Posted by: Debra Kolkka | February 12, 2012

A walk in the cold, cold snow near Bagni di Lucca

I arrived in Bagni di Lucca to very cold temperatures, as cold as I have ever known it to be here. After depositing my luggage in the apartment I headed off to visit friends. I didn’t get far when I ran into our Dutch friend Agostino who was heading off into the mountains to look at the snowy landscape. Would you like to come? Of course I would. I rushed home to grab my camera and a warm hat and we were off.

We turned off the main road just before Gallicano in the direction of Fabbriche di Vallico into the beautiful Alpi Apuane (Apuan Alps). The recent snowfalls have turned the area into a gorgeous winter wonderland.

Our first stop was the impossibly beautiful little bridge, Il Pontaccio over the Turrite Cava, the little stream which is part of the Serchio river. The bridge was built from local river stones in the 14th century and restored in 2004. Its coating of snow only made it more gorgeous.

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There are several extremely cute little villages along the road to our destination, Alto Matanna. I have to go back to investigate a few of these. Fabbriche di Vallico is a delightful cluster of tumble down house that need much more attention. I will be back.

The already narrow roads are made worse with the snow. Fortunately there were not too many cars about.

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We parked in the grounds of the Refugio and set off for a walk though the snow covered fields.
As it turned we didn’t get all that far as the snow was very deep in parts. I sank to my bottom on a couple of occasions and had to be hauled out, not a pretty sight.
Anyway, this is what we found.

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Just look at that gorgeous sky!

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That is Agostino, my trusty guide forging on ahead, looking for soft spots.

We saw animal tracks in the snow.

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It was incredibly still and quiet.

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There were some beautiful horses feeding near the refugio. One of them seemed to glow in the golden light.

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The others were lovely too.

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Soon it was time to drag my wet self back to the car and head home.

We took a different route through Pescaglia and more snowy roads and pretty villages.

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We came upon a gorgeous little cemetery with a wonderful view over the mountains. What a lovely place to be buried.

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Thank you Agostino for a great welcome home to Bagni di Lucca.

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Responses

  1. Oh, I am always missing these nice occasions 🙂
    Please, please, send me a message next time!
    Lovely photos!

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    • I met Agostino by chance on the street, it was completely spontaneous.

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  2. What beautiful landscape photos with the freshly fallen snow!

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  3. Gorgeous photos Debra. I loved taking in the landscape ones the most … so desolate but beautiful.

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    • It was a glorious afternoon in the mountains.

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  4. Incredibly beautiful… and cold. Well, it is cold everywhere, this morning Rafael found out that it was -6ºC outside our apartment in San Sebastian and by 11 AM it was -1. As you say, it is unusually cold in Bagni, but we have the same story everywhere. So try to keep warm. It should not last too long, now. Or we are entering a glacial era!!!
    Great photos, I also love the cemetery!!!!

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    • I am staying inside until the freezing wind passes.

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  5. These are very beautiful images of the mountains. Enjoy your stay in Bagni di Lucca.

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    • This cold spell will finish soon and all will be well.

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    • I am here for 3 months, so I’m sure I will enjoy all types of weather.

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  6. Someone in one of my Facebook groups wrote that it’s so cold that his snowman Giovanni knocked on the door this morning asking for some hot soup and a new carrot nose.

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  7. All this cold has got me thinking a lot about how best to heat Godzillavilla; those stone walls get to be like an icebox in weather like this. Beautiful to look at the snowy landscape, though! I’ve noticed the cemeteries always have the best views. Very thoughtful.

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    • You will certainly need good heating in your stone house. Our central heating in Bagni di Lucca is very effective.

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  8. Glad to hear that you arrived safely. The pictures are perfect-what a winter wonderland! I had lunch with Heather this week here in California. Of course we talked about Lucca, the Garfagnana and food! Wish I was there now…

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    • You don’t have long to wait. The weather will be lovely by the time you get here.

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  9. The quiet is palpable in your pictures, Debra!

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  10. Breathtakingly beautiful!
    And I love the little cemetery on the side of the mountain; how sweet!

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  11. And not at all like Brisbane!

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    • It could not be any different if it tried!

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  12. Just a wee bit frosty Debra…I wonder how I’m going to adjust from 30 degrees C in Brisbane to -7 degrees C in Paris. Oh well, I guess I’ll soon see. A bientot, Robyn.

