Chestnut time

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.

Montefegatesi chestnut forest Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

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.

Chestnut forest

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.

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Chestnut forest Montefegatesi

Chestnut forest Montefegatesi

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.

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

The trees are the stars on this drive, or even better, walk.

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

Montefegatesi chestnut forest

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.

A new bar for Montefegatesi

It is always sad news when there are closures in the villages of Bagni di Lucca. The wonderful bar in Montefegatesi closed recently but the residents didn’t take long to fix the situation.

A bar is an important part of these small villages. It is not just a place to have coffee or an aperitivo, it is a place to meet friends, exchange news, have some fun and be part of a community. It is certainly where I met people who became friends and got to know about Bagni di Lucca life when I first came to the area 15 years ago.

The local Circolo in Montefegatesi has been renovated and now houses a brand new bar, which opened recently.

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Top marks to the people of Montefegatesi for taking matters into their own hands and congratulations on the excellent new bar.

Thank you Lizzy Ashard for providing the photos of the new bar.

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.

 

It’s freezing!

“The Beast from the East” is certainly making its presence felt in Bagni di Lucca. It was below zero on my balcony at Ponte a Serraglio this morning.

We don’t have deep snow like Rome. There were a few flurries the other day and fierce wind, but no snow on the ground.

After being shut in the house for a couple of days I decided to drive up to Montefegatesi, the highest of the Bagni di Lucca villages at around 840 metres above sea level, in the hope if finding some snow. Apart from a few patches of snow in shaded areas the village was clear. The temperature was -7!

Montefegatesi looks wonderful whatever the weather. Here it is with its winter coat.

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

There was little snow, but lots of frozen puddles.

The surrounding mountains are covered with snow.

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

I visited when I was here in autumn, a beautiful season in Montefegatesi.

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Soon it will be spring and everything will look different again.

 

Postcard pretty

A couple of posts back I showed you some photos of Montefegatesi. A friend sent me a photo of a postcard of the village covered in snow. I don’t know when it was taken but Montefegatesi looks great with a white blanket.

Montefegatesi

 

I don’t think it will be a white Christmas in Montefegatesi this year. Merry Christmas anyway and have a wonderful 2017.

Montefegatesi in the autumn sun

If you take the road to Montefegatesi that goes past Monti di Villa and keep your eyes peeled you will spot a perfect place to stop to get excellent views of this gorgeous village. I went with friends in November and was rewarded with this lovely sight.

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Montefegatesi

 

Montefegatesi

Mintefegatesi

Montefegatesi

Every time I visit Montefegatesi I am reminded of the tenacity of the early settlers to these mountain villages. They must have been made of stern stuff.