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.
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.
The beautiful tiglio trees form a tunnel to drive through as you enter Fornoli and Bagni di Lucca. Before I left for Australia the last of the leaves were falling from the trees.
When I return early next year they will have taken on their stark winter appearance…also beautiful.
There is a lot happening in Bagni di Lucca over the next few weeks.
One not to be missed is the Presepe Vivente, Living Nativity.
Presepe in Montefegatesi.
At the Teatro Accademico for the next couple of months.
I wish I was in Bagni di Lucca to take part in these excellent events.
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.
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.
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.