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What to see in Garfagnana, Italy

Lago Isola Santa, Garfagnana (IT)

Garfagnana is a region in Tuscany located northwest of Lucca and our guesthouse L’Antica Bifore. It is famous for its breathtaking landscapes, ancient history, and rich culinary specialties.

If you’re planning to visit Garfagnana, you will certainly not be disappointed. There are many exciting places to see and activities to do.

Visiting San Pellegrino, Garfagnana

San Pellegrino in Alpe is a famous village located in the Garfagnana region of Italy. It is situated at an altitude of more than 1,500 meters in the Apennine Mountains and has a history dating back over 1,000 years.

It was once the headquarters of a medieval Hospitale and played an important role in trading and communication.

The village is surrounded by legend, including the story of the “Giro del Diavolo” (Tour of the Devil) which is said to have given rise to the entire Apuan Alps arch.

Visitors can start their visit at the panoramic cross and then hike up an ancient mule track to the ridge meadows, where they can enjoy stunning views. The hike culminates at a peak, from which you can take in the panoramic vista before descending to the Burigone Refuge for lunch and returning to the starting point.

Trekking in Garfagnana

If you are a nature lover, you will certainly not want to miss the numerous trekking trails in the area. The region offers a wide choice of courses for all difficulty levels through forests, valleys, mountains, and hills. You can go trekking in the natural parks, such as the Alpi Apuane Regional Park and the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, or explore the trails of the Garfagnana mountains, such as Monte Pisanino and Monte Prado.

A trekking excursion in Garfagnana is also a way to admire breathtaking landscapes, cross ancient villages, and discover the flora and fauna of the region. If you are not an experienced walker, you can always participate in group excursions or hire a local guide.

Exploring the villages of Castelnuovo and Barga

Garfagnana is a region rich in history and culture, with attractive towns and cities from a tourist point of view. A must-see during a one-day trip to this area is the visit to Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and Barga.

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana is a medieval town on the top of a hill, with narrow streets, historical buildings, and a breathtaking view of the valley below. You can walk through the old town, admire the monuments and historical palaces, and visit the local museums to learn more about the history and traditions of this beautiful territory.

Barga is located in the western part of Garfagnana and boasts a well-preserved medieval old town and a strong cultural tradition. In addition to admiring its historical beauty, you will be fascinated by the art galleries and temporary exhibitions organized in the area. If you like contemporary art, you can’t miss the yearly Contemporary Art Festival, which takes place in the summer.

Enjoying the local cuisine

Garfagnana is also renowned for its good food. Many restaurants offer local specialties such as the Pitonca, a kind of fried polenta, or Neccio Garfagnino, a crepe-like pancake made with chestnut flour, rolled and filled with fresh ricotta.

However, the undisputed specialty is the farro soup, also called Zuppa alla Garfagnina, prepared with ingredients such as legumes, vegetables, and farro locally sourced. It is a typical dish of the region, perfect for warming up in the winter months or replenishing after a day of trekking or exploring the territory.

Not to be missed are also the desserts, first and foremost the castagnaccio, a plain chestnut flour cake, made from a dough of chestnut, water, olive oil, pine nuts, and raisins, and baked.

Discover the charm of Garfagnana, Italy, in an unmissable one-day trip. The guesthouse L’Antica Bifore, located in the heart of the walls of Lucca, is an excellent starting point to explore Tuscany. Discover the charm of sleeping in an ancient noble residence located inside a medieval tower, book your stay with us.