We checked out of our room at the Corona Hotel, which overlooked the Torrente Lima only a few metres from our window and set off to explore this beautiful region. After finding some great Italian coffee and being temporarily held up by a medium scale bicycle race through the streets of Bagni di Lucca (Tour de France – not!), we back tracked along the SS12 a little to the hilltop perch of visiting Lucchio.
The only parking is outside this walled village so we park the car and load up with camera equipment, writing tools, and plenty of sunscreen. When we enter the village we can see why there is no parking – the streets are narrow, steep walkways – not a place to drive a car!
We walk past many quaint village houses built close together and tucked almost precariously into the hilside. Our sights are set on the very top of the hill where from the road we could see the ruins of an 11th century fortress at the end of a dirt track.
We were rewarded with stunning views from the fortress of the lush green Lima River Valley and surrounding villages also on hillside perches. Suggestion: when visiting Lucchio be sure to wear good walking shoes with plenty of grip for walking up to the fortress, plus the village itself is full of fascinating sights, so no doubt you will want to spend some time here for sure!
A Little bit of Soave and Tuscany, Italy
After finding an internet around the corner from our hotel and helping them out on various aspects of connectivity, we find our way out of Mestre and head to Soave. Soave has one of the best examples of an ancient castle which is still fully intact and in great condition. Soave is well known for having some of the finest Italian wine and we can also say that they have the best Gelato ever to pass over our taste buds!!!
The drive down the SS12 from Modena (famous for producing fine vinegars) was beautiful especially between Abetone and Bagni di Lucca. The road follows the Lima River Valley and has a great variety of landscapes and flora which also provides for some extensive exercise in getting in and out of the car for photographs and views!