Posted by: Kerry & Jim | 17 November 2013

Our final Sunday Drive

Our trip today was to explore Passo delle Radici the highest pass of the Apennines between Tuscany and Emilia Romagna at 1529 metres above sea level. On the way up we passed through chestnut and birch forests. The chestnut trees are only just holding on to their yellowing leaves but the birch trees are almost bare.


At the peak the views were lovely even on an overcast day with low cloud hanging in the valley. The temperature was only 8 deg but fortunately there was no wind so it wasn’t too bad.

On the return trip we stopped at the little village of San Pellegrino in Alpe which sits just below the peak of the Apennines and overlooks the Serchio Valley. It has a couple of restaurants, the church which dates back to 1110 and houses a twelfth century marble urn that holds the remains of Saints San Pellegrino and Bianco, and several snow ploughs were parked in the street ready for the ski season and to keep the pass open.

The views from the village were a bit clearer.

On the way back down the mountain there were small plots of land that had been cleared for farming.

Back down and it was off to lunch at ‘al Laghetto Ristorante‘ near Fabbriche di Vallico. Sunday lunch is a popular meal for Italians to eat out and today was no exception. We started with the very best bruschetta ever, followed by tortelloni which is a large pasta filled with spinach and ricotta and topped with a ragu and bechamel. Our main course was a mixed grill of chicken, sausage, steak and excellent pork ribs served with grilled vege and whole roast potatoes. A type of fruit cake was served for dessert. Needless to say we have rolled home and will not be having any dinner tonight.

The ristorante is on the Turrite Cava stream which feeds in to the Serchio River. They are still cleaning up after the big storm we had a few weeks ago – landslides on either side of the building and the branches and debris from the flooding. Fortunately the little bridge only suffered minor damage.

So glad we did this drive today. Would love to see it after a snowfall….


  1. Inspirational. A picture is worth a thousand words.

    • The scenery here is so lovely.

  2. Delicious food and beautiful photos, we’ve really enjoyed your blog, and it was lovely to meet you both. When do you fly home?
    Andrea & David 🙂

    • Thanks Andrea. We leave here on Friday…we have had the most wonderful time.

  3. Well, you did the right thing by going now as, after it starts snowing, there could be some access problem because of altitude. It is a beautiful area regardless of season. There is a beautiful legend about “Monte Forato” (Holed Mountain) that concerns San Pellegrino getting angry with the Devil. I found this link for you

    • What a lovely story on the link. It was such a nice trip…we really enjoyed the day.

  4. Enjoy the rest of your journey Jim & Kerry.

    Not long to go now and just where has the time gone? But boy have you shown us some special things.


    • Looking forward to seeing you both soon.

  5. I can’t believe it’s nearly over. It was a real bonus in my life to have met you both and become friends. Keep in touch with your australian adventures , I am sure there will be many. Safe travels and come back soon, Love cherry and Aldo

    Sent from cherrys iPad


    • So lovely to meet you Cherry. Your hospitality toward us was very kind and we loved spending time with you….and of course Aldo. We will keep in touch and look forward to seeing you again.

  6. Hi Jim & Kerry
    I cannot believe that your adventure is nearly at an end, myself and Di have enjoyed every step of the way with you as if we were there. Thank you for letting us be part of your journey see you soon. Lv Jill xx

    • So glad you have enjoyed the blog….it is such a good way to share our travel experiences with you all.

  7. Dont forget, reality awaits you both

    • It will be a bit of a shock I think!

  8. Last Sunday drive, can’t believe that this time next week you will be home.

    • Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

  9. Your Sunday lunch sounds yummy….how well do the Italians do it!
    We had pork, sweet potato, mushies and tomato done over the coals in our fire pit…wash down with a Tassie white….lunch was in the Bali Hut and it poured with rain as we divulged our meal….nice….not sure if this matches your effort though!
    Must now go and do some exercise to get the body working again

    • Sound like you have had a great day as well. Good food…good wine…perfect.

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