Our journey begins in Barga early in the morning. For the first half of the day, dive into the wild nature of the Garfagnana with a hike on the slopes of the Tosco-Emiliano Apennines. You’ll come to the hamlet of Crocialetto, where the path begins that leads through beech tree forests and over streams with the purest of waters to the Passetto di Rondinaio.
Return to Barga and dedicate the rest of the day to visiting the town, ranked as one of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, as well as the recipient of an Orange Flag from the Touring Club Italiano. Stroll the streets of the historic centre and visit its most important buildings. The Collegiate Church of San Cristoforo is worth a stop, one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in all of Tuscany.
The cathedral, home to frescoes and sculptures dating back centuries, is dedicated to the city’s patron saint and is recognized as the oldest religious building in Barga, having been built on top of an older church from the year 1000. Other buildings narrate the city’s history: Palazzo Balduini, Palazzo Angeli, Palazzo Pancrazi, Palazzo Podestà, the Church of Santissimo Crocifisso and the Church of Santissima Annunziata, which conserves important paintings.
In addition to being a splendidly-preserved example of an 18th-century theatre, the Teatro dei Differenti is also where Pascoli gave his famous speech in 1911 in favour of the war in Libya. In nearby Castelvecchio Pascoli, you can visit the Pascoli House Museum, where the poet lived between 1895 and 1912. Spend the evening tasting typical local specialities; choices certainly aren’t lacking: baked trout with potatoes, vegetable soup, mushrooms and chestnuts.