Barga is a lovely little city (one of Italy’s smallest under that classification) with a finely preserved medieval core. It produced textiles—mostly silk—during the Renaissance and wool in the 18th century. You won't find textiles here today; now the emphasis is on tourism. Here the African-American troops known as the Buffalo Soldiers are remembered by the locals for their bravery in defending this mountainous area during World War II.

Walking around Barga is not for the faint of heart: it's one steep uphill after another to get to the tiny centro storico, and more steps to get to Piazza del Duomo.

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