Recognized as “One of the most beautiful villages in Italy” and located in the heart of the Serchio Valley, Barga is the homeland of Giovanni Pascoli: at the foot of the Living Mountain del Ciocco the poet’s House Museum can be visited.
The gates of the castle, the Teatro dei Diﬀerenti, the Conservatory of Santa Elisabetta and the cathedral of San Cristoforo are among the buildings in the historic center, commonly known as “Barga Vecchia”, which are certainly worth a visit.
The town is also the backdrop to importantinternationally known musical events: open-air concerts and shows directed by great masters are at home in the historic center. The municipal area, crossed by historic CAI paths, offers privileged views of the surrounding valley and, right on the mountain of Barghigiana, in Pegnana, the Befana has its official residence since 2004!
Orrido di Botri
Immersed in a mountain forest at an altitude of 600 meters, about 26 kilometers from Barga in Ponte a Gaio, the Orrido di Botri is an incredible limestone canyon that can be explored independently or through the services of expert guides during the summer from June to September, when the water flow is low and the temperature pleasant. At the base, where the wettest level is located, the vegetation is made up of moss and ferns, while climbing upwards there are columbine plants, silene and beech trees. The walls of the Orrido di Botri reach 200 meters in height, and here the golden eagle nests. Access to the Orrido di Botri is from Ponte a Gaio; here you will also find the ticket office and the welcome center. For the visit, a protective helmet and trekking shoes are mandatory. The route, excluding stops, lasts about 3 hours, and is suitable for children over 11 years of age.
Ponte del Diavolo
One of the most famous attractions of the Garfagnana is located in Borgo a Mozzano, less than 20 minutes by car from the center of Barga. It is the Ponte del Diavolo, a bridge which owes its fame to its unique profile, with a huge round arch and three minor arches. Legends about its construction and its name abound, but it is certain that its beauty must have been even greater in the past, before a dam was built upstream that raised the water level of the Serchio river.
It has its center on the road that leads from Barga to Ponte di Campia, but it includes many localities. It owes its name to the poet Giovanni Pascoli, who settled here in 1895 on the Caprona Hill and lived with his sister Maria until his death. Casa Pascoli, now a museum, is continuously visited by tourists and scholars. From Casa Pascoli, along the path along the Rio dell’Orso, you reach the church dedicated to S. Nicolò, built in 1600. In front of the church is the monument-tomb to the Poet, the work of Plinio Nomellini, given by Maria to the town of Castelvecchio, who in 1923 dedicated it to the fallen of the First World War. Upstream of the Colle di Caprona stands the important “Il Ciocco International Tourist Center”, a venue for international sporting events and meetings.