Brancoli is a special little valley in the foothills of the Appenniene Mountains, about ten kilometers north of Lucca. Unless you knew it was there you would never find it. It is little changed from medieval times. The many small villages all date back to 1100-1200 AD.





This is the driveway to the country home of our friends Maria and Rolando. Early April view. Still wintery and cool. The village of Brancoli lies below right. The village of Ombreglio is upper center. At the top of the hill in center right (in the clouds) is the village of Romitorio.





Same view on a beautiful July day. Everything in bloom.





We were fortunate to be guests of Maria and Rolando in their beautiful summer home on this trip.





View from the cocktails setting on the veranda.





Morning. Time for some exploring up the valley.





This is the road up the valley. Edge of Ombreglio.





The village of Ombreglio.





They have a beautiful church. Built in 1122 AD.





Entry to the church.





From the church front.





Their little cemetery.





Last look as we head further up the valley.





Now almost at the top. Small village clusters spread across the hillsides.





Final turn as the road reaches Romitorio, at the top of the hill ahead. We are about 1500 feet above Brancoli.





The Romitorio church. Completed in 1120 AD. Everything had to be hauled up the mountain on mules. An amazing place with unlimited views. Now time to head down to meet Faye for lunch in some wonderful restaurant. Which one should we choose today?...



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