Amazing Lucca

It is always great to hear about young Italians starting a business. It can be very difficult to get a new enterprise up and running in Italy.

I was delighted to meet Federica, who, along with her husband, has set up an adventure tour business in Lucca called Amazing Lucca.

Federica Amazing Lucca

As I walked with Federica she told me of their love and passion for the area and their desire to introduce people to a side of Italy they might not otherwise enjoy. With a minimum of 2 people and no more than 12, they will guide you through Renaissance villas, medieval churches, stunning countryside, vineyards and glorious mountains.

On foot, or on a mountain bike you can discover secret places off the beaten track with people who know the area. Meet locals and taste the produce of this incredible land. Trudge or ride up rugged mountains and find hidden streams, enjoy enchanted forests and breathtaking landscapes. Federica and Alessandro will guide to to spectacular places.

Alessandro is the mountain bike guide and Federica is the nature and walking guide. Even if you live in the area this would be fun, but what a great way to introduce your visiting friends to the area.

The tours are graded from easy to demanding, meaning there is something to suit everyone.

Take a look at their excellent website. It is in Italian and English.

http://www.amazing-Lucca.com

Via Del Campaccio, Lucca.

info@amazing-lucca.com

Federica…(39) 338 7901829

Alessandro…(39) 340 2798654

2018 in Bagni di Lucca

Looking back on 2018

January. 

Bar Italia has a party to celebrate its renovation. Congratulations to Annalise and her crew for a job well done.

Bar Italia

February. 

Winter at Montefegatesi.

Montefegatesi

March

The chestnut forest on the way to Orrido di Botri in winter.

Chestnut forest

April.

Spring appears quickly.

Tiglio

The wonderful new fruit and vegetable shop opened in Ponte a Serraglio.

Fruit shop Ponte a Serraglio

May.

Frassino trees put on a spectacular show for a few weeks.

Frassino

June. Geraniums thrived at Ponte a Serraglio.

Geraniums Ponte a Serraglio

July.

The stunning pool reopened in La Villa after extensive renovations.

New pool Bagni di Lucca

August.

People gather at Villa Web to celebrate the poet Shelley.

Villa Web

September.

Chestnuts begin to ripen.

Chestnut time

October.

The leaves begin to change colour.

Autumn

November.

Golden autumn.

Autumn

December.

Christmas at Ponte a Serraglio.

Christmas Ponte a Serraglio

I look forward to a brand new year in bella Bagni di Lucca.

Grotta del Vento

The Grotta del Vento, wind cave, is a cave in a mountain in Garfagnana, an area in the Apuan Alps in northern Tuscany. It is near the towns of Fornovalasco and Vergemoli. (About 35 minutes from Bagni di Lucca) The cave has 2 entrances, one at 642 metres above sea level and another on the other side of the mountain at 1400 metres.

It is a wind cave because air is able to blow through the cave from one entrance to the other. The direction of the wind depends on the temperature outside the cave. In summer, when the air outside is warmer, the air is drawn through the higher entrance and out of the lower entrance. In winter the reverse happens and the air flows upwards. If the temperature outside is the same as inside there is no wind. The temperature inside the cave stays at around 10.7degrees C all year. A heavy door has now been installed to stop the flow of air, but you can certainly feel it once the door is open.

The cave is open for visitors. There are 3 guided tours available. The first is the one I did. It takes about 1 hour and explores the part of the cave lined with limestone formations. Fascinating stalactites and stalagmites glisten as you walk along the narrow path which takes you deep into the cave.

The entrance.
Grotta del Vento

Grotta del Vento

Grotta del Vento

Just for fun a large skeleton of a bear has been installed near the entrance.

Grotta del Vento

Grotta del Vento

Grotta del Vento

Soon the door is opened and we enter the cave.

The narrow paths are lit and you can see the stalactites and stalagmites and pools of water. There are steps occasionally, but it is not too strenuous and there are hand rails for safety.

Grotta del Vento

Grotta del Vento

Grotta del Vento

You can see some tiny ones beginning to form. It would be necessary to come back in a few hundred years to see much of a difference. Most take about 1000 years to grow 10 centimetres.

Grotta del Vento

At one point the guide turns off the lights so that you can experience total darkness. It is quite an eerie feeling.

The second tour takes 2 hours and a descent is made into an area without limestone formations but interesting forms of erosion on the walls. The third one takes 3 hours in a vertical shaft which is climbed from the bottom to reach a final chamber at the top, followed by a short underground tunnel.

The cave was first discovered in 1989 by children exploring the area. The only one small enough to climb through the entrance was a 4 year old girl. The others opened the entrance a little, but were too frightened to go further than 20 metres into the cave.

The first expedition for research purposes was organised in 1929 by the Florentine Speleogical Grouo of the Italian Alpine Club which stopped at about 60 metres from the entrance by water.

The Bolognese Speleoligical Group got further in 1961 after a prolonged dry spell. Other expeditions followed until 1975 when the explorations extended to 2470 metres and the cave was opened to tourists. Now there are 4 galleries known with at least another 20 branches to be explored.

The guided tours are well organised and the guides are very knowledgeable. There is a shop and a restaurant nearby, so it would be easy to spend several hours here.

See more on the Grotta del Vento website…grottadelvento.com

Events in Bagni di Lucca

Summer events continue…

The first one celebrates Percy Shelley, the British poet who spent time in Bagni di Lucca with his friend Lord Byron.
Bagni di Lucca events

On 1st September there will be a concert in the English Cemetery where the renovation of tombs and monuments continues.

Bagni di Lucca events

Talk to the people at the information centre in La Villa for more information.

What’s happening in Bagni di Lucca

There is always something happening in Bagni di Lucca. It isn’t always easy to find out where and when they are happening.

Here are some events coming up.

There are outdoor movie nights in Cafaggio, Fornoli. The next one is on 26th July. The movie will be Wonder, with Julia Roberts.

Bagni di Lucca

Bagni di Lucca

Rifugio Fiori in Pieve di Monti di Villa is also having movie showings. Roman Holiday is showing 26th July.

Bagni di Lucca

There is a concert at Villa Web on 27th July.

Bagni di Lucca

There is a gastronomic walk in Montefegatesi on Sunday 5th  August, beginning at 12.00.

Also in Montefegatesi, on Tuesday 14th August will be Apericena in the piazza in Montefegatesi at 7.00pm. Look on Facebook on the Montefegatesi Official Page for more information.

Bagni di Lucca

Best of all, the beautiful pool in La Villa should be open on 28th July for one month. It has been undergoing extensive renovations and will come back better than ever. It will close again at the end of August for more work.

This is an old photo. I look forward to seeing the new pool.

Bagni di Lucca

If you have an event coming up in Bagni di Lucca please email me at debrakolkka@gmail.com and I will put it on Bella Bagni di Lucca to help spread the word.