Montefegatesi is the highest of the villages that make up Bagni di Lucca. I think it is also one of the most picturesque.
Autumn is a beautiful time to drive to Montefegatesi,the highest of the Bagni di Lucca villages. The mountain road is lined with trees in full autumn colour right now.
I love to see traditions continue in Bagni di Lucca. It is great to see a shepherd bringing the goats down from their grazing. It was excellent to see a young shepherd. I hope this means the old ways will go on.
A little further along the road from Monti di Villa I spotted some healthy looking cattle grazing.
You never know what you will see as you drive between the villages.
The popular bar in Montefegatesi closed a while ago. This situation is never good for a village. Without a place to gather for a coffee and a chat the heart of a village can die.
The residents took matters into their own hands and opened one themselves.
It is just off the square near the entrance to Montefegatesi. Look for the sign in green…Circolo with an arrow.
It is opposite the pretty church and off to the right.
There is a terrace with a spectacular view.
Just in case you are looking for a bit of real estate in the village I spotted this great looking building near the bar.
The bar is closed Monday afternoons. Unfortunately that is the time I chose to visit so I can’t show you inside.
Just before I left Italy in early November I drove up to Montefegatesi hoping to see some autumn colour in the forest just outside the village. I was a bit early, but I could see the changes.
It is always good to stop at the little church beside the road on the way down the mountain.
By now the leaves will probably be gone and the scene will be wintery. That is wonderful too.
It has been a good year for chestnuts this year. Try some delicious chestnut pancakes in Montefegatesi on Sunday.
If you can’t make it on Sunday perhaps you could make your own necci.
You will need…
2 cups chestnut flour.
slightly less than 2 cups water
a pinch of salt
1 cup of ricotta (sweetened with a little sugar or honey if you wish)
Place the flour in a bowl with the salt. Slowly pour the water into the flour and stir with a whisk until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
Heat a little olive oil in a frypan and pour in a large spoonful of batter. Swirl the pan to spread the batter evenly. Cook until the bottom is golden then flip and cook the other side.
Stack the necci on a plate until all the batter is used.
Whip the ricotta and spread on the necci and roll up.
Here is one I enjoyed at the chestnut festival in Lucchio last year.
It took me a while to acquire a taste for necci, but I now find them delicious.
Chestnuts are ripening on trees all over Bagni di Lucca. I went up to the lovely chestnut forest just outside Montefegatesi hoping to see some autumn colour. The trees are still green, but the beginnings of change can be seen. Best of all some of the trees are laden with chestnuts.
Autumn is the time for chestnut festivals. I have attended several of these over the years and I find them great fun.
Here are a few coming up soon in Garfagnana.
Cascio has a wonderful chestnut festival. I have been twice. This year it will be held on Sunday 7th October. This one attracts a big audience. Be early if you want to find a place in the car park. Festivities usually begin at about 11.00am.
Castiglione di Garfagnana is a gorgeous hilltop town. The chestnut festival is set for 14th October.
Trassilico will also hold its festival on 14th October. I have been to this one too and enjoyed it immensely.
Lucchio will have its chestnut festival on 21st October. I went last year and had delicious necci.
Castelnuovo’s will be held over 2 days, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th October.
Lupinaia has a wonderful chestnut festival. I attended several years ago. This year it will be held on Sunday 11th November.
I will be back in a few weeks to see the Montefegatesi trees in their autumn colours.
At the end of winter I visited the enchanted chestnut forest on the outskirts of Montefegatesi. See the post HERE. It looked stunning even then and I couldn’t wait to return in spring to see it green and lush.
The road into forest is delightful in spring with wild flowers lining the road.
There are a few reminders of the days when chestnuts were farmed seriously. It must have been a hard life, but the beautiful workplace would have helped the workers get through the day.
The trees are the stars on this drive, or even better, walk.
I’m sure the forest is a cool sanctuary in the heat of the summer.
I look forward to my autumn visit when I return later this year.