On Saturday the Alta Via dei Pastori was opened. The walking path takes you from San Cassiano to Monte Prato Fiorito.
The mayor officially opened the path.
Aldo Lanini from Pegaso Trekking was the initiator and the one who brought together a group of people to organise the project.
San Cassiano di Controni was once the most populated of the Bagni di Lucca villages. It is the largest in area with several hamlets.
The information board tells the story.
This is a wonderful initiative. There are dozens of old mule trails between the villages of Bagni di Lucca. It is the perfect way to see this gorgeous area. I’m sure this new path will be put to good use.
Thank you Agostino for being there and taking the photos to share.
Santina’s restaurant in San Cassiano is a Bagni di Lucca institution. I have mostly visited in winter and been seated in the cosy room inside. My last visit was on a sunny Sunday and we sat on the terrace.
It was a bit hazy, but the view over the mountains to some of the other villages was lovely.
As usual the food was delicious. We started with bresaola.
Then the famous ravioli.
There was finely sliced roast pork and roast beef with delicious potatoes.
Who can say no to tiramisu?
…or apple cake.
Now that summer is here, go to Santina and sit on the terrace. Trattoria da Santina is in the Main Street of San Cassiano not far from the church.
At the end of the weekend celebrations in San Cassiano there were fireworks. Take a look at this gorgeous photo taken by David Bonaventuri.
I have to share the beautiful photos by Paul Anthony Davies of the Festa Triennale del SS Crocifisso in San Cassiano.
The church looks stunning at night.
The street in front of the church down to Santina’s restaurant was lit up too.
The interior of the church is magnificent.
What a wonderful event! There are 25 villages that make up Bagni di Lucca. There is always something happening.
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.
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’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.
I was there on a Sunday and it didn’t take long for the room to fill.
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.
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.
The misty view is delightful.
Santina…Via Chiesa 9, San Cassiano
(39) 0583 809278
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.
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.
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.
The church was open on the day I visited as well.
The interior is stunning. It looks ancient.
The floor has been worn down by centuries of feet.
The villages of Bagni di Lucca are a treasure trove for those who go looking.
The lucky children of San Cassiano and nearby had a great day at the Campo Sportivo. Lucky for us photographer Paul Davies was on hand to take photos.
Congratulations to the organisers…it was a fun day for all concerned.
I spotted a herd of goats out with their dogs and owner walking on the hill beside San Cassiano.
I hope these scenes continue to be part of life in Bagni di Lucca.