Ski resorts should be made to please everyone even if one doesn’t go there particularly for the ski-ing. I would hate to be in a specially-manufactured French-style resort where there is nothing of historical interest. Cutigliano is tailor-made for people who hope something more from ski-resorts than slaloms and après-ski.
Cutigliano has lovely walks including this one which ends in a delightful picnic spot – great for those hot summers.
Its parish church of San Bartolommeo has an elegant interior which is full of paintings by such notable local artists as Mariani, Gemignani and Volponi. I particularly like the pulpit.
The town square is like a miniature version of Florence’s Piazza della Signoria, complete with a town hall decorated with coats of arms of the various previous governors (Cutigliano was the centre of the mountain principality of Pistoia) and its little loggia containing the Marzocco or Florentine lion emblem.
In Cutigliano’s library there was an embroidery class in progress.
I was glad to meet up with the librarian who has been in charge since 1995. It was her who found not only accommodation for us when we landed here one new year’s eve over twelve years ago but also gave us very interesting reprints of old guides to the place dating back to the nineteenth century when it was a popular alternative for ex-pats to Bagni di Lucca.
I couldn’t get into the local bar because it was still closed for the afternoon siesta. Also the shop above which we stayed in that winter of 2001-2 was having a sleep.
It’s lovely to experience a well-known place without all those visitors and Cutigliano that glorious afternoon was truly an amazing ghost town.
On the way back home I detoured to the towers of Popiglio to see how their restoration had progressed. Popiglio has three tower said a local. “But I only saw two on the hill”, I questioned. “Yes, that’s right; the third one is the church campanile”, he replied.
This is how the defensive hill towers looked in 2005 before their restoration.
They have now been very well-restored and are a venue in summer for social and musical events in the area.
It’s great when people get together in an effort to preserve something which is in danger of falling down and disappearing altogether. There are so many wonderful things in Italy to preserve (it contains half the world’s artistic heritage according to the UNESCO list) that it could never do everything on its own.
I got home after a great day to my daffodils and cats.