One full day to explore the area gave us just enough time to visit a few places. It was warm (which equates to hot for the dogs), so keeping that in mind, the plan was such that as the day wore on, the further into the mountains we would go.
First stop: Barga. One of many medieval cities and home of the Fish & Chips Festival and Barga Jazz Festival. The views from the Duomo are beautiful, but the view of Barga itself from the city perimeter is even better.
If only those walls could talk. The centuries-old fortress, or what remains of it, has seen its share of attacks, human suffering, and life as it was within its impregnable position. The name Verruccole comes from the word verruca, or wart, owing to the rocky terrain on which the fortress sits. A guided visit (in italian, less than 30 minutes) gave an idea of what it was like to exist in such austere conditions. Nothing was wasted. I recall the guide telling us that excrement was used as “ammunition”. Gives new meaning to the phrase “Eat my shit!”
Medieval bridge in Borgo a Mozzano. The devil sure gets around and legend says that he made a deal to build the bridge (in one single night) in exchange for the first soul to cross over. I’ve heard this story before and it’s always a dog that gets to be the first. That just bites.
This is almost obligatory in medieval towns – hitching our ponies to the wall.