Day out in Bagni di Lucca

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Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by JulianaAlice on Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:05 pm

Hi here I am again! It is Wednesday evening and we are flying into Pisa on Saturday morning.  We have decided this time, no hire car. Spend the 300 euros on condo services etc instead! Tapping out on my iphone so will keep this brief.

Will come to Bagni for the day by train from Aulla. Have done this before en route to Lucca. (Mucky train,  so much graffiti on windows).

Help.  Need itinerary for day. Seen your lovely bridge on previous visit - ran over and back couple of times, took pics.

This visit, where should we go? (Remember public transport).

Also need recommendation for lunch - preferably menu of the day, around 12 euros please.
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Ha!

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:29 pm

JulianaAlice wrote:Hi here I am again! It is Wednesday evening and we are flying into Pisa on Saturday morning.  We have decided this time, no hire car. Spend the 300 euros on condo services etc instead! Tapping out on my iphone so will keep this brief.Will come to Bagni for the day by train from Aulla. Have done this before en route to Lucca. (Mucky train,  so much graffiti on windows).Help.  Need itinerary for day. Seen your lovely bridge on previous visit - ran over and back couple of times, took pics.

This visit, where should we go? (Remember public transport).

Also need recommendation for lunch - preferably menu of the day, around 12 euros please.
... don't have a clue, but loved the area and it so much reminds us of our stay near Fivizzano . So would like to wish you a very nice trip, will be if get lunch for €12.... Smile Smile Smile

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by JulianaAlice on Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:05 pm

Come on, where have you been?

We have had plenty of excellent lunches, 3 courses incl wine and coffee for 12 euros.

Il Pozzo, Filetto (Medieval village)
Fringuello, Ponticello (nr Pontremoli)


Last edited by JulianaAlice on Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by Gala Placidia on Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:36 pm

You will arrive into Fornoli station (a lovely old railway station) and there is a bus stop just outside. Start the visit at Ponte a Serraglio and have coffee at Il Monaco. You will be able to see the first Casino in Europe (closed... unfortunately) Catch another bus and go to La Villa (main downtown area). Here is a good summary about what to see Visiting Bagni di Lucca
Most restaurants offer "pranzo di lavoro". Del Sonno is very popular.
Have a great time!
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by ghiro on Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:52 pm

I hope you have a lovely day out in Bagni di Lucca JulianaAlice.  We've driven through but never stopped to linger.

Please let us know what you do and how you got on (and whether the €12 meal was up to Il Fringuello - a favourite of ours!).
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by Flip on Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:23 am

Don't want to be pessimistic, JulianaAlice, but if I were you I'd stay on the train and have a day out in Lucca itself. At this time of year, much of Bagni is a glaring disappointment to travelers with many Restaurants not open at Lunchtimes, so only snacks available from the Bars.
Besides the Walks there is little else to attract anyone and the Saturday market is a bit of a let down; so all in all you could probably see what we have to offer here in half an hour.
So unless you fancy a session at the Spa and a Pannini for lunch.............
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by JulianaAlice on Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:18 am

We often leave the car behind and go off for the day by public transport.  Having the car available means we can give up so much more easily and just drive off somewhere potentially more interesting. When you have got an hour or two to wait for the next bus out, you spend time looking around and making the most of what is about you.

The people are the most interesting. I like riding on a rural bus to nowhere and quietly observing the local characters.  Listening to the schoolchildren; listening to the bus driver and his conversation on his mobile phone as he drives and gesticulates.  Seeing at which stops people get off, and sometimes, which houses they disappear into, and imagining what their life is like.

One place we dropped into this summer is Vicopisano which has a well preserved medieval heritage: twelve towers (11th to 15th century), two medieval buildings and the Rocca del Brunelleschi fortress, opened to the public for guided tours.  Wandering around and spotting the towers we were able to get glimpses into houses and gardens and observe daily life going on.  Great!  But nowhere open for lunch.  Shame.

Back to Bagni; I can't survive without the prospect of a real Italian (set) lunch.  What about Del Sonno that Gala recommends?  Are they likely to be serving lunch on weekdays next week?
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:56 am

"pranzo di lavoro" around here in Abruzzo (nowhere near as up market as Northern Tuscany), will set you back at least €15... Ha! still cheap at twice the price. Oh and yes  we so much agree how interesting it is to catch the "parp, parp" local buses...

