Barga; one of the most beautiful towns in Tuscany
Situated on the hill between Lucca and Remeggio Garfagnana is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy- the village of Barga. Not far from Barga is a village known as Castelvecchio where the Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli purchased Villa Cardosi Carrara. Through the inspiration of the tolling bells from Collegiate Church of St. Christopher, he wrote "Time for Barga", a composition of well known songs of Castelvecchio.
Through archaeological findings, it is evident that the Barga region was inhabited during the prehistoric times. Ancient settlements of the Ligurians was apparent, then conquered by the Romans and finally by the Lombard where in the tenth century built the first fort in the village. During the course of the eleventh century, several manors were altered until the powerful Lucca took control of the village.
Despite many attempts to revolt, under the dominance of Lucca the city experienced significant economic development. In 1272, Barghesano di Bonaventura invented the spinning wheel for silk which helped increase trade activity in the area.
Many traders began arriving in Barga and Lucca due to the growing production of silk. This lead to an increase in taxes on all imported goods which ultimately lead to the downfall of Lucca in 1298. In 1316, Barga was restored through Castruccio Castracane whom invested in the reconstruction of the town. During the middle ages, the town faced constant siege caused by Pisa and Lucca until 1341 when it voluntarily joined the Florentine Republic and was eventually annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.
Sightseeing in Barga
The most significant building in Barga is the Saint Christopher Cathedral. This original building, prior to modifications, dates all the way back to before the year 1,000. This cathedral has an architectural style and decorative elements that range from a Romanesque to a Gothic appreciation.
The Arringo is the meadow that lies between the Cathedral and the Praetorian Palace, where the medieval community meetings were held. From the Saint Christopher cathedral you can enjoy a captivating panoramic view of the Apennines, Pizzorne mountains, and the Apuan Alps.
The Church of the Holy Cross is the oldest building after the Cathedral. Although the original building was constructed in the thirteenth century, the current facade is from the sixteenth century. Other buildings and places of interest are: the Academy of St. Elizabeth (the former Convent of the Poor Clares which is now used as a nursing home), the Church of the Annunciation, Puerta Real, Puerta Macchiaia, and the Tea.
As previously mentioned at the beginning of Article l, the Pascoli House or Villa Carrara Cardosi is recommended for visit and it is about 5 km away from Barga. This building still contains furniture, a library, and manuscripts that previously belonged to the poet. In this beautiful friendly village is also the chapel where the poet was buried along with his sister Mary. The home of the past poet is open to the public every day except on the mornings of Mondays and Tuesdays. The entry pass to the home will also allow you access to the Museum of the territory of Barga. For more information, please refer to the website: www.fondazionepascoli.it
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