If I step out of Hotel Corona and hang a right I am only minutes away from a lovely swing bridge that takes me across the Lima river and slap in front of the old Casino and then on past Ponte a Serraglio and into Bagni di Lucca. Armed with a map my new found friend and hotel owner, Roberto, has given me, there are a number of ‘percorsi’ I can choose to do. That’s walks to the rest of us. But not any old walk, I can choose cultural, architectural, historical, a mix of all of these and all set in beautiful scenery. I can pick hard work or gentle stroll and I have a choice of spending all day doing one or meander for a couple of hours. I had to stop and have a macchiato to think about it.
Roberto had suggested I take a packed lunch in my ruck sack so having downed my excellent caffeine fix, I drop into the Regina and book myself a packed lunch to be ready in half an hour.
I picked the ‘difficolta media’ option – believing myself to be quite fit. I can see I will have to get into training for the ‘impegnativo’ options that’s for sure! But what a wonderful trek. I drove out to Vico Pancellorum and then set off. Up through woodlands, past waterfalls and tiny chapels, across sparkling streams and through scented pine groves. It was bliss to all the senses. I can see why they called this the ‘natural beauty’ walk.
I actually opted to go partway towards Balzo Nero which is some 1315 meters up. With regular stops for breath-taking views and to enjoy my delicious packed lunch, I was out for most of the day. I am still grinning from ear to ear with the exhilaration of it!