Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 1, 2012

A walk around Bagni di Lucca


Every year on a Sunday around April 1 a local athletic group (A.S.D. Polisportiva Atletica) organises a group walk from Fornoli through the hills around Bagni di Lucca. It is called Giro dei Colli Termali and everyone is invited to join in. You can walk or run the 2 – 4 – 8 – 12 – 20 or 25 kilometre track.

I decided on the 4 kilometre track, because I am not all that keen on walking uphill. Jim and our friends Anup and Poorna, who are visiting from Hong Kong opted for 8 kilometres.
We were up bright and early and walked one kilometre down river to Fornoli to find a hive of activity.


The check in table.


Anup and Poorna with their registration cards.



Help is at hand if you need it.


Small dogs wearing hats are welcome too.


And they are off!

It was a perfect morning, a little cool to begin with, but the sun was shining and we walked through some beautiful places.







It is spring and there are fruit blossoms everywhere.


The first rest stop was very popular.



Then it was onward and upward until the next deviation.


I headed back down the hill while the others pressed on. I passed more gorgeous things






There were people busy chopping wood for next winter.


And trimming trees.


I passed the lovely old church in Fornoli.


And down past gardens into town.







And then I walked home along the river.




There was brand new wisteria.




And violets growing beside the road.



There was a fisherman beside the river.



My pansies are thriving on the bridge.



It was a fun morning.


  1. Beautiful collection of photos. I love Italy!


  2. You did the yearly walk! Beautiful! I saw your friends from Hongkong were there too. Would love to meet them!


    • They are here until Sunday, so you will meet them soon.


  3. WHAT A beautiful place. i sometimes ask myself why my grandparents moved from there. i guess the ones that stayed are so lucky. keep up the good work. george


    • The whole of Bagni di Lucca is very lovely. We are lucky to be here for such lovely weather.


  4. What a perfect way to spend a spring Sunday morning.


    • Yes it was a great way to spend the morning.


  5. I do love it when you take us for walks and you are not shy about taking pictures of people which is great for us, as we get to see the locals. Is it still a little cold? Beautiful flowers.. c


    • You would have liked my last post about the bread making with Paolo I think. The locals seem to like being photographed. I was a bit reluctant at first, but nobody has ever refused me.
      The mornings and evenings are cool, but the days are wonderfully warm.


  6. “Tequila” would like to meet that handsome dog…
    The flowers look beautiful, but the river is in urgent need for more water. It has been a very dry winter as levels look very low.


    • The river is extremely low right now. We need rain.


  7. What a lovely walk! Clear blue skies, colourful flowers (and of course colourful tracksuits), misty hills and still water – make everything seem so right with the world.


  8. Would have loved this walk, I would have been with you and John with Jim for the larger challenge.


    • Jim probably would have done the whole 25 kilometres. I was happy with 4, plus 1 kilometre each way to and from Fornoli.


  9. Thank you for inviting me on the armchair walk, very refreshing. Beautiful scenery! Beautiful photographs!!


  10. no health and safety rules there for people up trees with chain saws!!! I’m surprised you didn’t ask him for a “handsome boy” pose!?


  11. Wonderful post Deb. Everything looks very enticing.


    • It was a lovely morning…lucky, because it is overcast today.


  12. I would have done the 2km walk with you Deb. Please ‘hold’ the wisteria till I arrive next week. How beautiful it looks. Pity I have missed the magnolias in Lucca but at least the wisteria flowers for longer.


    • You will see lots of wisteria, it is just starting.


  13. Now , you are just teasing me. What a beautiful walk.
    Here in Sydney we may get some water stops in the
    long walks and maybe a bit of food at the end, if are lucky.
    I just can’t believe that set up with the white table cloth
    and the ladies with pristine white aprons serving food and
    drinks . and only a couple of kilometers in to it !!!
    This italians really know how to do things in style.


    • Sorry, I don’t know why my writing gets all jumbled up
      after I send it.


    • Italians do food very well. They know how to look after themselves.


  14. Your picturesque walk was a delightful start to my day – I was smiling all the way through as you shared your observations, Debra. What a healthy way to do a community event. I noticed Jim and Poorna with walking sticks but the locals do not seem to worry about using those aids. I love the Spring flowers, the cute terrier wearing the red hat and your leisurely sojourn past pretty scenery. Love your sense of humour, too – did I detect an enthusiast wearing his jacket and brief bright blue shorts or is it a swimsuit? Are there warm thermals further along the way?


    • I didn’t go to the top so I don’t know what is up there. It was a cool morning, but the sun was warm.


  15. Oops!….I mean Anup not Poorna with the walking stick. Pardon me!


  16. Looks like a lot of fun. Your photos are lovely, but being the dog lover that I am, I love the canine in red hat! What a hoot!


    • He was a very cute dog and happy to pose for me.


  17. How true is the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. I love your blog as it is so visual. The spring flowers are a treat, guaranteed to bring a smile ot my face. I keep meaning to ask you what sort of camera you are using as the photos are very sharp. Not that I am an expert!


    • I use a Canon G12, point and shoot. I love it!


  18. Beautiful sights along the road, I love those purples!


    • The tiny violets pop up all over the place and the wisteria is just beginning.


  19. What a fabulous Sunday morning. And perfect weather. Your gorgeous photos really capture the day. I love your pansies….Bella come sempre!


  20. Hi Deb,

    thank you for the beautiful photos. What a spectacular area. All those happy faces. The little dog is cute. We walked for kilometres and kilometres around Bagni and surrounds while on holidays in Sept. 2010. Spring looks lovely and once again your pansies are spectacular.