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by Flip on Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:16 am

llario at Sonno may be open, it depends on weather and likelihood of customers, but if you give him a ring (he speaks perfect english) on +39 0583 805080, he will be able to tell you; but mostly his menu is A La Carte and Pizza which are very good.
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by Gala Placidia on Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:42 am

Another possible lunch option is Osteria dal Buongustaio and Bar Rudy on Via Val di Lima (SS12), opposite the start of the road to Benabbio. It is close to the downtown area, just continue on the main street and turn right to go past the Post Office and the bridge (Ponte Nuovo... not that new as it was built in 1786), then, turn to the left and keep on going for about 100m and you will be there. They do serve "pranzo di lavoro" and it is very popular with locals. You will not find many tourists in the area. If you Google the name, you will find some good reviews. Their coffee and gelatto are also delicious.
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by lancashire lass on Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:05 pm

We had lunch on Tuesday at the Osteria dal Buongustaio 10 Euro's tortelli, followed by pork milanese and salad, water wine and coffee included. Desert was another 2 euros  i can recomend it!! As long as you don't mind rubbing shoulders with all the workmen!!

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by Gala Placidia on Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:32 pm

It is actually a lot of fun! They are very nice and genuine. We often go there and they looked after our dog when she run away looking for me! I was at the Post Office and my hubby did not realize that he had left the door open...
Yes, lots of workmen go there, this is why it is called "pranzo di lavoro". They know where good food is to be found...
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Bagni di Lucca pranzo di lavoro

Post by JulianaAlice on Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:43 pm

Thank you for your recommendations for pranzo di lavoro venues.  It seems we may have to return to Bagni another day to try them all out!

As for eating with the workmen, I'd say they know where to get a quality bargain. We usually turn up about 40 minutes after the first rush of workmen.  This allows time for them to get their orders in and settle into their pasta. Eyes flicker over us as we walk in, and then the pasta takes preference. Eyes return to plates, and we are left to find ourselves seats and get a print-out from the till of the menu of the day. At this point we find a few seniors and office workers turn up.

We have never had bad house wine at lunch.  The pasta is delicious, (as you'd expect), and mostly we get a sizeable piece of meat/fish, and a choice of 3-4 deserts.  Only the vegetables to me are wanting - plain beans, plain green salad, plain tomato or plain beetroot. I compensate with the olive oil bottle!

Of course I like fine dining in the evening, but my preference is for lunch out in a new to me, small village or town, followed by a walkabout and coffee at the bar next to the busstop, and then home.
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by Gala Placidia on Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:36 pm

Well, I think that you will not be disappointed...
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Thu Oct 10, 2013 6:37 pm

Ah yes... Our first experience of this was in Fivizzano, waitress was a Dawn French look-a-like without the smile (quite the opposite). Us almost not speaking a word of Italian, could see her reaction "this is all I need".... The food and experience was superb and one of those we will remember for life!

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by JulianaAlice on Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:43 pm

Gala Placidia wrote:Well, I think that you will not be disappointed...


Well, we were not disappointed.  We reached the restaurant by midday after 2 hours journeying from Aulla Station by train, by bus and on foot.  There were some railway workers lounging around at Bagni station who informed us that there was no bus for a hour, so we set off on foot.  It was hot going, but we met some Canadians on the way who applauded our enterprise and encouraged us on by saying we had only a further 15 minutes to walk before arriving at our destination. 

A very smartly dressed gentleman with a rolled umbrella, who had been sitting in our train carriage, was marching ahead of us, and I could not help noticing that despite his impressive attire, he wore no socks and the soles of his shoes were worn through. Did he do this journey every day?

After lunch we strolled back to town to find there was a long wait for the next bus to the station, so we snoozed in the park for a while.  It was too hot and we were too full, to try and find the famous swimming pool, so we waited patiently for the arrival of the bus.  Back at the station, the workmen were still lounging around as though they had not moved a pace from their benches in 3 hours, and they very curiously watched our frustrated efforts to read the timetable.  No train home for over an hour. We decided to push on to Lucca.

We know Lucca well, so it was no hardship, and the trains home from there along the coast were plentiful and FAST.

