We are updating our website and up to date News will soon be available on our Casa Fontana Blog - www.casa-fontana.com/wordpress
Please go to Bookings 2017 to enquire online. Please note that, due to the ineffectiveness of some SPAM filters, our replies to you may find their way into your SPAM/BULK folder so please check there!
The hills around Barga are ideal for walking with trails suitable for all levels of experience and fitness. We can offer guided walking with an experienced, english speaking guide for individuals or groups of up to 10 people.
Walking and Drawing in the Serchio Valley Tony Phillips, an English artist, has lived in the area for over 15 years and will conduct day or week tours around the hills and villages around Barga. He can combine sketching and walking.
Please contact us for details using our contact form. For those who enjoy walking at their own pace, we also have prepared a number of self-guided walks which can be made from Casa Fontana into the hills nearby. We have prepared a number of walks of varying difficulty and have made the first of them available on our site: go to Tiglio, Coreglia, Sommocolonia, Fornaci di Barga and Gallicano and the Eremo di Calomini we will gradually add new walks to our list. You can also read about the first "Barga-Mare biathlon" here and the nocturnal walk to Lago Santo here.You can also take a day trip to the Cinque Terre where you can walk part of the famous cliffside trail.
You can enquire and book on line to start planning your holiday for 2017. You can read what previous guests have written at www.TripAdvisor.com
The restoration of the old town, where Casa Fontana is located, continues. With the opening of new restaurants and old favourites, Barga is very well served with good places to eat, see our guide under Places to Eat
What is the connection between Barga and Scotland? Barga describes itself as "the most Scottish town in Italy", but there are very few Scottish people living here; in fact we don't know of another Scottish family living in Barga Vecchia. There are though many, many Barga families who have lived in Scotland, and have returned and many more Barghigiani who still live in Scotland and come back to Barga regularly to visit family. Ask any Barghigiani if they have a Scottish relative and the answer is usually "tanti cugini!" There is a page on Barganews dedicated to the Scottish presence in Barga www.barganews.com/Scotland There is also a fascinating book on the subject entitled "They Took the Low Road", by Bruno Sereni, published by the Comune di Barga.
From 27th July to 16th August there is the festival of "Pesce e Patate" (fish and chips) and in early August is the "Festa dei Bargo-Esteri" (Barghigiani abroad)
We are often asked when is the best time to come and the answer is that it depends what you are looking for. For hillwalkers and ramblers April and May are beautiful while in September and October the autumn colours of the chestnut and beech forests are spectacular. The summer is beautiful too, and the mountain air prevents it from ever getting too hot. For music, the summer is best with opera, classical and jazz concerts throughout July and August
Fabbriche di Carreggine 2017? A village submerged 70 years ago as part of a hydro electric scheme was expected to reappear for the first time in over 20 years in 2017. The dam was constructed after the war and the abandoned village was flooded to a depth of 60 metres: streets, houses shops and churches have survived below the waters. Last drained in 1994 (pictured above) the Lago di Vagli was scheduled to be drained once more in summer 2016, which sadly did not occur!
Barga Jazz Festival - 30th Anniversary Edition.
The Barga Jazz festival is during the last week of August every year. This year the Guest Of Honour will be Italian Pianist Franco D'Andrea whose work will form the basis for the annual Composition and Arrangement Competition which precedes the BargaJazz Festival, which will commence as usual with a number of open air concerts before the official Festival begins on the 18th August with concerts on the 25th, 26th and 27th August, in the centro storico, either in Piazza Angelio or in the Teatro dei Differenti. On Sunday 21st August will be "Barga in Jazz" a day of music with jazz/blues bands in all the piazzas. For more details go to: BargaJazz. During the festival there are jam sessions every night at "EnoJazz"
BargaJazz Club is open throughout the year on Friday nights (except during the festival).
Festival BelCanto in Barga
The Festival, which was such a success in 2014 and 2015, in 2016 there were 3 concerts in Barga: on the 2nd and 9th in Piazza Angelio, and on the 5th in the Duomo. For details of the 2017 programme go to "Bel Canto in Barga"
For artists, Barga is a perfect location for drawing and painting, and there are galleries and exhibitions throughout the year. For those who have overdosed on the culture of Florence and Siena, Barga is a gentle respite! For food lovers this area is perfect all year round: Barga prides itself on being a "Cittą Slow" and much of the food on offer is of local origin.
The "Sagra". Originally religious festivals and now dedicated to supporting local churches and parish activities, the Sagra is an open air communal supper. Over the summer we have the "Cena in Vignola" in the vineyard below the Duomo, the "Sagra del pesce e patate" to commemorate the Barghigiano/Scottish connection; the "Sagra del Maiale" (pork) at S. Pietro in Campo. In October in nearby Filecchio is the Sagra del Vino, and late October is the time for the "Mondinata" where chestnuts are roasted over open log fires, and cakes and sweets made with chestnut flour, are served in the open air.
What kind of activity do you enjoy? We have had bookings for groups hillwalking, painting and a language course.
Barga is a favourite centre for walking; either gently through the chestnut forests or more vigorously in the Apuane and Appenini. We can offer guided walks or provide itineraries for those who wish to go their own way. Many of the mountain trails are marked with the red and white symbol of the Club Alpino Italiano (CAI) and there are many mountain refuges, some simple others with cafes and restaurants. We can also help with arranging transport and guides for more challenging hill walks.
Mountain bikingThere are many excellent mountain bike trails in the hills around Barga. A local company can help you to arrange equipment hire and experienced guides for day trips.
Interested in food? The Garfagnana valley is famous for its honey, fruit, meat, principally pork and prosciutto, and cheeses, especially the pecorino (ewe's milk cheese), both fresh and "stagionato". Our garden produces a fine crop of fruit and vegetables, and in September, wild porcini in the woods above Barga.
With so much to do in Barga and nearby, opera, jazz, art or whatever your interest we can help you plan your holiday.But you may just wish to relax and the garden at Casa Fontana is ideal for that too.
We look forward to seeing you in 2017, and if there is anything you wish to know please use our enquiry forms at Enquiry
Ron and Susi Gauld
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