Bagni di Lucca

The walls of Lucca

The walls of Lucca

By the time this blog gets posted we will be in Lucca, a relaxed, well-to-do small city in Western Tuscany. We have visited Lucca many times over the years with our Arts Sojourn groups and try and do at least a couple of day trips from our home base.IMG_0039

A watercolor painted by Matthew Daub just outside the walls of Lucca

A watercolor painted by Matthew Daub just outside the walls of Lucca

Lucca is surrounded by massive defensive walls that are now one if its best features. The Lucchese and visitors walk, jog and bike around the city in a day-long passeggiata of people-watching. We enjoy getting away from the more cosmopolitan atmosphere of the town for a day in the country. One of the many small towns we have enjoyed visiting in past years is Bagni di Lucca in the Serchio Valley. It’s only about an hour by public bus from Lucca, but mercurial bus schedules that are tied to school sessions and commuting to and from work don’t always allow for a convenient visit.

Barbara drawing by the River Lima in Bagni di Lucca

Barbara drawing by the River Lima in Bagni di Lucca

The Lima, a tributary of the Serchio, cuts right through Bagni di Lucca. We have enjoyed drawing and painting along its banks.

The Lima

The Lima

A pedestrian suspension bridge over the river.

A pedestrian suspension bridge over the river.

A watercolor painted along the Lima by Matthew Daub

A watercolor painted along the Lima by Matthew Daub

While researching for our visit this year I was saddened to hear of the closing of a Bagni di Lucca restaurant that we enjoyed in the past. Circolo di Forestieri was an institution in town. Its terrace over the river provided us with a reasonably-priced place for a relaxing lunch.

Matthew Daub is a professional artist and university professor with works in major public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe. He has been leading plein air painting workshops in Italy since 1994. In 1999, Matthew and his wife Barbara formed Arts Sojourn as “a vacation for artists and their friends.” The program is designed to appeal to artists of all levels as well as non-artists who enjoy the company of creative people in a slow travel format.

Slow Travel Tours is an affiliation of small-group tour operators who offer personalized trips in Italy, France and other European countries.

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2 Responses to Bagni di Lucca

  1. Heather Jarman says:

    No need to worry about Il Circolo dei Forestieri. It reopened under new management in April. The new management is the old management of the much loved, by the locals, Trattoria Borghese which closed last year. The owner claimed to be tired of running a restaurant, but perhaps he found he was addicted after all. Here’s a visual foretaste of what you’ll get if you go now: http://bellabagnidilucca.com/2015/04/10/circolo-dei-forestieri-2/. I for one am glad of the change from the ubiquitous 1950s ‘bed of lettuce’ under everything, although I see packaged ‘leaves’ populating the plates in Debra’s photos.

  2. The paintings are so lovely, great job Matthew! The landscapes are breathtaking and the city looks fresh and lovely. Thanks for the nice experience.

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