Then and Now…Ponte a Serraglio

The name Ponte a Serraglio (bridge of harem or menagerie. I wonder what went on here in the distant past) is mentioned as “ad Serrajule” in a document for the first time in 838.

I can’t show you what it looked like then, but there are photos from the early 1900s.

Ponte a Serraglio

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Some of the buildings remain and look similar. Bar Italia and Il Monaco now take the place of the 2 cafes with tables and provide the focus for the piazza.

Ponte a Serraglio

This is the view of the piazza from my balcony.

Ponte a Serraglio

Ponte a Serraglio

The road to the piazza in Ponte a Serraglio looks quite different. The beautiful old plane trees which lined the river have gone.

Ponte a Serraglio

 

Ponte a Serraglio

New trees have been planted and are doing well, but it will be a long time before they are as grand as the old ones.

This photo is taken from the other side of the river, but you can see how the new trees are growing beside the river.

Ponte a Serraglio

The views from the bridge probably haven’t changed all that much.

Ponte a Serraglio

Ponte a Serraglio

We have a new walking bridge across the river.

Ponte a Serraglio

The lovely old towers beside Villa Fiori have been cleaned and look great.

Ponte a Serraglio

I think Ponte a Serraglio is one of the prettiest villages in Bagni di Lucca, but, of course, I am biased.

Ponte a Serraglio

 

Ponte a SerraglioMost of the new photos were taken in summer. I will be back in Ponte a Serraglio soon to enjoy some lovely cold winter weather. I am hoping for snow.

Osteria al Ritrovo del Platano

This is a great place to eat not far from Bagni di Lucca, on the way to Castelnuovo. Osteria al Ritrovo del Platano is a Slow Food restaurant at Ponte di Campio. The chef is Mauro Bertolini and he prides himself on providing delicious local food in season…special tastes of the Garfagnana. The food is both traditional and innovative.

I discovered it one wet, cold day on my way to Castelnuovo. The entrance doesn’t really give any idea of what you will find inside. The restaurant is quite large and well set out.

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The workman’s lunch is one of the best in the area, and amazing value at 10 euro.

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I ordered the pasta arrabbiata, fried trout and peperonata.

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I didn’t leave much.

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There were some very delicious looking desserts available, but I couldn’t fit anything else in, so I just had a coffee.

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I have been back for dinner, which is also excellent. The prices are a little higher, but worth every centesimo.

There is a small parking area on the side of the road on the Gallicano side of the restaurant.

www.osteriaalritrovodelplatano.it

A winter walk through Lugliano

Lugliano is one of the beautiful high villages of Bagni di Lucca. I visited on a sunny winter day. Come with me for a walk through Lugliano.

The first thing you see as you arrive in Lugliano is the campanile of the church.

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Here is what the church looks like from the front.

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Beside the church is a very impressive sculpture.

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The road from here is fairly flat for a while before it begins to rise quite steeply. Just before the rise is a set of old laundry tubs. I wonder how long it is since they have been used.

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A little further on is a little chapel with a pretty ceiling.

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There are always cats enjoying whatever sun is available.

I love the bare trees in winter.

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Higher up in the village is another laundry area.

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There are some grapevines waiting patiently for spring.

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…a beautiful corner.

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…an old car packed and ready to go…complete with rain protection.

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From the top there is a great view back over the village.

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The views across the valley are amazing.

At the end of the village is a ridge with some wonderful old buildings and planted terraces.

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I hope you all visit Lugliano and take a leisurely walk to the top and back.

The village looks wonderful from below on the road out.

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Click here for  a different look at Lugliano in early summer.