Posted by: Debra Kolkka | February 21, 2012

Two new blogs

Bagni di Lucca and Beyond was started a couple of years ago to help inform our friends who were visiting Bagni di Lucca to find things of interest in and around our lovely village.

It has expanded to include the many places I travel and things that interest me.

I have decided to start a new blog which will focus only on Bagni di Lucca to try to let everybody know how much our collection of villages has to offer. Whether you are visiting for a day, a week, or you decide to stay forever, hopefully you will be able to find the information you need on Bella Bagni di Lucca……

If you are considering visiting Bagni di Lucca, or are curious about our part of northern Tuscany please take a look at Bella Bagni di Lucca.




This is my little bit of Bagni di Lucca. Our house is in Ponte a Serraglio, one of the 25 villages that make up Bagni di Lucca. I am hoping to discover all of the other villages over the next couple of months and tell you all about them. I would love to meet some of the older people who have lived here always to hear their stories.

The other new blog is Beautiful Helsinki……

My grandfather came from Finland and I have grown to love this country. I usually stop there on my way to and from Italy and have travelled widely throughout the country. I have gathered thousands of photos of Finland and particularly Helsinki.

I would love to do my little bit to encourage people to visit Finland. It is a modern, forward looking country with the most beautiful scenery, friendly people ( who mostly speak English ), great food, lots to see and do and some of the best design in the world. Italy and Finland have this in common, although the style is different.




These are winter photos of Helsinki and it is gorgeous when it snows. I will be back there in spring when everything turns glorious green. I hope you will come with me.

Bagni di Lucca and Beyond will continue, there is a whole world out there to discover. The blog has 800 followers now, which I think is wonderful. I would love to hear from more of you occasionally. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment. I always reply.


  1. Your photos are beautiful – you make me want to visit both places!

    • Thank you! Both countries are wonderful in different ways.

  2. Good for you, Deb. I would love to visit Finland, as well! Hope your week is going well.

    • Finland is a great country to visit. It is seriously beautiful and the road system is excellent, making driving very easy.

  3. Wishing you lots of luck with the two new blogs. I will pop over to check them out.

    • Thank you! I hope you find them interesting.

  4. LOVE your new blogs!

    • Thank you. The 2 countries are quite different, both with lots of great things to see.

  5. Although we do enjoy all your posts and we shall continue reading all the blogs, we feel that you can help the Bagni di Lucca through a dedicated space.

    • There is so much to see and do here, but it is not always obvious as the villages are quite scattered and every one is different.

  6. Look forward to reading them both, Deb! 🙂

    • I hope you like them!

  7. bravissima!!!

  8. Love your blog! I wondered if you would be going to San Gennaro sometime.. (It is southeast of Bagni di Lucca and northwest of Collodi) I would love to see pictures of the area! My grandmother was born there and I have seen the church where she was baptised and the house where she lived growing up.. That was quite a thrill! I don’t know if this is an actual town with stores or just a residential area.. I would love to know more since there isn’t much on the internet about it..

    Janet Leap

    • I will track it down. I want to get to as many villages as I can. The weather is against me just at the moment. I am hoping it will warm up a bit and spring turns things a pretty green.

    • Janet-We had an amazing trip to San Gimi a few years ago and are going back again in June. If you want to email me at I could email you some pictures. It is an amazing town. My husband would love to live there.

  9. Wonderful Deb! So are you now going to have three blogs? I want to make sure to get all your posts thus should I subscribe to the other two new ones or are you going to place links on this blog? I can’t wait to read more! I love your blog!

    • You can subscribe or look at the “My other Blogs” on the right side of the page.

  10. Thank you so much dear Debra, I love your lovely village, and your beautiful blog… and I will be your follower again in your new blogs too… Good Luck for them. With my love, nia

    • Thank you Nia. I have subscribed to yours but I don’t get emails when you post.

      • Dear Debra, why you don’t get emails I don’t know. have you checked your “Blogs I follow”… maybe you should check the situation… I don’t know what should I do, dear Debra, with my love, nia

      • I’m sure I have done everything correctly, but I will try again.

