Information for Garfagnana
is a small bit of information for your stay in Garfagnana
and at Agriturismo Braccicorti. To aid in planning your
days and evenings while in the area. If you have any
comments to make, please leave info on the comments page :
to Eat in Garfagnana
sure >Braccicorti : Mamma's cooking is to die for!"
Il Pozzo - Pieve
restaurant, which provided a great range of the local
foods of the valley. The food is excellent as is the
service. The food is all local Garfagnana recipies, all
part of the Slow Food Scheme. to preserve the old ways of
preparing food and serving food to maintain flavours. A
good place to go all year round, with outside seating for
warm summer nights. Highly Recommended
Il Triti -
Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, this is a good restaurant to
combine with ones trip to the town here. The restaurant
has a good varied menu, much along the same lines as Il
Pozzo. The staff are friendly here and service is good. A
more modern restaurant.... good and recommended
La Vecchia Lanterna -
Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
A good place
to go to all year round again, with outside seating for
the summer. The menu, unlike others is mostly seafood
based which makes a good change from the others of a
strong lean to the meat. Here is fish is good and good
sized portions are served. The seafood antipasto can keep
most going on one course alone. There is the usual fritto
misto which is good, langoustines, prawns etc, not too
many locally caught fish on the menu though. However a
good options and Recommended
Castello – Castiglione di Garfagnana
for the summer and eating outside, reasonable food here, with a good selection
of the various local dishes. Only good to eat outside as indoors is very
stark!!!. Follow directions to Collemandina, pass this town and carry on till
road junction to Castiglione and other main directions to the right. Follow rd
down for about 150m and restaurant is up on the left hand side of the road.
Il Casone- Casone
A bit more off
the beaten track, as here one is up at 1300m in the
Apennines. A welcoming place, and an old stopping point on
the main crossing of the Apennines here. The hotel is big
and from the outside, nothing amazing. But the food again
is of a high standard and highly recommended. The menu is
varied and full of local specialities and staples. Nice to
go in the winter time and sit by the log fire and relax
there. Plus order a hot chocolate that is so thick the
spoon stands up straight in the cup !!
Buca dei Gracchi -
For a relaxing
day of a short walk in the Alpi Apuane, or a sleep on the
hill side one must go to Campocatino for great views and a
memorable location. Here combining a visit to the
Hermitage of San Viviano and then lunch at the Buca. Here
the restaurant is partly burried, and as you enter you are
welcomed by Sylvia to a delightful place. The menu one
again is local, and provided to your requirements. The
antipasto is good as are the local home made pastas here.
In season the fried Porcini Mushrooms are great !
Recommended to go , but can be expensive.
Rose - Villa Collemandina :
the central square of the town, a small bar and restaurant
here with very good quality food, a bit more expensive
here but quality is very high and very good. Have a good
menu, with strange additions …ie kangaroo !!! Good
Vecchio Mulino -
place in Castelnuovo. A small Osteria, run by Andrea. As
you walk in the shelves are stocked with local wines and
meats and local produce, plus a 2 metre long Mortadella !!
Here one eats mostly cold foods. You can sample local
foods, meats, cheeses, and cakes and savoury tarts. It is
a very special experience. One can combine a wine tasting
here or Oil Tasting. Andrea, like Il Pozzo is part of the
Italian Slow food scheme. Recommended
Go to in Garfagnana :
The Grotta del
: The Wind
system of caves
in the Alpi Apuane mountain that when the weather is right with the right
pressure differences gets a wind blowing through the caves, this is the name,
the Wind caves., can do a 1,2 or 3 hour tour here with English guide. 1 hour
is about € 5 and you see the main formations, the 2 hour you go into a river
lower down in the system.
on the same
road as the wind caves, an old hermitage and monastery good to look at and see
the chapel there, also a bar and a place to eat here too.
look at the old
town here, know for its richness and amazing winding streets of the old town, it
is good to see it. Great Views from the Cathedral at the top of the old town.
A great old
shepherds village in the Alpi Apuane, one of the quaintest places too see, good
place for lunch here too and for drinks at the bar. But it is a great place up
in the mountains, good walking to be done from here, bird watching ot just relax
and gaze at the views. A must see in the Garfagnana
Vagli and the
lake at Vagli :
A perfect old
town nestled on the shores of this magical lake, good to see, and the lake
itself is very impressive, great with the reflections of the mountains in the
Pania del Corfino &
Orecchiella Natural Park
One of the best
places to see wildlife in this area and a great place for relatively easy
walking. Here there is a visitors centre where you can gather more information
and or enter the centre for a look at the gardens and some animals around the
area that they have here, such as bears, deer and boars etc. The walking is
good and a good day out is too walk up to the top of the Pania del Corfino with
the best views down into the Valley of the Garfagnana.
A very scenic
location for a fortress, on the top of a small hill in the middle of the valley,
great views from here of the mountains and one can sit and relax here and then
have a drink at the bar below. No charge to enter, reasonable parts remain but
they are still trying to put more back together.
