio

The gnocchi came with the same sauce, but there were several other we could have tried.

Topo Gigio

We all ordered the Milanese with a side order of salad and chips…all good.

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio is a fun place to stop…I will return.

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio

Str. del’Abetone e del Brennero 25 – 27

Fabbriche di Gallicano

347 08035582

Chestnut time

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.

Montefegatesi chestnut forest Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

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.

Dressing up

Last weekend in Bagni di Lucca was the wonderful event, Shelley a Bagni di Lucca…la poesia e il ballo.

The event was  attended by people in costumes of the period when the poet Shelley visited Bagni di Lucca. A crowd gathered at Villa Web and walked to various sites in the area. The photos below were taken by Rita Gualtieri.

Shelley event

Shelley event

Shelley event

Shelley event

Shelley event

 

Shelley event

There was a dance at the casino in Ponte a Serraglio in the evening.

Look at the Facebook pages of Marco Pistolozzi, Valerio Ceccarelli and Rita Gualtieri for some wonderful photos of the well dressed characters.

I think the enthusiasm the partipants bring to these events is great. I wish I had been there.

 

Events in Bagni di Lucca

Summer events continue…

The first one celebrates Percy Shelley, the British poet who spent time in Bagni di Lucca with his friend Lord Byron.
Bagni di Lucca events

On 1st September there will be a concert in the English Cemetery where the renovation of tombs and monuments continues.

Bagni di Lucca events

Talk to the people at the information centre in La Villa for more information.

Chestnut forest

At the end of winter I visited the enchanted chestnut forest on the outskirts of Montefegatesi. See the post HERE. It looked stunning even then and I couldn’t wait to return in spring to see it green and lush.

The road into forest is delightful in spring with wild flowers lining the road.

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Chestnut forest Montefegatesi

Chestnut forest Montefegatesi

There are a few reminders of the days when chestnuts were farmed seriously. It must have been a hard life, but the beautiful workplace would have helped the workers get through the day.

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

The trees are the stars on this drive, or even better, walk.

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

I’m sure the forest is a cool sanctuary in the heat of the summer.

I look forward to my autumn visit when I return later this year.