A celebration of Dante Alighieri in Montefegatesi

On a beautiful summer evening in July, Dante Alighieri devotees were invited to an evening of poetry. The crowd gathered at the monument to Dante, high above Montefegatesi, to listen to Sergio Frati recite from memory, hymns from the Divine Comedy.

With help from fellow Dante lover, Giovanni Pacini, Sergio had the crowd enthralled.

What a wonderful way to spend a summer evening.

The views from the Dante Monument are spectacular.

It wouldn’t be an Italian evening without food, and after the recital everyone congregated for dinner at a very long table outside the club.

 

After dinner the group went to the town theatre where there was a historical exhibition of emigration relating to Montefegatesi.

Sergio then recited another three sections of The Divine Comedy, telling the story of Paolo, Francesco, Ugolino and other characters from Dante’s masterpiece.

I am sorry I wasn’t there for what looks like a fun evening. The photos and story were made possible by Emanuele Lotti of the Bagni di Lucca Trekking Club. Thank you Emanuele for helping us to keep up with what is happening in Bagni di Lucca.

Click here to see more on the Bagni di Lucca Trekking Club.

Dante Alighieri keeps watch over the village.

Flower petals in Brandeglio

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We set off on a lazy Sunday afternoon to visit Brandeglio, one of the villages of Bagni di Lucca. It sits 629 metres above sea level, 6.5 kilometres from La Villa. It has a population of 67 people.

We parked in the car park outside the village and made our way through the winding streets.

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The early summer gardens were gorgeous and the window boxes especially lovely.

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I found an old motorcycle that had been put to good use.

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We found the lovely old church.

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Inside there was a beautiful altar and a painting of the last supper.

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There is always a snoozing cat.

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This one woke up for his photo.

In the piazza we came upon this sign.

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Just as well we had parked the car outside the village. There was to be a procession later that afternoon. The square and chapel were decorated for the occasion.

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There was a little girl with a basket of rose petals trying to decorate the square but the wind was ruining her work.

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What a pity we couldn’t stay for the festivities, the square looked beautiful with its rose petals, despite the wind.

The views from Brandeglio are stunning.

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Take the time to drive up to Brandeglio. Like all the villages that make up Bagni di Lucca, it has its own character.

Meet Daniela and Mauro from Lugliano

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Lugliano is on top of the hill in the photo….that little bump with the tower beside it is the main part of the village. You can just see a row of houses along the ridge.

Daniela and Mauro are the parents of my lovely friend Paolo, so they were the obvious choice for me to talk to about Lugliano, the village that sits high above Ponte a Serraglio, just a few kilometres drive up the winding road behind my apartment.

Daniela and Mauro live in a beautiful house with a great garden that keeps Daniela busy.

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They have a spectacular view over the surrounding mountains from their terrace.

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Mauro makes beautiful wood carvings which he sells from a pretty little shop in Ponte a Serraglio.

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Mauro and Daniela met in the village, not very far from where they now live. I took a walk along the ridge where Lugliano sits and up the hill to the little cluster of houses there.

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The church at the start of the village.

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Keeping watch over Lugliano.

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A beautiful view.

The little road winds up the hill to the main part of the village.

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Come for a walk around Lugliano.

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The views over La Villa, Ponte a Serraglio and beyond are wonderful.

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Lugliano looks good from below as well.

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Say hello Mauro and Daniela at their shop in Ponte a Serraglio in the summer months. It is beside the Bar Italia.

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Vico Pancellorum, all the way to the top

We had lunch again at the wonderful Buca di Baldabo in Vico Pancellorum. It was a beautiful day and after lunch we ventured into new territory when we headed uphill from the restaurant.

The name Vico Pancellorum may have come from ‘panis celorum’ – heavenly bread, but more probably from a type of grass, ‘panicellum’ which grew in the area. The town is ancient and now has a population of only about 120 inhabitants.

Come for a walk to the top of the village.

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We walked back to the car through beautiful chestnut trees.

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The birds were singing, wildlfowers line the road and the air is heavenly. What more could you wish for?

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Click here to see the other post on Vico Pancellorum which talks about the delicious food at Buca di Baldabo and the lower part of the village.

There is an official website for Vico Pancellorum…vicopancellorum.toscana.it

Art lessons in Longoio

Peggy Gosling is organizing art lessons in the village of Longoio, where she lives for part of the year. She invited me to the pretty hamlet on the road from La Villa to Montefegatesi to talk about her upcoming venture.
The Longoio geese were at the entrance of the town to greet me.

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I think they imagine themselves to be guards, protecting their territory, with lots of hissing and honking. I took their enthusiastic antics as a welcome. Soon their owner appeared to direct them home.

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I wandered though the town which was begun centuries ago as a friary. There are lots of archways, which were apparently built by the friars so they could walk on top of them without having to walk through wet fields in the cold winters.

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I love the old doorways and windows in the villages.

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There are lovely details everywhere.

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Spring has been a bit of a disappointment so far, but there are always spring flowers.

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I don’t know what the yellow flowers are, but the new growth below is Laurel. Those Bay leaves will no doubt find their way into a pasta sauce.

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The roses are just beginning and the tulips nearly finished.

I came across the old church above the village.

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And I met the geese again on their travels.

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There will certainly be lots of things to draw or paint for the budding artists who come to join Peggy.
Longoio Art is offering landscape drawing and painting holidays, starting later this year. Experienced artists and teachers will help develop your skills in gorgeous settings in and around Longoio.

Take a look at Longoio Art’s website for more information.

www.landscapepaintingtuscany.com

Montefegatesi, the highest of the Bagni di Lucca villages

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Montefegatesi sits high above the other villages in Bagni di Lucca. It is 842 metres above sea level. It takes about 25 minutes to drive up the steep, winding road from La Villa, unless you are Italian and drive like Fangio, in which case it might only take 10 minutes. I prefer to live, so 25 minutes is just fine.

Because of its strategic position it was used by Lucca to guard the boundary with Modena, and as a result was subject to enemy assault.

All that is in the distant past, and now the village sits sleepily in the sun, enjoying its view over some of the other hamlets making up Bagni di Lucca.

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After parking the car in the car parking area just outside the village we followed an Ape into town.

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There are some pretty coloured houses.

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And a tiny church in the first piazza.

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From this square there are 2 narrow roads leading through the village. We took the high road towards the top for the exceptional views from there.

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Take a closer look at that orange house on the hill opposite. It is the colour of a Halloween pumpkin. I love it!!

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Along the way there is lots to see.

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The cemetery in the distance.

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Weeds. Look closer.

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A lovely local Signora told me the plant is called scarletina and grows wild on rock walls all over the village.

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I think that is Monte di Villa below the rooftops. ( I have since been informed that the village is Tereglio, thank you for the information)

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There’s that orange house again.

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At the top of the hill is the monument to Dante Aleghieri, built by the villagers in 1908.

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This man never looks happy.

There are great views of the village from here.

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Next time we will take the low road.

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On the afternoon we went to Montfegatesi we experienced all kinds of weather. We had rain, sun, wind and even a little snow. It made for some dramatic skies.

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There is a bus that goes from La Villa to Montefegatesi, but it only goes once or twice a day. Be sure you can get back if you go this way.

Click here to see Montefegatesi in spring.