EVENTS IN VERSILIA
The high Versilia, the territory of Garfagnana and the valley of Serchio (in other words the mountainous zone of Tuscany) invite you to live the culture, the art and the costoms. In fact the three keywords essential to understand the experience offered by this area of Tuscany are: to walk trough the centuries-old woods and the parks of the Apuan Alps, to visit the numerous historical centres and the fortresses characterizing this zone, to taste the typical products offered.
Here, we suggest a calendar of typical events divided by period and month of the year. Each period is also characterized by typical dishes and products.
The Epiphany and the sweetness
When the winter colours in white the peaks of the mountains belonging to the Apuan Alps and to the Apennine, in the villages the scent of the firewood burning in the fireplaces gives to this places an atmosphere of poetry. Exists a legend saying that the kindly old witch who brings children toys in this period, lives here in a little home surrounded by the mountain. It is for this reason that during this mont it is easy to find in the so called ‘Befanini’ (typical sweetness) shown in the windows of these nice villages. Moreover, for nature-lovers, along the ways on the mountains, giving a glance to the sky, it is easy to see the golden eagle and to follow the traces of the wolf. Choosing this period for a visit on the Apuane, you will be able to see the marmoreal peaks covered by the snow and to visit the caves surrounded by the silence of the winter environment. However, if you do not like all this, along the valley you can visit the ancient churches and being enjoyed by the representations of the nativity, which have really original design due to the traditional art of the statuette of chalk and of the splendid Christmas cribs.
PEGNANA (Barga) 4th: An event for children who want to see the kindly old witch in her home.
BARGA 5th: There is a big party for the Epiphany; on the occasion the nice witch brings children toys (historical centre).
CASTIGLIONE GARFAGNANA 11th: The market of the beautiful and good things. Sweetness. Typical products. Handicraft.
PRODUCTS OF THE MARKET:
- The spelt cake of the Garfagnana
- The delicious chestnut pie made with flour of "neccio" (Italian ‘castagnaccio’)
- The "necci" of the Garfagnana (a kind of sweet made with the chestnut flour, usually filled of ‘ricotta’ cheese)
- The "Mandolata" of Saint Lucy (a cake with almonds)
- The "Buccellato" of Lucca (another traditional cake)
The "norcineria" of quality
February in Versilia: the Carnival
This ancient art, which consists into obtaining a big quantity of product from the pig, is made during this month of the year. You will taste a variety of deliciousness, first of all sausages. However this month doesn't offer just good food but also the vivacity of the carnival, expressed in many events, like the "Chiccoron" of Castelnuovo Garfagnana and the "Carnival of the little ones" in Seravezza.
GOMBITELLI (Camaiore) 8th:
The "Norcineria Apuana" (with tasting).
GHIVIZZANO (Coreglia Antelminelli) 29th: The "Norcineria". Typical products and handicraft.
PRODUCTS OF THE MARKET:
- "Biroldo" of the Garfagnana (a kind of sausage)
- "Mondiola" of the Garfagnana (sausage)
- Mortadella of Cardoso (sausage)
- Tizzone of Gustagnana (sausage)
- Salame prosciuttato of Ghivizzano (sausage)
- Prosciutto bazzone of the Garfagnana and the valley Serchio (sausage)
- Boccone al porcino of Coreglia Antelminelli (sausage)
- Lardo of Camaiore (sausage)
- Sausage of pig
The trout of the Serchio valley
The spring blossoms everywhere and the waters of the rivers and lakes in this zone are filled with trouts, that people cook to prepare delicious traditional dishes. Moreover, visiting the villages, you will see the splendid strongholds standing on the rises, which show traces of Romans, Lombards and of the Este ducal family.
MULINA OF STAZZEMA 6th – 7th:
Visit to the Centre for the tutelage of an autochthonous specimen of trout (called ‘rout fario’).
Gastronomic courses in the restaurants of high Versilia.
GALLICANO AND VERGEMOLI 13th – 14th: Gastronomic courses and visit to the Laboratory of the taste.
