Gallicano is a small town on the other side of the Serchio valley, opposite Barga. It has an interesting historic centre and is the gateway to the valley of the Torrite, which runs from the mountain mass of Le Panie, just below the fascinating Grotta del Vento, limestone cavern system.
It is possible to get to Gallicano from Barga by bus but there is a pleasant walk which takes about an hour. From Gallicano another hour will take you to the interesting cliff face church of the Eremo di Calomini, and the excellent restaurant of l’Antica Eremita.
Leaving Casa Fontana, follow via della Fontana down to via di Borgo and from there cross the main road to the old bridge. Across the bridge take the first road on the left after the church of San Rocco, via del Giardino and follow this down past the Piscina Comunale (swimming pool) and the football stadium. At the foot of the road turn right, then immediately left, across the road and down the narrow road past a number of houses. Continue down this road which then becomes a rough unsurfaced track. Keep to this track which passes the riding school. You will see a “private property” sign on the left but continue straight down the grass path until you meet a tarmac road. Follow this as it meanders down past fields and clusters of houses, passing below the church of San Bernardino to the SS 445 road from Lucca to Castelnuovo. Cross over the road and go down through the industrial estate, under the railway, and join the Barga-Gallicano road next to the sand quarry. Turn left, across the River Serchio, and up into Gallicano. At the T junction at the top of this road, turn left, then right into via Cavour, a narrow street which takes you to the main square in front of the Comune. At the end of the piazza is a distinctive gothic arched acqueduct. Pass under the acqueduct and just before the road goes through a short tunnel, take the road on the left which bypasses the tunnel. After about 50m, in front of a row of cottages, take the narrow track on the left which is signposted Percorso Fluviale.
The track meanders alongside the Torrite river, past vineyards and meadows, until on the left there is a small shrine in front of which turn right, over the stream and continue through the woods beside the river. After about one km the track joins the track joins the public road beside a concrete built water pumping station. Here turn right and down through the localita Campolati. After crossing over the river you will join the public road from Gallicano and here turn left and follow the road until you reach, on your left, an abandoned factory. Just past the factory take the track on the right which is signposted Allevamento Trote (trout farm). Follow this up past the abandoned trout farm and take the track to the left marked via dell’Eremo and with red and yellow paint flashes. This track zig zags up through the woods until it again meets a tarmac road at a sharp bend. Here go right and follow the road up until you reach the gates of the church of the Eremo di Calomini. You may be able to visit the church (times are posted on the gate) . The track leading to the restaurant L’Antica Eremita, leaves the car park in front of the church and a short walk of 100m takes you to the restaurant. The food is excellent with specialities of local Foccaccia Leve and roast trout, from their own trout farm. Enjoy the food and the view….you have earned it!
On the return journey continue right down the tarmac road, past the track you arrived by, until you reach the main road. Turn left and continue down the road (take care there is no sidewalk) until you reach a junction opposite a restaurant. Here go right, across the bridge, then left onto the track signposted Gallicano.
This track follows the Torrite stream down through the woods until you come to a more open area with vineyards and meadows. When you meet the tarmac road, go left and continue until you reach the concrete pump station you passed on the way up. Turn right and continue on the track back to Galliano.
From Gallicano you have the choice of retracing your route back via Mologno and San Bernardino to Barga, or you can get the bus back from the bus stop at the pasticceria il Gallo Goloso.