Returning for a week in our little love nest in  Casola in Lunigiana, we found this note from a grateful guest who had spent the last 2 weeks of April there.

April 2018

Your little home is delightful. Roberta (our neighbour) has looked after me extremely well and she and her family made me very welcome.

I spent most of the first week reading and painting. Fivizzano is a really interesting town with its beautiful church and the exciting miracle of how a visitation in the ’50s resulted in a cripple walking again. The Caffè in the Square did a delicious Pranzo di Lavoro at 10 euros. I used her internet and enjoyed many an espresso or tea with a cake.

I ate at various other places, the most outstanding being Da Remo in Monzone on the way to Equi Terme. I was lucky to get a table there on Independence Day and it was tremendous to be in the middle of such a celebration.

I terrified myself going up in the mountains looking for a restaurant that Roberta had recommended, so much so I turned around and came back! It was a VERY narrow road and VERY HIGH with huge drops. [This is Rifugio Donegani at Orto di Donna. Not for the faint-hearted, and it’s just as well Felicity didn’t meet a marble lorry on the way down.]

 I took the train to Lucca. I did a few sketches there. The train journey was so cheap and really stunning. The tunnel building which resulted in seven deaths was quite something, taking 10minutes to pass through!

I was blown away by the statue stele in Pontremoli on the way to Parma. They are the most exciting sculptures I have seen in years. [Visit the museum at Piagnaro Castle, Pontremoli for your own experience of the Stele statues; stone age menhir.]

Amazed at how cheap the diesel is. So glad that I did not come down in my big van – it would have been so wrong for these roads.

Visited the market in Aulla which was massive but I preferred the one in Fivizzano which was more for food and plants rather than clothes. I ate ice cream at Il Gelatiere at Aulla, but for me the one in Fivizzano – less trendy and more simple in its selections – was preferable.

 I have had a lovely rest – caught the sun and enjoyed your library.

 Felicity E. April 2018.

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