Halloween is not an Italian tradition but here, in Bagni di Lucca and the surrounding area, it is well celebrated.
Bagni di Lucca La Villa has several themed displays (Pub ‘La Lira’ pictured) and, on the 31st, children traditionally go around the town ‘trick or treating’.
In Ponte a Serraglio, Bar Italia offers a Halloween buffet from 7 p.m. In Fornoli there are two Halloween events: a Horror Movie Night at the Daiquiry Pub and a Halloween Night at the Cafe’ Catene.
But the biggest and most famous celebration is at Borgo a Mozzano, which puts on, amazingly, one of the biggest Halloween parties in Italy!
The event lasts for several days and peaks on the 31st. Along the winding old main street, decked out with banners and spooky regalia, you can find food stalls, live music, magic shows, games, and haunted houses.
Link here: http://www.halloweencelebration.it/
The Academic Theater of Bagni di Lucca, built in 1790, hosted events of primary importance in the past. Giacomo Puccini himself played the piano here, when he visited the spa town he loved so much .
Every Sunday between October 15th and November 12th the theater shows an animated children’s film, after which adults and children enjoy a delicious ‘merenda’ with sweet treats and mulled wine. Today the snack was further enlivened by a magic show featuring fire-breathing and giant bubbles.
There are still two Sundays to go, with “Pets” on November 5th and “Zootropolis” on November 12th. It’s an opportunity not to miss if you’re in the area with your kids!
Tickets cost 5 euros including the merenda.
There seems to be a revival of summertime lately in Bagni di Lucca. The sky is blue and the sun is hot and bright.
We brought out the sun chairs, opened the last bottle of prosecco, left in the fridge since August when summer seemed to be suddenly over, and revelled in the sunshine of another fabulous October day.
The tall palms set against the blue sky give the impression of being somewhere tropical. That is until 6 p.m. Then the sun sets and we rush inside to start the fire.
Fall is a wonderful season to be in Bagni di Lucca. Under the golden light of a warm sun, the valley is full of autumn color, the atmosphere scented with the first woodsmoke and hints of the caldarroste (roast chestnuts) and vin brule’ (mulled wine) warming in the corners of ancient villages.
There are many sagre (festivals) around in this period, often celebrating chestnuts – a typical product of this area which is used to make some wonderful recipes! Here is a list of selected sagre in October:
- 15/10 Festa del Vino, Fosciandora / Festa della Castagna, Careggine
- 21/10 Sapori d’Autunno, Pieve di Fosciandora / Mondinata al Ponte, Borgo a Mozzano
- 22/10 Sagra della Castagna, Lucchio
- 29/10 Castagnata CAI, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana / Castagnata in Riva al Lago, Pentecosi, Pieve Fosciandora