La Corona, a new opening

We are very excited at Ponte a Serraglio to see the opening of La Corona, the newly renovated hotel and restaurant.

Perhaps the name is a little unfortunate right now, but the up side it is easy to remember.

We arrived just as heavy rain began. This was a pity as the outside areas of the hotel are lovely. I will show you those on a better day. We gathered in the brand new bar area.

There was delightful entertainment.

We were taken up to the first floor to see some of the rooms of the hotel. There are 15 rooms and they look great. Each room is decorated individually, with well appointed bathrooms. Several rooms have views over the river, with great views and a couple have their own balcony.

 


My good friend Tina and I were the first guests in the beautiful restaurant.

The food was excellent. We began with a selection of Tuscan delights.

We both chose the risotto.

Tina had pork belly with crustaceans.

 

I enjoyed the guinea fowl on a bed of chestnut bread.

La Corona is an excellent addition to Ponte a Seraglio. I wish everyone involved the best and hope they get lots of visitors soon.

There was huge storm last night which began while we were at the restaurant. It settled a bit, but in the middle of the night I was woken by the noise of the river rushing past my window. The water was as high and as turbulent as I have ever seen it. This morning the river had settled a lot, but it was still brown and flowing quickly under the bridge.

Unfortunately the forecast is for another week of stormy weather. I hope the weather bureau is wrong on this.

La Corona…Ponte a Serraglio.

http://www.lacoronabdl.com

My first sit down coffee

For the first time since 10th March I was able to sit down at Bar Italia to enjoy a coffee and sfoglia with a friend for breakfast.

It was dull day at Ponte a Serraglio, but that was no problem at all.

I forgot to photograph my sfoglia, but the rest is here. I can report that the bar is well organised with health concerns taken care of. We sat outside and there was lots of space between tables.

 

 

 



The geraniums are enjoying the rain and are growing. It is great to be able to visit Ponte a Serraglio!

The opening begins. Let’s hope it continues!

 

Ponte flowers

This morning I planted the geraniums on the bridge at Ponte a Serraglio. I was happy to see Bar Italia open for takeaway. The fresh food shop next door was open and busy. The pharmacy had a well spaced queue in front and the Tabacchi was open. Life is beginning to return to the piazza.

It was a beautiful spring morning.

 


I left the yellow pansies because they have some life left in them. With some luck they will last until the geraniums grow bigger.

 

A good news story

The people who run and work at the Auser Bagni di Lucca in Ponte a Serraglio are no longer at work in the shops, so they have redirected their energies into making masks. Many are made from wonderful linen sheets donated by generous people.

They are not meant to offer total protection from Covid 19, but anything that helps even a little is welcome. They can be washed and reused.

They are being distributed to those who want them with the delivery of food.

We need good news stories. Now is not the time to spread conspiracy theories and silly supposed protections and remedies. Take advice from doctors, professionals and official directives.  Unfortunately the internet is full of rubbish. 

I am at our remote house in Garfagnana for the duration of the lockdown. I really miss my morning coffee and sfoglia at Bar Italia. Let’s hope life can go back to normal soon.

 

Have you been to Zato?

Zato is a tiny collection of houses above Lucchio. A Google search reveals that it is 698 metres above sea level, there are 21 buildings and that 9 people live there.

We followed the sign from the turnoff for Lucchio.

A narrow, winding road took us to the entrance to the town. The road narrowed further so we parked just outside and walked in.

A short walk along the one street in Zato revealed the few remaining houses and a church.

 

 

Some lovely old doorways remain.

I could see a few other houses hidden among trees a little further on.

…and some steps to somewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

A well kept garden shows there is life in Zato.

I think I have now been to every village and hamlet in Bagni di Lucca.

 

 

 

Abetone pyramids

Autumn is a great time to take a drive to Abetone, the ski village 40 kilometres from Bagni di Lucca. 

As you get close to Abetone the vegetation changes and autumn is in full swing. The photos were taken from a moving car, so some are a bit blurry.

 

 

 

In the centre of Abetone there are 2 stone pyramids erected to celebrate the opening of the Strada Regia Modenese, Modenese Royal Road.

On the Tuscan side of the road.

On the Modena side.

 

 

The road was begun in 1766 and was completed about 10 years later. It secured an important trade route, joining the territories of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy Modena. It was financed jointly by Pietro Leopoldo and Francesco III.

From this position in the village it is possible the see some of the ski runs without snow.

 

 

The skiing in Abetone is great and the village comes alive when the snow falls, but it is very pretty right now. Take a drive and enjoy the autumn colour.

 

Chestnut festival in Trassilico

It is chestnut season! Chestnuts are ripening on the trees and chestnut festivals pop up in villages in the area.

On Sunday I visited Trassilico for their annual chestnut festival. I have developed a taste for necci, chestnut pancakes. I like mine filled with ricotta, but you can aslo have them with nutella.

Trassilico is not far from Bagni di Lucca. Drive to Gallicano at the beginning of the Garfagnana and follow the signs. The road up to Trassilico is narrow and winding, so take care.

There are some stunning chestnut forest surrounding Trassilico.

 

The town is perched on the side of the mountain.

 

The festival takes place is the little piazza just inside the entrance to the town. Chestnuts were roasting and the aroma was delicious.

 

I wandered a little in this well kept town.

The Rifugio was doing a roaring trade.

Through the gaps between the houses I spotted views of Vergemoli and I could see our Casa Debbio just outside the village. It was a cloudy day, so the photo is not clear.

I love these local festivals. It is good the see the small villages come alive and fill with enthusiastic visitors.

An afternoon of parrots

I am happy to be back in Bagni di Lucca in lovely autumn. This afternoon I walked along the river in front of my apartment to the Villa Fiori park for a “Raduno dei pappagalli” …meeting of parrots.

 

 

 

 

The park has been lovely cleaned and looked after by a group of volunteers and it is a home for gnomes now.

This afternoon parrots were invited.

Australia was represented by a couple of sulphur crested cockatoos.

There were other parrots out for the afternoon.

There was a talk about parrots and a display by a shop with parrot accoutrements.

Of course there were refreshments.

It was a delightful afternoon which was well attended.

It is lovely to be back in Ponte a Serraglio.