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    • You will be fine, this cold spell will be over soon and we will be back to gorgeous winter days.

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  13. Holy moly, it looks frigid! Stay warm!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

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    • I actually got quite toasty hauling myself through the deep snow.

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  14. It all looks so beautiful- a stunning winter wonderland! How wonderful to be there for so long and see the changes as the snow melts and spring arrives

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    • That is the best bit. I love winter, but the magical change from winter to spring is why I love to come at this time of the year. My hyacinths are already starting to grow on my balcony.

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  15. You could not have planned your expedition better! Grazie mille Debra. A breath of fresh air indeed. What a beautiful place to be. You can see what keeps the Italian spirit for beauty and creativity alive, can’t you…. Now how can I concentrate today after seeing that…!!?

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    • What luck to run into Agostino. I felt a bit guilty that I slowed him up with my sinking in the snow. He is used to walking in the mountains, I’m not much good at uphill stuff.

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      • Loved that part about you sinking in the snow. Forgot to mention it before. Sure he loved having you along!

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      • Agostino took a photo of me struggling in the snow. I will try to upload it to the blog.

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  16. Absolutely gorgeous Debra. Such a contrast to a Brisbane summer.

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    • I love the beach too, but hot weather doesn’t agree with me

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  17. Those horses look stunning against the snow-and you’re right, that one does glow!

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    • The photo doesn’t really show just how luminous the horse. He had quite long hair with golden tips that glowed in the light.

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  18. Oh, Deb, it’s so beautiful. And if it’s anything like Milan, it’s about ten times colder than it looks! Enjoy those walks…that quiet…how I envy that right now.
    Welcome back.

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    • Today is much better. It is still cold, but the freezing wind has gone and the sun is shining.

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  19. A true winter wonderland! Great photos Debra, the snow can be so much fun when you are wrapped up well. It seems like Europe and England have lots of snow whilst here in Edinburgh we are having balmy days? Go figure! My daughter went snowboarding to Glenshee yesterday, said it was not much fun snowboarding over mud, rocks and grass!

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    • I’m sure if I had to live with snow every day, or shovel it from my driveway, I would get sick of it, but occasionally it is fun.

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  20. Beautiful photographs dear Debra, seems that you had a wonderful walk in this snowy places… I loved them all. Thank you, with my love, nia

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    • It was a fun thing to do on a cold afternoon.

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  21. As a Canadian ex-Pat in Portugal (where even under the most recent European conditions we just don’t get snow) I adore these pictures, and particularly your comment about the “still and quiet”. Truly brings back good memories of the landscape in Ontario ‘cottage country’. Love the pictures of the bridge!

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    • There is nothing like the stillness of a snowy landscape. It is hard to understand until you have stood knee-deep in soft, white snow.

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      • Indeed!

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      • As long as you don’t let it go farther up than the knee. It’s hard to understand *that* until you have stood crotch-deep into cold, cold white snow.

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      • I did sink a couple of times to my bum and got quite wet and cold, but it was worth it.

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  22. The pictures are just stunningly gorgeous! I love the arch bridge so much.

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    • The bridge looked gorgeous with its white blanket.

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  23. That bridge is incredible photogenic. What a great (if chilly) way to start your return to Bagni di Lucca.

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    • It was a perfect first day back in the village.

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  24. So beautiful, Deb- I remember, from England, loving the quality of light and sound that comes with snow like that and the squeak and crunch of footfalls in it. I particularly love snowy landscapes at dusk. In another lifetime, Peter and I went to church on Christmas Eve, at midnight, in England (complete with men in frocks swinging incensed balls) and when we came out it was snowing – it was just magical. As you say, fun for a while. I remember from England too what it’s like when the snow starts to melt and you get grey, wet, mush and slush, but then that heralds spring. I’m so glad you are our intrepid reporter!

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    • The first signs of spring are already about. My hyacinths are poking through on my balcony and the magnolia flowers are starting to bud in Lucca.

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  25. Just stunning. Even though, as you suggest, you were very cold by the time you got home, you keep the magic alive with your beutiful photos and your descriptions. I’m enjoying the intimacy of shared moments-keep them coming.

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    • It was a magical afternoon in the snow. I didn’t really feel all that cold, I was having too much fun.

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