Rd past gold to
junction. Right through Villetta / Sillicagnana / at San Romano pass through &
rd up to Right with sign for Fortezza di Verrucole.
out of Garfagnana:
There are the
cities to explore, such as Lucca and Pisa and Florence, all reasonably close to
get too, once out of the valley they are all pretty close to get too. Even San
Gimignano and Siena by direct routes can be reached in under 3 hours. Lucca is
very much under-estimated and is a good day out. Pisa, you can now go up the
Tower again which makes it all worthwhile, good market there on Saturday am.
world heritage site, near La Spezia, a great coast line with 5 picturesque
villages dotted along the coast, one can walk them &/or use trains and boats to
get around from village to village. Also places such as Portovenere Are good to
see and worth the detour to have a look. Portovenere is on a peninsula and has
great views and an excellent location.
The Coast of
Massa and Forte dei Marmi,:
there are miles and miles and beach if you can find a space, with the back
drop of the mountains behind. Good swimming here and warm water too. Good open
beaches to be found just outside Viareggio in the direction of Pisa, to the left
of the Port of Viareggio. Good drive to the coast from Castelnuovo di
Garfagnana via the Alpi Apuane mountains and small villages, in 45 min you are
on the coast.
Quarries of Carrarra:
Great to look
around and see how all the marble is cut and manufactured. Places to but
souvenirs here too if you need to !!! Road from Castelnuovo to Coast at Massa.
Then signs to Carrara and Collonata. There are marble museums and old quarry’s
you can look at, it is good to see and very imposing.
the main supermarkets and stores there. Here there are supermarkets and the
old town, with visitors centre and information in the old town. In the
industrial area there is Conad a bigger supermarket & sports area such as the
open air pool and tennis club. Thursday morning is market day in Castelnuovo.
Biggest store is Pianeta / Leclerc, a store of Conad supermarkets, big hyper
market in Gallicano,
pass it on the way to the villa if coming by road from Lucca.
our local village
has a good bar and pizzeria and some shops here for local produce and food for
dinner attached to the side of the bars, fresh bread and meats, you can get it
all from here at Il Grotto. This is the village closest to Braccicorti. There
is a butcher and 2 bars, and a small mini market. Both bars sell stamps and
Supermarkets / Hyper Markets, which have a huge range of food, clothes etc etc.
There are some further down the valley :
Pianeta / Leclerc
: Gallicano, on the road to Lucca near Barga, 20 min, a big food store with
other sections of household goods, will pass this when coming from Lucca, if you
want to stock up on way to your villa.
Ponte a Moriano: Food and Household Goods Hyper Market, at Turn off for
Garfagnana from Lucca
: Lucca and Pisa, this is the big French store that has a huge shop in Lucca and
Pisa for all you shopping goods household items.
Things to look out for :
Lucca is famous
for its Olive Oil Production, very good selection here of oils
Wine area is
that of the Colline Lucchese & Montecarlo, good local wines from just out of
Lucca, there is a wine route that is signposted if you are travelling by car and
wish to explore it.
Wednesday am in
Lucca, inside the walls of the old town, a selction of food and other goods.
Pisa just out from the town on the road as it starts for Lucca.
Thursday AM is
Castelnuovo Market. Castelnuovo has good local produce and cheeses such as
Pecorino and other delights.
good for leather products, jackets etc and hand made paper goods, good market
here that is always running.
Buy ( possibily !! ):
Local wines are good from the Lucca and Pisa Hills then you have a hude
selection of the southern Tuscan wines from Chianti, Montalcino and
Beverages – Limoncino, a lemon drink chilled as a sweet liqueur. Amaretto, a
sweet almond liqueur. Grappa, available locally!!! Along with Mamma’s Blueberry
– Lucca is famous for this so there is no problem there !!
Vinegar – from just over the mountains in Modena
Produce is Garfagnana – Honeys which are great, various blends are available.
Farro which is a spelt or buck wheat still produced in Garfagnana, great for
salads and soups etc. Sun dried tomatoes. Chestnuts of some sort – flour / jam /
pureč / whole ! This is a great local tradtion. Most of all another delicacy is
the Mushroom – primarily the Porcini. Can be brought dried or fresh in season.
Great for food and risotto etc. Know stock cubes are good too, they make a
porcini version !
: Red boxes on walls in most places.
: can be bought at post office or any place called a Tabacci, with a black or
blue sign outside with a white T in it, sell cigarettes etc and stamps, Enlgand
is Inghilterra , stamp is francoboli.
of the area can be bought here . 1:25000 or 1:50000 are available. Found in
local shops or at Lodge.
: one hour ahead of UK, code for Uk from Italy is 0044 then number without 1st
Is fresh in nearly all places in Garfagnana unless labelled. At lodges it is as
fresh as it can be !!
Best to buy a phone card from Tabacci for use in phone boxes. Mobile phone
reception is pretty good all over the valley and mountain areas.