Fornoli is the next village down from where we were staying in Ponte a Serraglio. It is about 2 kilometres and only takes a couple of minutes to drive. Fornoli has a bigger central area than Ponte a Serraglio with several bars, shops and restaurants etc plus a good size supermarket. So this is where we mainly went to shop especially when we had a car.
However, the first time we went to do the shopping we took the bus down. After we finished our shopping we walked out to the bus stop, loaded up with several bags of groceries to wait for the bus. After quite some time we learned that the bus would not be by for another few hours. So we went in to the bar to ask them to phone for a cab for us only to find out that there are no cabs in this village. So what was a next option? Yes, you guessed it. We had to thumb a ride. After several attempts a nice man stopped and we squeezed ourselves and our groceries in to his tiny little car. Phew, we were so grateful for his ride. The nice man, who only spoke Italian, dropped us safely to our village Ponte a Serraglio. Even though it was only a short walk, about 2 k’s, it was too far to walk loaded with groceries. We learned after this episode that the buses mainly run in the mornings and afternoons to accommodate the school kids and also people travelling to work. There are plenty of these buses morning and afternoon but not many during the middle part of the day.
While we were there we saw a sign out the front of one of the lovely bars in Fornoli, La Ruota, the sign, “Pranzo di Lavoro € 10”. A few days later in our new little rental car we drove back down to Fornoli to go to La Ruota for a Workman’s Lunch
The actual restaurant is above the bar of the same name, around the side and up some stairs. Up we went and arrived at an empty restaurant but were greeted so nicely and shown to our table by the window.
After receiving the menu and having it explained to us more customers started to arrive. And arrive they did. They were mostly single customers and mostly men. It was a very popular restaurant and rightly so. The food was great and the price very good.
For €11 we had a delicious 3 course home cooked meal including ½ litre of wine and also water was included. In Italy there usually is a charge for water.
And, the service was excellent. If you are ever in Fornoli, give it a try. I can highly recommend this lunch
During our 4 week stay in Bagni di Lucca we enjoyed a Pranzo di Lavoro at La Ruota a couple of times. The menu changes daily, the meals are cooked using the local produce and they are so delicious.
Since discovering La Ruota, we saw several restaurants with a sign out the front advertising Pranzo di Lavoro when we drove around in our little Fiat. It is a great way for the restaurant owner to get business and it is a good deal for the diner. We did try others but La Ruota was by far our favourite.