Chestnut festival in Trassilico

It is chestnut season! Chestnuts are ripening on the trees and chestnut festivals pop up in villages in the area.

On Sunday I visited Trassilico for their annual chestnut festival. I have developed a taste for necci, chestnut pancakes. I like mine filled with ricotta, but you can aslo have them with nutella.

Trassilico is not far from Bagni di Lucca. Drive to Gallicano at the beginning of the Garfagnana and follow the signs. The road up to Trassilico is narrow and winding, so take care.

There are some stunning chestnut forest surrounding Trassilico.

 

The town is perched on the side of the mountain.

 

The festival takes place is the little piazza just inside the entrance to the town. Chestnuts were roasting and the aroma was delicious.

 

I wandered a little in this well kept town.

The Rifugio was doing a roaring trade.

Through the gaps between the houses I spotted views of Vergemoli and I could see our Casa Debbio just outside the village. It was a cloudy day, so the photo is not clear.

I love these local festivals. It is good the see the small villages come alive and fill with enthusiastic visitors.

Chestnuts in Lucchio

Lucchio is the village that clings to an almost vertical mountain side. At the top is La Rocca, the ruins of an old fort.

Lucchio

Lucchio

La Rocca was our first destination before seeking out the roasting chestnuts.

Lucchio

It is a steep climb to the top along a rocky path.

Lucchio

We passed an enthusiastic gardener digging his rich looking soil.

Lucchio

Onwards and upwards…

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

There are some steep steps to the very top.

Lucchio

There isn’t much of the fort left, just a few crumbling walls.

Lucchio

Lucchio

Lucchio

The views are stunning even on a misty, wet day.

Lucchio

A family found a great spot for a picnic.

Lucchio

We had lunch in the local restaurant, which had drawn a large crowd. Our 3 course lunch was delicious. I forgot to photograph the pasta course and the roast meat, but here is the antipasti.

Lucchio

The chestnuts were being roasted down by the church, so this time we headed down towards the bottom of the village. Not many people live in Lucchio these days, but the village is well loved by those who do live there. The streets are well maintained and clean. There are a few houses for sale, just in case you are looking for a quiet life with great views.

Lucchio

Lucchio

The church was open and later there was to be a concert.

Lucchio

The chestnut roasting  was well underway by the time we got there. I have acquired a taste for necci with ricotta, and this was the best I have had.

Lucchio

Lucchio

The road down offers glimpses of Lucchio through the trees.

Lucchio

Lucchio

A damp chestnut festival at Villa Fiori

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The annual chestnut festival took place today, Sunday, at the lovely park beside Villa Fiori in Ponte a Serraglio.

The weather could have been better, but an enthusiastic crowd gathered to sample the roasted chestnuts, necci, castagnata and spiced wine.

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Children decorated pumpkins under the excellent supervision of Morena from Borgo deli Artisti.

Lovely Rodolfa from Montefegatesi demonstrated spinning for us.

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There was some delightful guitar music to help us enjoy the day.

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Unfortunately rain stopped the celebrations a bit short…better luck next year.

A chestnut festival… with mushrooms

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We recently attended the chestnut festival in Castelnuovo. It was a beautiful day and we were the first on the bus to take us from the town to the fortified area above the town where chestnuts were being roasted and crowds were beginning to gather.

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We were eager to try the roasted chestnuts and the fritelle made from both regular flour and chestnut flour. A little bonus was the warm spiced wine that came with them.

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Inside the main building was a display of local mushrooms, separated into edible, edible, but they taste awful and dangerous…don’t ever eat!

Here are some of the edible ones.

These may not hurt you, but they won’t be delicious.

Don’t pick and eat anything from the next group.

It was a great display. I would never be brave enough to gather mushrooms myself. I would only go with an expert, but it was really interesting to see the collection which had been put together with much care.

There was a sculpture display as well. This one left me feeling a bit twisted.

Don’t miss these local festivals. Each one is different and lot of fun.

The chestnut festival at Ponte a Serraglio

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The annual chestnut festival hosted by the Gruppo Alpini and the Borgo Artisti was held on Sunday in the lovely park beside Villa Fiori. It was a gorgeous autumn day and the chestnuts were roasting.

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In times of famine and in the lean years after WWII chestnuts formed an important part of the local diet……they deserve to be celebrated.

As well as roasted chestnuts, necci (chestnut pancakes) were served with ricotta, sausage or nutella. The pancakes are cooked between 2 flat pans over a flame.

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There was also pasta fritta….pasta dough deep fried and salted…..too delicious for words.

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There was a small collection of chestnut memorabilia, including a wonderful old photo of men dehusking chestnuts.

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And the stomping shoes.

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There was a tiny chestnut cottage made by one of the local artists.

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There was art in the park.

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And some very concentrated pumpkin painting.

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It was a fun day……don’t miss these local events.