Tuscany became a yellow zone this week which means that bars and restaurants are open for outside dining. The last year has been very tough indeed for businesses.
Yesterday, for the first time in a while I enjoyed lunch away from home and it was excellent. With a couple of friends I sat on the outdoor terrace at Circolo dei Forestieri. It was great to see the well spaced tables full and the smiling faces (under masks) of the friendly servers.
We need to support our local businesses to help them back on their feet. Let’s hope this spring and summer will see us come slowly out from under the covid disaster.
It is great that things are slowly opening here in Bagni di Lucca. I went with friends for dinner at Circolo dei Forestieri for dinner last night. It is so nice to be with friends and to eat something I didn’t have to cook for myself.
I know there was a happy, smiling face under that mask.
The tables are spread out and left unset until guests arrive. There are lots of outdoor tables as well. I hope the lovely terrace over the river will be open too.
We all ordered similar dishes, so I can’t show you variety, but everything was delicious.
Thank you Circolo for a lovely evening. It is great to see things opening up here in Bagni di Lucca. We need to support our local businesses!
I am pleased to say that the restaurant at Circolo dei Forestieri has reopened with new owners. Regulars to Bagni di Lucca will recognise the proprietor of Trattoria Borghese, a very popular place to eat for many years.
The front of the restaurant has been opened up, I think one of the problems before was that you really couldn’t see that there was a restaurant there at all. I look forward to seeing tables outside once the weather warms up a bit.
There is a new bar inside, and it looks very fresh and bright.
The food is good and very reasonably priced.
It is great to see Circolo dei Forestieri come alive again.
Circolo dei Forestieri in La Villa is currently hosting 2 art exhibitions.
The first is a display of Mailart. Beautifully decorated envelopes have been sent to Bagni di Lucca from far and wide and are now on show.
The second is an exhibition is called Sacred and Profane…a selection of plaster statues produced by Arte Barsanti, a local factory which has been in operation since 1900. Bagni di Lucca is well known for its production of plaster presepi, nativity scenes. Here is a chance to see some beautiful pieces. Click hereto see more about Arte Barsanti.
Both exhibitions are on until 25th July. Go up the stairs beside the restaurant.
Last night in the beautiful Sala Rosa del Circoli dei Forrestieri there was a wonderful performance by the very talented Pellegrini Family Groove JazzQuartet.
The room was full of eager jazz lovers.
The quartet performed a selection in both English and Italian from the early 1900s to 1974, including favourites like Just a Gigolo, The man I love, Maramao perche sei morto and Duke Ellington’s sound of love.
The free evening was presented by the Comune di Bagni di Lucca, The Fondazione Michel de Montaigne and Fondazione Cassa di Risoarmio di Lucca.
Bagni di Lucca’s mayor Dottore Betti joined Prof. Marcello to thank the musicians.
There was an encore performance of Route 66…and we all went downstairs to the elegant Circolo dei Forestieri for a delicious dinner.
The free concerts are a regular occurrence in Bagni di Lucca. Look for notice of future events at the Information Centre, the Library, or posters around the town. Bagni di Lucca has a long history of art and music. It is an excellent tradition to continue.
Click here for more about the restaurant at Circolo dei Forestieri.
Circolo dei Forestieri doesn’t mean “circle of forest workers”. It was the Foreigners’ Club years ago. The building was rebuilt in 1924 over an existing 18th century structure. It was the meeting place of visitors to Bagni di Lucca and used for gambling until 1936.
It is now a restaurant. There is a lovely big dining room inside and in summer there is outdoor dining in front of the restaurant and a delightful terrace at the back, with pretty views over the river.
Although it looks quite grand the food is very reasonably priced……and very good. I photographed my own delicious food and the lovely people at the next table kindly let me take theirs as well.
That was my caprese salad and the bread that came with it was hot from the oven.
A lemon sorbet arrived between courses.
Say hello to Giovanni and Sabina…..and have a great meal.
PS. Unfortunately Circolo dei Forestieri has closed. Is there anyone out there who would like to run a restaurant in Bagni di Lucca??? It would be great to see someone take it over and bring it to life again.
Many years ago the Circolo dei Forestieri was surrounded by huge trees. Fortunately the new ones are growing.