LAKE OF GIOVIANO (Borgo a Mozzano) 21st: Gran Prix of the trout fishing in the lake.
VILLA COLLEMANDINA 28th: Minicross in mountain bike for children up to 12 years.
The extra–virgin olive oil
Extra–virgin olive oil events in Versilia
The days begin to be longer and there are many interesting meeting in the villages' squares, occasion for tasting of a wide range of typical products, like oil and pulses and above all the traditional Easter cake, called the "Pasimata". Moreover, for the most greedy it will be ideal to taste the big variety of different kinds of honey, which is often served with the tasty Pecorino cheese. However, April in these mountains isn't only food, but also trekking and mountain bike. In fact you will be able to choose among many different paths go through the Apuane and the range of mountains of the Appennino chain.
VALDOTTAVO (Borgo a Mozzano) and PESCAGLIA 2nd – 3rd - 4th: The valley of olive oil.
CASTELVECCHIO PASCOLI (Barga) 4th: The village of the poetry. The "train of the tastes" leaves from Livorno and arrives to Castelvecchio, where you can take the shuttle or choose to take a walk through the Colle Caprona, where the well known poet Giovanni Pascoli was born.
SERAVEZZA 24th–25th: "ENOLIA", when wine and oil are compared. The market of the good and the beautiful. Typical products, olive oil and handicraft.
PRODUCTS OF THE MARKET:
- Extra–virgin olive oil of Lucca
- Quercetano oil
- Olives " quercetane"
- Olives "in salamoia" of the Lucchesia
The spring of the flowers
Palio dei Micci
So many coloured flowers invade all the valleys and the meadows and it is for this reason that many markets and meetings are organized during this month to make admire or buy flowers. During the day you can visit the places of Michelangelo (the famous Italian artist who used the unworked marble of this area to make many of his sculptures) on the Apuane, or passing trough those from which Pascoli was inspired. In the evening, you could taste very good dishes in the typical ‘trattorias’ with the bowers, on the hilly zone of the high Versilia.
BORGO A MOZZANO 16th April – 9th May:
Show and Market of the azalea (biennial)
FORNACI DI BARGA 30th Apr – 2nd May: Show and Market of the flowers.
QUERCETA (Seravezza) 1st – 2nd: "Palio dei Micci" with historical show.
CAMAIORE – DEMETRA 7th – 8th – 9th: A new interest for the agriculture.
LAGO DI PENTECOSI (Pieve Fosciana): The market of the good and beautiful. The flowers of the Lucchesia. Typical products and handicraft.
Art, nature and sport
The summer is arrived and with this also the possibility to take long walks with very good weather, or to go mushrooming.
Trophy of sail
CASCIO (Molazzana) 6th:
The art and tradition of interlacement.
The Market of the good and beautiful.
Typical products and handicraft.
CAMAIORE 13th: The carpets of sawdust.
COREGLIA ANTELMINELLI: The National Contest of the sculpture: the Presepio.
ISOLA SANTA (Careggine) – TERRINCA (Stazzema): Race in the mountain, Trophy Apuan Alps Park.
PRUNO (Stazzema): The summer solstice and the magic of the light.
LAKE OF GRAMOLAZZO (Minucciano): Trophy of sail of Apuan Alps Park.
The IGP spelt of Garfagnana
The spelt and the folklore
The spelt IGP of the Garfagnana is used to prepare delicious soups and cakes. Moreover, the traditional medieval festivities are organized in this period, due to also the presence of many strongholds with the rest of their ancient stone walls, that contribute to create an atmosphere of a past in which the traces Florentine and of the Estensi have met the local tradition. There are also many sport initiative, like mountain bike, sail, canoe and so on.
GORFIGLIANO (Minucciano) 15th – 30th:
The Apuan Alps and the Art of the marble; sculpture symposium.
CAMPORGIANO 24th – 25th – 26th: International festival of the Folklore.
SQUARE OF THE SERCHIO 31st July – 1st August: The Counties of the spelt of the Garfagnana I.G.P.
