Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Breakfast Treat in the Most Unxpected Place

Serena is never without a smile

What makes a 5 star bar, is it the bar in the centre of our village with its terrace facing onto the village square or the one at the top with a flowered lined courtyard? Yes I enjoy both and also the ones in the elegant piazza below my office in Lucca but on a winter’s morning (and also often in the summer) I put at the top of my list the bar at the Agip garage in Chifenti on the main road just outside Bagni di Lucca on the way to Lucca. What I hear you all saying: ‘would you choose a garage over a pretty bar in a piazza?’ The answer is simple from 4 am you can see the glow of lights and as you push the door open onto what looks like the Italian equivalent of a UK Little Chef. Serena, mother of 3 greets you with the most wonderful smile even at 4 am. The d├ęcor can’t be said to be sophisticated  but the smile gives you all the warmth of the Tuscan sunshine. The bar is always full, often Serena is helped by Sandra, who is equally good at dispensing her smile and a sense of joy. The bus drivers have a coffee while filling up their buses as do the local police forces, then there are the locals on their way to work and the crowd changes with the seasons. Now the skiers stop off for a warm coffee and a delicious homemade cake or mouth-watering cornetto on their way to a day on the slopes. On a warm damp September day you will bump in the mushroom devotees on their way to the woods.




I love to listen to the chat while waiting for my turn at the bar and now Serena prepares my macchiato without me even having to ask and presents it to me with a design, which always seems to match my mood, drawn in coffee on top of the perfect white foamy milk. Pure delight.
Ambiance here isn’t the furniture but the smile, good coffee and cakes and the stories of the punters.


Monday, February 4, 2013

A winter Sunset From The Walls Of Lucca


ON a cold  winter evening after a day in front of the computer or school books there isn’t a nicer way to unwind than a walk on the walls of Lucca to watch the sunset . That is exactly what I did with my daughter the other evening. Isabella took her camera with and captured the walls at dusk. More of her photos can be seen on  http://korakale.blogspot.it/