One of the things I really enjoy about Bagni di Lucca is occasionally coming across traditional farming activities.
In the area behind Montefegatesi on the way to Orrido di Botri it is not unusual to come across a large herd of goats, with the occasional sheep, being brought in for the evening after a day foraging in the forest.
It doesn’t even matter when the road is taken over for a while.
These goats are milked to make cheese, a labour of love for the couple responsible. I wonder if young people will step up to keep these jobs alive or will they eventually be lost.
As we were driving into Guzzano, a tiny hamlet which is part of the area of Bagni di Lucca called Controneria, we spotted a shepherd watching his flock of sheep and goats. His trusty dog was on guard to make sure that none escaped. None tried, the new spring grass was keeping them busy.
We parked the car and walked back to talk to the shepherd whose name was Renzo.
Renzo told us that he lives in nearby San Cassiano and likes to bring his animals down the mountain along one of the old tracks to feed. Guzzano residents are happy with the arrangement as it means they don’t have to mow the grass.
Renzo’s animals are beautifully cared for. That white billy goat looks as though he has been brushed.
When I asked the dog’s name Renzo just shrugged. The dog is very young and inexperienced, perhaps he has to earn his name.
Being a shepherd must be good for you. Renzo is a fine looking man in excellent condition.
I tried really hard to get him to smile for the camera. He has the most delightful smile.
As we wandered around to the other side of Guzzano we saw the little group head back up the mountain.
I hope there are young people prepared to keep these pastimes alive.