Just because

I was driving between villages when I looked up to see this view. I stopped the car to take some photos. The fragrance in the mountains is heavenly. There had been some rain and the sun had just come out, so everything was fresh and clean.

Take some time to drive through the mountain villages. This is from the San Cassiano road.

 

San Cassiano War Memorial

The War Memorial in San Cassiano has been lovingly restored. Too many lives were lost from the area. It is heart breaking to see the list of the names of those who died fighting.

Bands played, crowds came…people of all ages, there were speeches, there was food and there was rain.

I saw the restored monument last week and it is looking great. It is clear that these men will not be forgotten.

I wasn’t there today, as I am now on my way back to Australia for a few months. Thank you to Paul Anthony Davies for allowing me to share his wonderful photos.

Santina, San Cassiano

Santina’s restaurant is well known in Bagni di Lucca. It is one of the first restaurants I went to when I first arrived in the area 13 years ago. It is as good today as my first visit.

Santina San Cassiano

I was there on a Sunday and it didn’t take long for the room to fill.

Santina San Cassiano

At Santina’s the food just keeps on coming. The pasta is delicious, but you need to remember not to eat too much because there are several other courses to enjoy.

Santina San Cassiano

In summer there is a lovely terrace with great views over the valley.

It was a misty autumn day when I was there, but some yellow flowers beside the door brightened up the day.

San Cassiano

San Cassiano

The misty view is delightful.

Santina…Via Chiesa 9, San Cassiano

(39) 0583 809278

A wooden horse

The wooden horse and rider in the museum at San Cassiano is not just any horse. The sculpture has been attributed to Jacopo della Quercia. He was an early Renaissance artist from Querciagrossa, near Siena. He became a resident of Lucca when his family moved there.

He was in the contest to design the Doors of Paradise at the Baptistery in Florence, but lost out to Ghiberto. One of his most famous works is the exquisite sarcophagus of Ilaria in the cathedral in  Lucca.

On a recent trip to San Cassiano I was delighted to find the museum open. It is housed in the Oratory opposite the church.

San Cassiano museum

Up close the wooden carving is beautiful. In 1909 it was found in a state of considerable neglect. It was restored in the 1920s and again in the early 1990s.

The sculpture is made up of 3 elements of linden wood. 2 elements make up most of the horse, while the bust of the saint is carved from a single block of wood.

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

 

San Cassiano museum

Behind the horse are 2 other carvings. Both are carved from a single block of poplar wood, with the exception of some parts of the hands and the head. On the left of the altar is Archangel Gabriel and on the right The Virgin of the Annunciation.

San Cassiano museum

San Cassiano museum

The church was open on the day I visited as well.

San Cassiano church

The interior is stunning. It looks ancient.

San Cassiano church

San Cassiano church

The floor has been worn down by centuries of feet.

San Cassiano church

The villages of Bagni di Lucca are a treasure trove for those who go looking.