Flowers and art in Lucca

The annual flower display in conjunction with the celebration for Saint Zita is on in Lucca right now.

As well as the display in front of the San Frediano church, the anfiteatro is full of gorgeous plants available for sale. It is a lovely time to be in the piazza.

Lucca

Lucca

Lucca

Lucca

The flowers will be in the anfiteatro until Friday this week.

Sculptures by artist Jimenez Deredia are being installed in various locations around Lucca. We found some beside the San Michele church and Piazza San Martino.

Lucca

Lucca

Lucca

The art pieces will be on display until 10th September…plenty of time to find them.

Lucca

Lucca

Lucca

Walking tracks

One of the things I am most asked for about Bagni di Lucca is information on walking trails in the area.  The villages that make up Bagni di Lucca are beautiful and there are old mule trails between most of them.

The trails are reasonably well marked once you find them and it is great fun to walk between the villages. The forest is not too dense and the views can be spectacular.

I visited the Information Centre and found a couple of maps.

Mule trails Bagni di Lucca

The orange lines represent roads. The orange broken lines are unsealed roads. The green lines are walking, mountain bike and horse trails and the broken green lines are waking tracks.

Mule trails Bagni di Lucca Mule trails Bagni di Lucca

On this map the coloured lines represent walking trails, the double black lines are the roads and the broken black lines are unsealed roads.

You can find the originals at the Information Centre in La Villa. It is in Via Umberto I, not far from the Comune building. The young women who work there are very helpful.

Welcome new Bar Italia

Bar Italia in Ponte a Serraglio opened this evening. A large crowd of well wishers gathered early and the brand new bar was soon full.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Annalisa was there to welcome everyone.

Annalisa Bar Italia

Her helpers were all there too.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Of course there was lots of food.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

…and lots of people.

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

Bar Italia

I am delighted that Bar Italia is open again. The piazza has been very quiet without it. I look across the piazza to the bar from my apartment and it has been very sad to see it closed.

Bar Italia

We will be back bright and early tomorrow morning for our first breakfast at Bar Italia.

Bar Italia reopens

Bar Italia in Ponte a Serraglio has been closed for extensive renovations. I can happily report that it will reopen this Saturday, 24th March.

There will be opening celebrations from 5.00pm. I hope everyone will come along to wish Annalisa and her team the best for the new start.

Bar Italia

This an old photo. There will lots more of the new bar after the opening.

Goats on the move

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.

Goats

Sheep

Goats

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.

 

Ancient forest

If you drive, or walk, past Montefegatesi on the way to Orrido di Botri you will find yourself in another world. Ancient forests of chestnut, oak and beech trees shrouded in mist seem from another time and place. It wouldn’t have surprised me if a goblin had dashed out from a hollow tree.

Chestnut forest

Chestnut

Chestnut forestChestnut forest

Chestnut forest

Chestnut forest

There are the remains of stone metati, chestnut drying huts, unused for decades.

Chestnut forest

Chestnut forest

Chestnut forest

If only the trees could talk and share their stories of the people who once lived and worked here, hard lives, but at times it must have been a beautiful place to work.

I think the trees look beautiful on a cold winter day, but I will be back in spring to see them again when the green leaves appear.