We are back to Italy next week and will be picking up a car at the airport, as walking in fine weather is one thing, but in the rain, no way. It seems that we have to hire snow chains along with the car.  I am sure that we have never bothered in the past.
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by ghiro on Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:31 pm

JulianaAlice wrote:
Gala Placidia wrote:Well, I think that you will not be disappointed...
Well, we were not disappointed.  It seems that we have to hire snow chains along with the car.  I am sure that we have never bothered in the past.




Delighted to hear you enjoyed Bagni JulianaAlice.  It's a great place!  Smile

As I understand it from mid-November onwards you need either winter tyres OR chains in most of MS.  However if you pass a 'blue chain sign' you MUST have snow chains with you.  My recollection is that if you pass a 'yellow chain sign', and you don't have chains, the carabinieri can get very unpleasant.  Sad

We always carry chains in the car http://www.badgergate.demon.co.uk/LUSIGNANA/PDF_files/Snow_Chains.pdf during designated winter.
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:36 pm

Glad to hear that you enjoyed your day in Bagni di Lucca. It is a pity that there is not more public transport between Bagni and Aulla, but then, the trains go almost empty. Still, the railway station is very pretty and bucolic and worth a visit.Trains between Bagni and Lucca are quite frequent and we take them whenever there is an event in Lucca which may cause parking problems. Dogs are accepted on Italian trains, so our little "Tequila" can come and enjoy the ride. But I have also seen people taking big dogs with them, and I mean BIG!!!
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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:36 pm

We used that train on the way to Fivizzano, like I've said before it's a beautiful area.

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by molinello on Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:17 pm

We quite often use the train from Piazza al Serchio to Lucca.  Sometimes it would have been quicker to drive, but the ambience of meeting people on the train is lovely.  The last time we used it coming back from Lucca the train had difficulty managing the upward gradient and had to keep stopping, it was hilarious as everyone just accepted it as part of the usual course of day and we had a great time laughing about it with the locals.  Sometimes you see more and socialise going by train as opposed to travelling by car.

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:09 pm

Ha! Should have added we spotted a guy fishing in the most ice blue river I've ever seen, it was a torrent and he was in it up to and above his tummy (must have been some waders...). We also spotted a family of 4-5 small boar trying to clamber up a bank a few meters from the train....  Wonderful stuff!

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by Carciofo on Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:40 pm

I like the idea of taking that train journey from Aulla towards Lucca.  We drove that way many years ago and stopped in Piazza al Serchio because we were getting low on fuel.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, it was lunchtime and the petrol station was unattended so we went into the hotel/restaurant across the way to have lunch.  I remember the place had a fabulous view and the food was delicious, but mostly I remember asking the waitress if there was a menu and she proudly pulled herself up to her full height, tapping her breastbone and said "Io sono il menu".  Smile 

This summer we decided to go to Barga from Aulla by train and found it to be delightful so encouraged by your reported adventures in Bagni, I think we might try it again to explore other areas  - and restaurants - along that route. One can enjoy a more carefree drink if one goes by train.

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:23 pm

Carciofo wrote:I like the idea of taking that train journey from Aulla towards Lucca.  We drove that way many years ago and stopped in Piazza al Serchio because we were getting low on fuel.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, it was lunchtime and the petrol station was unattended so we went into the hotel/restaurant across the way to have lunch.  I remember the place had a fabulous view and the food was delicious, but mostly I remember asking the waitress if there was a menu and she proudly pulled herself up to her full height, tapping her breastbone and said "Io sono il menu".  Smile This summer we decided to go to Barga from Aulla by train and found it to be delightful so encouraged by your reported adventures in Bagni, I think we might try it again to explore other areas  - and restaurants - along that route.  One can enjoy a more carefree drink if one goes by train.

Wonderful story that reminds me of the great trattoria we found in Fivizzano. A story we've told people many a time, but our waitress was a cross between Dawn French and the SS! Not a lady you would question or argue with, but the food and ambience of the place was simply superb!

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by Carciofo on Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:43 pm

What restaurant was it; can you remember?

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Re: Day out in Bagni di Lucca

Post by stevegwmonkseaton on Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:11 pm

Carciofo I'm very sorry I can't recall it. I had already looked on Google Street View to see if I could spot the street it was on, afraid not. Also a Google of restaurants does not identify it. I'm sure it was recommended at the place we stayed HERE (very nice too).

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