The fruit of wood in Versilia, Tuscany
The corn, the maize and the way of the "pani" of the Apuan Apls
There are different kinds of flour, like the wheat flour, the flour of "neccio", the flour of spelt, which are used to prepare different kinds of bread, that you will taste along the famous "via dei pani". Moreover, during this month, due to the fact that a wide range of "fruits of wood", like raspberry, strawberry, blueberry is available, you can taste delicious cakes or jams made by the skilful housewives of these village in mountain. This is a period for all the lovers of the good and traditional food!
PIEVE FOSCIANA 8th:
PUGLIANO (Minucciano) 15th: Traditional party on costume with the race of the "micci" (an enjoying race typical of this zone).
CASTELVECCHIO PASCOLI (Barga): Evening of tribute to Giovanni Pascoli.
PRODUCTS OF THE MARKET :
- Bread of potatoes of the Garfagnana
- Spelt cake of the Garfagnana
- Bread of Azzano
- ‘Focaccia’ of Seravezza
- Pepper cake of Camaiore
The pastures of the high land
The tradition of the sheep farming connected with the art of people made cheese (called "caciai" in dialect) characterized this month. However, the cheese isn't the only product that you can find here in this period, in fact there is also the fine production of honey, which is perfect if combined with cheese.
CASTELNUOVO GARFAGNANA 4th – 5th:
The fair of the cheese in collaboration with Slow Food.
FILECCHIO (Barga) 11th – 12th: "polenta e uccelli" (a traditional dish of Tuscany).
PRODUCTS OF THE MARKET:
- Bovine meat of Garfagnana and of the Serchio valley
- High–quality milk of Garfagnana
- Pecorino cheese of Garfagnana
- Pecorino cheese of Versilia
- Cheese called ‘accasciato‘
- Ricotta cheese of Garfagnana
- many kinds of honey of the Serchio valley
- Jams of the high lands
The riches of the undergrowth
This is the perfect period for chestnuts and for mushrooms growth, in the little villages' squares you often will find someone that roasts chestnuts. These sweet appointments with the taste are called "mondinate" by citizens .
CASTELNUOVO GARFAGNANA 3rd:
SILLANO 10th: The Mushroom, the chestnut, the pork. Typical products and handicraft.
CASTELNUOVO GARFAGNANA: Mondinata. This is not the only one during this month, but there are many displaced in the various ways.
PRODUCTS OF THE MARKET:
- Porcino (the most excellent among all the kinds of mushroom) of the Garfagnana
- Products of the undergrowth
- "Norcineria" of quality
- Different kinds of honey
The traditional handicraft
The ancient techniques meet the new ideas in the handicraft field to work different raw materials, such as stone, cloth, wood and so on. It's also the period for the production of chestnut flour.
FORNACI DI BARGA 13th – 14th: The handicraft market. The metals.
THE PRODUCTS OF THE MARKET:
- Handicraft works of copper and iron
- Handicraft works of wood and stone
- Production of marble, clay and baked clay
- Statuette of chalk
- Craftmade weaving
The neccio flour and the Christmas' customs
This sweet flour characterized this month, in addition to the classic traditions of Christmas, such as splendid cribs (one of them is built in the Antro of the Corchia) and in this zone also the lighting of the called "natalecci". Moreover, the snow make the environment so magic, that you can't lose it.
VALPEGNANA – Loc. COLLESCALE (Pescaglia) 11th December – 6th January:
Christmas crib in the cave
RIONE OF SAINT LUCY (Castelnuovo Garfagnana) 13th: The mandolata (chestnut for all)
GHIVIZZANO 18th: The living crib
THE MEDIEVAL WAYS:
For who like the Medieval past, there are many appointments to attend in these medieval villages, the history of which comes alive:
- Fortress of the Verrucola (Saint Roman) 3rd–4th July.
- Barga (historical centre) 17th – 18th July.
- Pariana (villa Basilica) 25th July: Historical tournament.
- Trassilico (Gallicano) 8th of August: A dinner with the Estensi.
These are only some of the medieval events organized in this zone during summer time. You can find further info on place.