Crasciana and Casabasciana walk

The recent guided walk I joined was to Crasciana and Casabasciana. We concentrated mainly on some of the old churches in the towns. Many are closed so it is a treat to be able to go inside.

We arrived in the pretty piazza in Crasciana Alta.
There are some spectacular views over some of the other villages of Bagni di Lucca and the mountains behind. Even on a hazy day it looks wonderful.


We walked a short distance above the piazza to the first church on our list.

The interior is quite lavish. It seems that several families left the village years ago and became quite wealthy. Some returned and paid for the renovation of the church and other things in the village.

We walked up behind the church for more stunning views.


There is a pretty park, which is looked after by a group of motivated residents.

I visited Crasciana Alta several years ago. Here is the link to see the photos from that trip. Crasciana Alta  
Here is a link to Crasciana below. Crasciana

Next stop was Casabasciana to visit the Oratorio Murotto dating from the late 1600s.  We were joined by the very knowledgeable Bruno Micheletti, who told about the sites in an interesting and entertaining way.

The tiny oratorio is full of treasures.


There was a little collection of small paintings. It is amazing that some of these things manage to survive.

From here we walked down (the residents must have a bit of mountain goat in their makeup) to the Chiesa di Santa Quirico e Guilitta built in the 18th century on the site of the 16th century oratorio of San Pietro.


Bruno took us to the sacristy behind the altar. One of the original cupboards still exist here. Apparently, they went out of style many years ago and most were pulled apart and sold off.


In front of the altar in a glass case is Saint Primo surrounded by embroidered flowers. Poor little Primo was 4 years old when he was murdered. Every 5 years on the second Sunday of August Casabasciana celebrates the life of Primo when the village lights up and has an evening of fireworks.

The unusual top on the campanile is the only one like it in the area. It was done in the style of the time it was renovated.

This is a link to a very old post I wrote about Casabasciana. It is time to return. Dinner with the huntsmen of Casabasciana
Our last stop was at the Pieve di Sala, built around 918. It was the original church for the area. It is an unadorned late Roman style building and it was a delight to be able to go inside. It was abandoned when churches closer to the villages were built, which is why it hasn’t had a modern makeover.

I was particularly impressed with the stone columns with decorations at the top of each one. There are remains of a old renovation in the form of red and white paint.

The faces fascinate me…who were the models I wonder.

The floor was originally much lower and the font was dug into the floor. It was moved at some stage and half of it has been placed against the wall.


There is an interesting little niche in a wall.

This was originally a window. The sun would enter here first in the morning and shine on the altar.

I visited the beautiful village of Sala a few years ago, see more in the link.Sala

Thank you again to Virgilio and Antonio for showing us these wonderful villages. Antonio made a comment that Virgilio must be centuries old to be able to relate stories with such detail from the past and make it sound as though he was there. He has a gift. Bruno has the same talent.

There are still some walks to go.


Crasciana Alta

I recently visited the lovely village of Crasciana. Some friendly locals told me that I must visit Crasciana Alta, the upper area of the village. I didn’t have time that day, but a few days ago I returned and took a walk through this beautiful villlage.

Crasciana Alta is a short drive ( about 3 kilometres) up hill from Crasciana. Take the road to the left just before you enter Crasciana.

You will come to a fork in the road.


I would suggest parking nearby and taking the time to look through the pretty cemetery here. The entrance is through the gate beside the little chapel.


Take the road to the right of the cross to enter Crasciana Alta. There is a little square right at the entrance to the village, with a pretty sculpture and view.


The village is on the side of a mountain, the streets are steep and narrow. They branch off in all directions…take them all.










There are lots of interesting details to be found.

The last of the summer flowers put on a display for me.

As usual the church has nabbed one of the best positions in town…high above the village.



Behind the church is another small cemetery.


There is also a lovely open area offering excellent views.







20140915-032651.jpgThere is a pretty path down from the top.



Look back towards the campanile.




I came upon a group of gentlemen having a chat in the piazza who told me I should leave Ponte a Serraglio immediately and move to Crasciana Alta. Funnily enough, most of the people I meet in the mountain villages say the same thing. They say it is more tranquil, the air is better and life is good. I love the fact that they are proud of their little parts of the world and I can understand why they are so happy there.

On the way down the mountain I stopped for one more look at Crasciana Alta.


If you visit Bagni di Lucca take the time to see the mountain villages…you won’t be sorry.