Garfagnana????????

Sep 2nd, 2012, 03:06 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,019
You are very welcome, wrenwood.
i_am_kane is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 04:03 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,479
Another story about the Ponte Maddalena (or Devil's Bridge) is that it was built by Countess Matilda of Tuscany who was the richest woman in Europe. What is interesting is that she was very religious and powerful. The Lucchesi believe she was a very important supporter of the Pope and request he make her a bishop. Not wanting to put her offside, he said he would - if she built 100 churches. She supposedly died while building her 97th. What a different Catholic Church it would be if she built the 100th? I love hearing about influential women.
Last week we drove from Nice to Lucca, and decided to drive down through the Garfagna. We turned east at La Spezia, and turned off at Aulla. It was beautiful drive - you must take your time. It probably took us three hours to get to Castel Nuovo. We lucked in as the annual Settimana del Commercio was on (it's a festival that goes for almost a fortnight in August), and we found a hotel room right in the old town at Da Carlina literally in the heart of everything. The night we were there was the night of the food trails that had booths selling all local products and dishes. It meant we wandered through the old town eating and drinking.
The next morning (Saturday)we drove to Barga where we had lunch at Trattoria da Riccardo. They do a 10 euro two course lunch and the terrace has views to die for. I stupidly left my jacket there so we went back last Monday and of course had another lunch. We were very pleased to discover much of the menu had changed.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2012, 04:10 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 3,569
The connection beween Barga and the Mid-Lothian is a very odd
but strong one.

Evidently, during tough economic times in the early/mid 20C,
many young men emigrated to Scotland and pursued careers in
the manufacture of gelato and the deep-frying of fish and
chips. Really.

After making their fortunes they came back to Barga and opened
- naturally - gelato shops and fish and chips restos. And,
most importantly, they brought a strong Lowland burr to the
local dialect.

It's strange and endearing to hear broad Scots being spoken
by otherwise totally Italian residents. I don't think the
connection has been all that good for those looking for a
genuine Italian repast - at least at a few of our choices.

On a less Hibernian note, driving on mountain roads you
can see foragers with staffs and wicker baskets filled with
the wonderful porchini; they are waiting by the side of the
road to have their mushrooms collected by commercial buyers.

We love this part of Tuscany - it's its own little world.
immimi is online now  

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