Barga, and the Wind Caves: In Pictures, The North West Tuscan Way, Tour 20

Curvilinear Marble Sculpture

p r e s e n t s

Barga Big Map 1 Google Earth

Barga Big Map 2 Google Earth

Barga Map 3 Google Earth

North West Tuscany for the Independent Tourist

IN PICTURES

Barga Map 4 Google Earth

Tour 20: Barga and the Wind Caves

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

Located a mere 22 miles/35 kilometers north of Lucca, and as pleasant as racing up to Barga via the Serchio valley may be,  it is from the opposite direction that I would suggest you make your approach to this most picturesque and ancient town.  Serchio Valley, Garafagnana, Tuscany, ItalyThe low pass over from Fivizzano offers a labyrinth of gorgeous hedgerow’d back country lanes guaranteed to slow progress to practically a crawl,  given the number of times you’ll be pulling over to take in the view.   Today’s tour takes us from the vantage point of a striking local landmark high above the surrounding countryside as we visit Barga’s thousand year-old Romanesque hilltop duomo.  After which we roll down and across the wide valley floor… then up, up and up onto the shoulder of Pania della Croce. Serchio Valley, Garafagnana, Tuscany, Italy Here we will plunge deep into the famous ‘Wind Caves”, or Grotta del Vento.    Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for the fabled Gnome Sanctuary.   Casoli, Tuscany, ItalyOh yes, it exists.   I myself didn’t happen notice its presence here in Baga, but I did stumble across a clue of sorts when on visiting Casoli I  came across a complete set of unexplained Snow White and attending gnomes.  I am however positive that if you keep a wary eye for the tiny potted people, a path of sorts will lead you to their mysterious, nay fabled home.   Just have faith.   Barga, Tuscany, Italy  By the way – do yourself a favor and avoid parking in the touristy car park right up by the church itself,   because that would be cheating.   Go instead right into the center of town and slam down a few espressos,  devour a handful of pastries,  and then go climb that hill,   as they have have for centuries…. you really must earn that view to truly appreciate it.       Take your time however,  don’t strain anything… that hill is mighty steep.                                                                   To read my Rogue Carver on the Loose dispatched thoughts on Barga and the Wind Caves simply click right here.

~~~

For those heading to Barga in the literal sense a dire word of warning: do not be tempted to take the mountain road over from the coast!  For the sake of your loved ones,  future descendants and the public at large,  please take my word and go around ‘the long way’.     For while the steep, narrow winding mountain road may look like a lark on the map it resembles more a vulture once embarked upon.    The problem stems not from the twistiness of the those tight zigzag bends,  or indeed the death inducing,  heart pounding,  unprotected drop off edges,  not the rock-slides or failed brakes,    but the uniquely terrifying aspect of a fully laden marble truck barreling straight at you.    I’ll leave it at that.    Besides,  the fairly lengthy drive right up and onto the shoulder of Pania della Croce, elevation 6,096 feet, 1,858 meters (roughly 1,400 feet lower than my home in Woody Creek, Colorado) delivers all the same thrills,  but with only the odd bus to worry about – not half so terrifying.

~~~

Rogue Carver on the Loose in Italy:   Part 4, The Road to Castelnuovo, Barga, and a Cool Cave:   The day began really well. On the main road north out of Pietrasanta I not only kept up with traffic but I didn’t even miss my turn, pretty soon though I began to realize the nature of the task that lay before me: the road consisted of a series of perpetual turns, some hairpin and some even sharper… turns that involved steep gradients, blind bends and the occasional unguarded sheer cliff edge. However I was beginning to think my trusty Fiat, ‘The Bee’ had passed this way before as she waltzed around corner after corner as if she were on rails. Up and up we climbed, higher and ever higher, until at last I caught my first glimpse of the famed marble quarries that were responsible for luring me to this enchanting corner of the world in the first place. There they were, not burrowing into the side of the mountain as I had blithely assumed, but cropping it from the top down… more.

~~~

~~~

~~~

~~~

~~~

~~~

Serchio Valley, Garafagnana, Tuscany, Italy

Castlenuovo di Garafagnana

~~~

~~~

~~~

Serchio Valley, Garafagnana, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Serchio Valley, Garafagnana, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Barga, Tuscany, Italy

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

and now

the slideshow

~~~

~~~

~↓~

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

~↑~

~

~~~

~~~

~~~

Grotta del Vento, North West Tuscany

~~~

~~~

~~~

thanks for visiting martincooney.com

~~~

~~~

~~~

next

The North West Tuscan Way: In Pictures

Bagni di Lucca, on the North West Tuscan Way

Tour 20: Bagni di Lucca

coming soon

~~~

~~~

~~~

m∂Γτ!∏

·Í ~

 √

~~~

~~~

~~~