Three lesser known towns to visit in northwestern Tuscany

Barga The town of Barga is already rated as one of the best towns or villages in Italy to visit. The historic old town has been immaculately preserved and the more modern outer town is obviously thriving. A town of 10,000 it has a famous jazz festival each year and attracts artists and artisans from other countries. The cathedral dating from the twelfth century is a drawcard and the narrow laneways and coloured buildings are very pretty. Surrounding the town is lush greenery.

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana is the commercial centre of the Garfagnana and has good shopping and cafes.Only some of its medieval features have been retained since it was largely destroyed during World War Two. It is positioned high overlooking the River Serchio and is a village extremely difficult to drive into as you must enter the village from either the Appenines or the Apuan Alps.

Castiglione di Garfagnana This town was perched very high on the hill and had an intact castle from medieval times. The weather was not kind to us and it was windy and wet and no one was outside. At least this made it easier to drive into the town on a very narrow, winding and steep road.

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