  11. Yahoo for you!! I can not wait to subscribe to them all!

    • I hope you like the new ones.

  12. Fantastico Debra….and see you in May. Ciao, Robyn.

    • The weather should be perfect by then.

  13. How exciting for you…3 blogs! I’m loving your journey and of course your family history. The history of other people living in the regions to which you travel will all add even more interest to your very engaging blogs.I check my emails everyday hoping that there is another entry and more news from Deb. Keep them coming! I will get to the region and i have already suggested to a couple of friends who need quiet writing time that this area would be a perfect location. Are there good local food/wine stores? Where is the nearest city for great Italian fashion and shoes? Is it possible to get around without a vehicle? Of course I’ve got lots more questions particularly about best time of the year, best accommodation if you were staying for 3 plus months…

    • Answers to your questions can be found by going back through Bagni di Lucca, look in the categories restaurants, Lucca, Florence. I will email you with more detail.

  14. I have a dear friend in Helsinki and was there this past summer with my daughter. Also went to her cottage up north – traditional Finnish style without services, but including a wood-fueled sauna. Splendid!

    • Finland is a great country to travel in. We have been as far north as Inari and all around the coast from Oulu to the Russian border.

  15. The contrasts of the two countries are captured so clearly through your wonderful lens – such stunning pictures of the sun in Italy and the snow in Helsinki at this time of the year. I will certainly love to keep looking at your two new blogs, Debra. Hopefully, next year, my husband and I will visit Helsinki on our way to Bagni di Lucca so that we can experience personally the senses of wonder and joy you share through your camera over the past few years. All the best with your new blogs!

    • I was lucky in Helsinki they have had very heavy snow recently. I was there for the pretty snow.

  16. Good 🙂 let’s go to Bella Bagni di Lucca.

    • I hope you like it.

  17. They both look great Debra. I’m definitely going to pass the Helsinki one onto my in laws 😀

    • I hope they approve of my take on Helsinki.

  18. Exciting news Debra. This will keep you busy! Off to check out your new blogs

    • They should keep me busy.

  19. Wonderful split. Both locations are breathe-taking and I hope to see them in person one day.

  20. Very nice Debra!! Congratulations on the changes. It all sounds like the perfect package. Looking forward to following you x 3 now!

  21. Always an informative blog – I look forward to checking out your new blogs with avid interest! I feel a little like a pseudo local of Bagni via your updates.

  22. Ever since I found your blog, I’ve been wanting to visit north Tuscany. Hope to make it to Bagni di lucca this summer! Seems like Finland will be on the list soon too 🙂 Good luck with the new blogs.

    • Thank you for your good wishes. I hope you make it to Bagni di Lucca and Helsinki this summer.

  23. Great idea! My husband takes the photos for our blog, and due to your photos and the subject being Italy, your blog is one of the few he reads! He and I both truly love your posts and the beautiful photos. Keep up the good work! And let us know when you are ready to sell your stone house…or rent it…we travel to Lucca, Florence, and Pisa each year and always save room for add’l exploration of a “new” old area. Thanks for sharing!


    • I’m hoping the Vergemoli house will be ready to go by May. It sleeps 6, so you might need to bring your friends with you. We also rent our apartment sometimes.

      • I’ll “bug” you around the end of April to see how it is progressing…thanks!!


      • I am really hoping it will be ready by the end of April. We leave early May so I want to have most things done by then.

  24. Wonderful idea Debra to have a separate blog for Bagni di Lucca. When we come in June, I am more and more thinking I’d like to just “hang around” tha BdL area and visit the villages. It seems more than enough to keep us happy for our two weeks and so much more relaxing that driving distances. I look forward to the new blog, thank you.

    • By June I hope to have visited and photographed some of the Bagni di Lucca villages. I am hoping to meet some residents and talk to them about their town.

  25. Hi Dianne L, my husband and I stayed for two weeks at Bagni di Lucca and loved being part of the local village life. The people there are so warm and friendly. We loved walking to Villa, too and exploring those places on foot. This way one gets the real feel of people, food and culture unique to the area.

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