    Cheers Judy


    • There are lots of wonderful places to walk here.


  21. Look at those beautifully colourful blooms! 😮


  22. What a beautiful walk 🙂


  23. Thanks for inviting us along on another great walk/slice of life in beautiful Italy.


  24. Thanks for sharing the beauty of your wonderful day.


  25. Beautiful! I would have loved a walk like this! The spring flowers are gorgeous too!


  26. My kind of event precisely, Debra!


  27. Beautiful! I always want to do this but each year it falls on a date when we have guests in and I am on breakfast duties! Thank you for the virtual walk instead.


  28. Beautiful! What a fun event.


  29. Hello Debra
    I have been following your blog and your photos as always are stunning It is wonderful to see the seasons changing in and around Bagni. We missed you at New Year when we stayed in Ponte as you were in Brisbane, but we are returning in the middle of May, we’re staying in Chifenti this time. Will you be around as it will be lovely to meet up with you?


    • We will be around until mid May. Perhaps you will be here then.


  30. […] The beginning of spring in Fornoli. […]


  31. Hi Debra,
    Thank you for your reply to my comment on your blog. Your other blog looks good as well. You live in so beautiful place. This post is particulary interesting to me since I would like to find out more about hiking in the moutains in Bagni di Lucca area.

    When I was there this year, we were trying to go for a hike, but by the time we have found out it is possible and how to reach the beginning of one of the trails, it was too late. Do you have any other post about hiking in the area and if not, you can tell us more about it? It seems there are several trails close to Bagni di Lucca.


    • It is possible to hike in the mountains around Bagni di Lucca. There is a group that does this called Gruppo Pegaso. I will be doing a post on them soon on Bella Bagni di Lucca.
      There are also marked trails around the village, but some are not all that well marked.
      I will be back on Bagni di Lucca and I will make enquiries about trekking, as many people ask about this. I will post something when I find out more.


      • Hi Debra,

        Thank you very much for your reply. I am looking forward to learning more about hiking in the area.

        I also wonder if there are any healing springs and pools where one can actually swim? Personally I was rather disappointed when I was not able to find one in Bagni di Lucca. It was once a famous place to which people were coming to take baths for health and beauty. The area seems to be neglected in this matter. Or maybe I am wrong and there are some, which are was not able to find? I found only steam baths in Bagni di Lucca where if I understood well, one can just seat beside a cave from which steam is coming.


      • There is a pool fed by thermal springs in the hotel beside the steam grotto you mention. It is open to the public for a fee.
        The open air swimming pool in La Villa is also fed by the springs. It is open in the summer months. There is also an indoor covered pool open in winter.
        Apart from that you can take baths in deep marble baths at Villagio Globale at Ponte a Serraglio. Some of the other spas are being renovated and with a bit of luck and a lot of money they will be open one day.
        I would love to see these places open and being promoted.
        There are posts on Bella Bagni di Lucca about the swimming pool and Villagio Globale.


      • Thank you very much for your reply. You know your area really well. Perhaps you can write a very good guide about this area and maybe conduct some tours?. I wish I knew about those pools before coming to Bagni di Lucca. We were reading our guides and asking people for information, but we were not able to find any place where we could actually swim. Maybe it was too early for that – we were there in the second week of June. If you could mention a direct link on your other blog where you write more about these locations, it would be great. Thank you very much for your help.


      • One of the reasons I started writing my blogs was to provide information about Bagni di Lucca. I think it is a wonderful area that is seriously under promoted. I have no interest in conducting tours, but Paola Moschini does…go to
        The information office in La Villa should have been able to help you find places to swim. There is an official guide book which is available at various locations around the town. I would love to see effective promotion of the area.


      • Thank you again for all the great information. I hope I will be able to go to Bagni di Lucca again and this time to swim in one of the thermal pools you have mentioned. You provide much better information on your blog that I was able to find at the official Bagni di Lucca website.

        On their page, where they write about thermal springs at:
        they don’t mention the pools you describe at all, and from what they say, it seems the only operating thermal spring in this area presently available is Jean Varraud and it is a vapor cave.

        If I may ask, what is the name of the hotel close to this location where one can actually swim in the thermal pools beside hotel for free?

        I hope more publicly accessible thermal pools will be opened and not only often very expensive spas. Thank you very much for the contact info for a tour guide. Perhaps I should think about using her help to organize a tour there.


      • The hotel with the pool is Hotel Bagni Caldi. There are no outdoor thermal pools apart from the public swimming pool, but it is possible to bathe in deep marble baths. There are several of the old spas being renovated. I hope that more will be open to the public soon. I will be posting any upates on this.


      • Yes, thank you. Please keep us posted. I hope there will be many more affordable thermal pools available to the public very soon and not only as part of SPA treatmensts.


      • You are able to use the marble baths alone without having extra treatments. It doesn’t cost a lot to use the baths at Villagio Globale and I often just go to the steam grotto without having anything else. I hope some of thenothers are open (and promoted) soon.


      • Thank you very much for for your reply. What really are those marble baths? Are they just big marble bathtubs or smlall swimming pools? Is the water very hot? Do you have any pictures of them? Is so, can you please post some? Thank you very much for your help.


      • I have sent you a post I did on the opening of the San Giovani baths where you can see the tubs there. In some cases the baths are just that, a marble bathtub. They vary in size and the water temperature varies as well. Some are quite hot and others are just warm. I hope that one day soon there will be more spas open to the public.


  32. Thank you. I have found your post on other blog and then followed to their website at:
    This place looks quite impressive and I will try to visit them the next time I will be in the area.


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