Posted by: Kerry & Jim | 5 November 2013

On the paper trail

Today we did the drive to Montecarlo, about 35 km away, travelling through Benabbio and over the mountain on Via Delle Cartiere. From Benabbio we could see Lugliano clearly but Granaiola was just below the low cloud. The mountains in the distance looked lovely.




As we got higher up the leaves and chestnuts have fallen from many of the trees and the woodcutters have logs along the side of the road ready for collection.

The spider webs were glistening in the sunshine, as were the tree fungi.

As you can see it is a very pretty drive up through the mountains and looking down from Colognana you can see the start of the paper mills along the Pescia Minore stream. Further along are several small villages each with working mills or disused ones that are a reminder of the thriving industry in the area. Here is a collection of the old with the new.

The regions history of the mills dates back to 1344. Up until the 18th century the number of mills progressively increased thanks to the thriving paper industry of Lucca. Today approx. 110 production companies in the Lucca region produce a range of products from recycled paper – including toilet paper, tissues, hand towels, napkins and cardboard – and is renowned as one of the most important paper districts in Italy and Europe.

(Note: I have gathered this info from the internet and trust it is reliable.)

We also have two here in Ponte a Serraglio and there are some more on the road to Lucca. This one is on the Lima River between us and La Villa.

We then went on to Collodi, the birthplace of Carlo Lorenzini, who’s pen name was Carlo Collodi, the author of The Adventures of Pinocchio.

We lunched at nearby Montecarlo. They views are really lovely and the meal was delicious as usual. Ravioli with sage and butter and farro soup followed by spaghetti arrabiata and sausage and bean casserole.

Nearby the acorns were falling from the oak trees and the olives are ready to harvest.

We have had a few days of rain lately so it was great to be out in the beautiful mountain air again.


  1. You won’t want to come back to Oz Kerry and Jim. You’re having such a great time.

    • It’s going to be hard to settle back into life in Australia. Pretty much everything here to great.

  2. Wonderful photos as usual! The food is obviously a high point in any town/village. We had a fab Melbourne Cup Luncheon at the Bowling Club yesterday. Several people there were asking after you and whether or not you were enjoying your time in Italy. What a silly question!!!! Keep on enjoying! (my horse still likes to follow other horses I’m afraid).

    • Please say hi to all our friends in Jurien Bay. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

  3. We take that road quite frequently to go to Florence, as we can enter the highway at Chiesina Uzzanese avoiding Lucca’s bottlenecks. It is a beautiful road. Past Boveglio, there is a town called Colognora, which is an “isola linguistica”. They speak a unique language which is a mixture of Vulgar Latin or “vulgata” and Lombard. Almost impossible to understand.
    The paper industry is not what it used to be. Only some 20% of the paper mills have survived by diversifying and finding new “niche” markets.

    • It is such a lovely drive. We really enjoyed travelling that way.

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