San Cassiano walking path

On Saturday the Alta Via dei Pastori was opened. The walking path takes you from San Cassiano to Monte Prato Fiorito.

The mayor officially opened the path.

Aldo Lanini from Pegaso Trekking was the initiator and the one who brought together a group of people to organise the project.

San Cassiano di Controni was once the most populated of the Bagni di Lucca villages. It is the largest in area with several hamlets.

The information board tells the story.

This is a wonderful initiative. There are dozens of old mule trails between the villages of Bagni di Lucca. It is the perfect way to see this gorgeous area. I’m sure this new path will be put to good use.

Thank you Agostino for being there and taking the photos to share.

Lucca cathedral renewed

The impressive San Martino cathedral in Lucca has had its facade cleaned recently. On my last visit it was covered in scaffolding. I was happy to see it uncovered and looking wonderful.

San Martino Lucca

The church was begun around 1070 and has had many additions over the centuries. The facade was started in 1204. There are 3 magnificent arches with open galleries above adorned with sculptures.

San Martino Lucca

San Martino Lucca

San Martino Lucca

There is a legend to explain why the columns on the facade are different. When the residents of Lucca wanted to decorate the facade they began a competition and invited artists to create a column. Many artists created columns and the residents decided not to select a winner but used all the columns and didn’t pay the artists.

The labrynth embedded in the right pier of the portico is believed to date from the 12th or 13th century.

San Martino Lucca

The original of the sculpture of San Martino, who was a knight on horseback, dates from 1233 and is inside the cathedral. The one on the facade is a copy.

San Martino Lucca

I’ll take you inside in another post.

 

2018 in Bagni di Lucca

Looking back on 2018

January. 

Bar Italia has a party to celebrate its renovation. Congratulations to Annalise and her crew for a job well done.

Bar Italia

February. 

Winter at Montefegatesi.

Montefegatesi

March

The chestnut forest on the way to Orrido di Botri in winter.

Chestnut forest

April.

Spring appears quickly.

Tiglio

The wonderful new fruit and vegetable shop opened in Ponte a Serraglio.

Fruit shop Ponte a Serraglio

May.

Frassino trees put on a spectacular show for a few weeks.

Frassino

June. Geraniums thrived at Ponte a Serraglio.

Geraniums Ponte a Serraglio

July.

The stunning pool reopened in La Villa after extensive renovations.

New pool Bagni di Lucca

August.

People gather at Villa Web to celebrate the poet Shelley.

Villa Web

September.

Chestnuts begin to ripen.

Chestnut time

October.

The leaves begin to change colour.

Autumn

November.

Golden autumn.

Autumn

December.

Christmas at Ponte a Serraglio.

Christmas Ponte a Serraglio

I look forward to a brand new year in bella Bagni di Lucca.

Topo Gigio

On the road from Bagni di Lucca to Abetone at Fabbriche di Casabascana you will find Trattoria Bar Topo Gigio.

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio

I had heard it was a fun place to stop for coffee or lunch so with some friends I decided to try it.

The tables were all full, but fortunately somebody left as we arrived and we found a spot. It is always a good sign when a place is packed at lunch time.

The service is brisk and friendly and soon our lunch arrived.

Topo Gigio

We ordered ravioli with the Gigio sauce, which is deliciously spicy.

Topo Gigio

The gnocchi came with the same sauce, but there were several other we could have tried.

Topo Gigio

We all ordered the Milanese with a side order of salad and chips…all good.

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio is a fun place to stop…I will return.

Topo Gigio

Topo Gigio

Str. del’Abetone e del Brennero 25 – 27

Fabbriche di Gallicano

347 08035582

Book launch, Buying and Restoring in Tuscany

David Collins has written part 2 of Buying and Restoring in Tuscany, an excellent guide for those looking to buy in this gorgeous part of the world.

There will be a book launch on September 8th in Lucca at Lucca Libri, Viale Regina Margherita 113. (Near the train station)  It will begin at 5pm with an aperitivo. Come along to meet the author and hear all about the book.

David Collins book

Here is what to expect from the new book…

The second volume of this poular guide provides the reader with priceless information about searching for, and buying and restoring a property in Tuscany. It is packed with valuable tips and precious advice difficult to find elsewhere and is based on practical day-to-day experience of the author.

David shows us how to conduct a negotiation the “Italian way” or to quickly recognise a dwelling in disguise. The role and responsibility of the Italian notary is unveiled for the Anglo-Saxon world. We learn about the essential steps in managing a restoration project whilst revealing several tips.

He explains how earthquakes can affect older properties and unravels the complex laws in a simple and plain way for everyone to understand. The section on swimming pools makes you want to immediately go for a refreshing dip. The chapter on arches is both fascinating and insightful or the way he throws a sense of humour on malfunctioning septic tanks and suggestions for fixes.

David “the philosopher” reflects on why people move to Tuscany in the first place and how some end up living a full and wholesome life whilst others live in a bubble. Many essential taxation matters are revealed and the book wraps up with a very useful checklist of questions that everyone must have when viewing a property.

David has managed to provide us with a wealth of information deriving from his unsurpassed experience of working and living in Tuscany. This book is an absolute must before you depart on the Italian journey!

For those not able to attend the launch the book is available on Amazon.

http://www.ourtoscana.com