Tuscany by motorbike: itinerary in Garfagnana between curves, alps and castles and many delicious dishes to discover.
A perfect itinerary to have fun on a motorbike and discover the hidden treasures of the Garfagnana, on the border with Liguria and a few kilometers from the Cinque Terre, Lucca and Pisa.
- The Fortress of Verrucole
- Castelnuovo in Garfagnana
- Holy Island
- At the table
- Map and information
In Lunigiana, Aulla is the town from which we decide to leave, heading south-east, along the SS63 (the state road that leads to Reggio Emilia through the Valico del Cerreto). It rises in a strategic position between the passivated area of cissa, del Cerreto, Lagastrello and on the road to Casola and the Garfagnana, therefore a perfect point for many excursions and trips in motorcycle. Shocked by air raids during the last war, the village offers many activities and things to see, of historical and artistic interest, such as the famous Brunella fortress, a Renaissance-type military fort. Find all the information at the following link: Aulla in Lunigiana - Tuscany by motorbike among the medieval villages.
After about 12 kilometers, turn right towards Gassano, along the Strada Regione della Garfagna SR445, which slowly becomes more and more winding but above all fun for our two wheels. We then proceed at a moderate pace, because the curves are so many and the hairpin bends are not lacking. But it is the scenery that captures our gaze, among nature, woods and unique panoramas that accompany us for about 45km up to Piazza al Serchio, an ancient medieval village, where you can admire the details "Rocky cliffs".
A few kilometers from the village we can therefore go back in time a few centuries and visit the splendid Fortress of Verrucole, in San Romano in Garfagnana. Situated on a steep and impervious hill, the fortress was strategic for the control of the battles and raids in the area, becoming over time a coveted possession by the Lucchesi, the Florentines and the Este family due to its great strategic position. Walking through the fortress you can admire the walkways, the kitchens, the chapel, the noble residence, the underground rooms and the powder magazine. From the terrace of the Rocca then you have a complete idea of the fortress and you can admire "the most beautiful horizon of the Garfagnana" with a panorama that goes from the Apennine side of the Orecchiella Park and the Pania di Corfino, up to Pisanino and the other peaks of the Apuan Alps.
After our journey through time, we take the bikes back to head towards Castelnuovo in Garfagnana, main center of this magnificent land. Among the main constructions stands the Rocca Ariostesca, a medieval castle that has evolved over time and with a splendid terrace overlooking the main square. Also worth a visit is the Duomo, built in 1500 on the ruins of an XNUMXth century Romanesque church. In the vicinity of the village it is also worth seeing Fortress of Mont'Alfonso, last garrison of the Duchy of Ferrara. Finally, remember that Castelnuovo is also the ideal starting point to explore the naturalistic beauties of Orecchiella Park and Regional Park of the Apuan Alps.
We strongly suggest that you lengthen your way for a visit to the Holy Island, a "hospitale" from 1260 that welcomed wayfarers. The village is located at 550 m asl and overlooks an artificial lake, filled by the waters of the Turrite Secca stream. Every ten years, the emptying of the basin brings out the semi-destroyed buildings of the village, in particular a mill and a stone bridge.
Meanwhile, as always, hunger has risen at every bend and at every stop, so let's see which are some specialties and dishes not to be missed.
- Il Farro, especially in the form of soup (really good in any season).
- La Polenta from Formenton Otto File, ancient variety of corn, excellent with i mushrooms that here always grow abundant.
- Il Neccio, a kind of soft chestnut flour crepe that is rolled and stuffed usually with fresh ricotta.
- Le Crisciolette, typical of Cascio, are prepared like the neccio su cooked or iron texts, in this case greased with lard and the dough is obtained with a mix of wheat and corn flours.
- Pancakes and cagio, served in packets and accompanied by pieces of cheese, are another Garfagnana specialty.
- The cured meats: the Biroldo, made with poor parts of the pig including head, lungs, heart, tongue and bits of lard; there Mondiola, decidedly more valuable, it is a soft coarse-grained salami obtained from the front parts of the pig.