I returned from an overnight trip to find the Lima River turned into a raging torrent. Heavy rainfall and melting snow have sent huge amounts of water down the river. The level of the water went from about 1.5metres to 4.7 last night. It has dropped a bit today but it is still rushing past my window carrying logs and other debris with it.
I’m back at Ponte a Serraglio for a while. The stormy weather continues. Today was a mixture of rain, hail, thunder, bits of blue sky…and repeat.
I like the leaves on the footpath.
I have walked past this many times, but not really noticed how lovely it is.
I don’t mind a bit of wet weather and the occasional storm, but this weather has been frightening. I am surprised there is not more damage after these ferocious storms.
Autumn is a great time to walk on the stunning wall that surrounds Lucca. The trees are losing their leaves quickly now. Soon the trees will be bare. Come for a walk…
This lovely old tree just outside the wall looks as though it is set for removal. It has been fenced off perhaps because there is a danger of falling branches.
I love walking through the tunnels and up the stairs onto the wall.
I was lucky to be there on a glorious autumn day.
Walking on the Lucca wall is wonderful in any season. Best of all Lucca is just 30 minutes from Bagni di Lucca.
Fornovolasco is a tiny village in the comune of Fabbriche di Vergemoli in the province of Lucca. It is one of many villages in the Garfagnana to be explored. It is 480 metres above sea level and has a population of fewer than 100people.
Two streams join in the village.
I crossed just past where they meet via a pretty bridge.
There is a delightful piazza on the other side of the bridge.
Several narrow streets take you through the village.
Across another bridge the streets climb steeply upwards.
Gardens are squeezed into small places.
I found a renovator’s delight waiting for a new roof.
The church was not open.
Back down the hill…
I found a tunnel leading to another group of houses.
The village restaurant, Rifugio la Buca, looks a bit like a Swiss chalet. It was not open the day I was there.
I walked back along the river to my car.
Every single village is different…there is always something interesting to see. Just past Fornovolasco you will find the Grotta del Vento.
I have now been in Italy for 8 months and because of flight cancellations and other Covid related issues it looks like I will be here for another 8 months, which gives me lots of time to explore.
The wonderful nearby region of Garfagnana is full of picturesque villages to explore. On a (rare) recent fine day I drove up to Lupinaia. The narrow turnoff to Fosciandora and Lupinaia is on the right, just before Castelnuovo when driving from Bagni di Lucca. I have been there before when I visited for the excellent chestnut festival, which won’t be happening this year.
I parked the car outside the village and walked up. The views across the Serchio valley are spectacular.
Lupinaia is ancient. It has been mentioned in manuscripts from the mid 700s. It is a tiny village…come for a walk with me.
A narrow street leads from the small piazza at the entrance of the village.
I passed a well designed wood stack, some red berries on a tree and a pretty garden.
I walked on towards the lovely green space where the people who live here can enjoy some gorgeous open space, with great views over the village.
I walked back and walked up the hill towards the church.
The church of San Pietro dates from 754AD and is mentioned in many medieval documents. There are treasures inside, but it was not open so I can’t take you in.
From the top, in front of the church the gorgeous valley can be seen below.
Along the way through Lupinaia I spotted some wonderful old doors. I am always curious about what is behind them.
There are several pretty decorations dotted through the village.
I don’t know how many people live in Lupinaia, but it is well cared for and obviously loved by those who do.
On the way down the mountain I saw another village…and more views, to be explored on another day.
Here is the post I wrote about the chestnut festival in Lupinaia. It is one of the best in the area.http://bagnidilucca.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/roasting-chestnuts-in-Lupinaia
I enjoyed looking back on the post. It was great to see Lupinaia full of people enjoying the chestnut festival on a gorgeous autumn day. I can’t believe it was 9 years ago. I miss these wonderful local festivals.
It is interesting to see how newcomers to Bagni di Lucca see our lovely town. Mark and his wife Katrina have recently bought a property here and he has taken some excellent photos of Ponte a Serraglio and La Villa.
I hope Mark and Katrina enjoy their new lives in Bagni di Lucca. It is always great to welcome new people to the area.
Boveglio is a village clinging to the mountainside not far from Benabbio on the road towards Collodi and Pescia. It belongs to the Comune di Villa Basilica and has a population of about 150 people.
Little of the ancient village is visible from the road. I parked at the top and walked down the steep path to explore. One of the first things I noticed was the lovely gardens, many filled with hydrangeas in bloom. My visit was a little while ago, so they are probably past their best now.
Come for a walk through Boveglio…
I came to the piazza where I found a bar beside the statue dedicated to fallen soldiers.
From the terrace I had an excellent view of the village and surrounds.
Then it was back up to the top.
Boveglio is delightful. The gardens are beautifully cared for. Most houses are built of grey stone, so it could quite drab without the riot if colour provided by the lovely flowers. Thank you to the green fingered gardeners who made this walk through the village so joyful.
When you have explored all the villages that make up Bagni di Lucca there are hundreds of interesting hamlets to visit in nearby Garfagnana.
Isola Santa is a partially submerged village not far from Castelnuovo in the Garfagnana. It was built in the Middle Ages, probably the 13th century, around a hospice for travellers and pilgrims.
The hospice was disbanded in 1575. It was brought back to life in 1608 and rebuilt as the church of St Jacopo, which still stands today. The detached bell tower was built in 1899.
In 1950 the construction of a hydroelectric station forced the inhabitants to leave. A dam was built and the old bridge and a mill were flooded. Years later some inhabitants returned and restored some of the buildings, but these days it is almost deserted.
It doesn’t take long to explore a Isola Santa…come for a walk through the village.
The best reason to come to Isola Santa is to enjoy the calm, clear water held back by the dam. It is a great place to have a picnic, eat at one of the restaurants or go fishing.
Isola Santa would be a lovely day trip from Bagni di Lucca.