Barga, (our favorite) is a classic medieval town, famous for it's summer Jazz and Opera Festivals. A number of world reknown painters have their studios there and their art available for purchase. Along the narrow streets you also find some exellent restaurants serving local dishes including farro soup, risottos, peccorino cheeses and chestnut pancakes.

We fell in love with northern Tuscany because its marvellous possiblities for outdoor activities. If you enjoy mountain walks and scenery, the possibilities start at our door. Many trails and paths exist and inevitably, there will be a nice restaurant at the end of the trail, no matter how remote. The Apuan Alps are just across the valley and the Apennines behind us. Many of the trails take you through small mountain villages where life continues as for the last several hundred years. We were inspired to search out this area after reading the books of Eric Newby (Love and War in the Apennines, A Small Place in Italy (available from LONELY PLANET BOOKS)

Hiking on the ridge line of the Appenine Alps, a 40 minute drive from Casa Clara.

Hiking on the ridge line of the Apuan Alps, a 40 minute drive from Casa Clara. (view from the top of Monte Croce. The Tyrenian sea in in the background)

Hiking on the trail, 5 minutes from Casa Clara. (view of and from the Romiterio to Lucignana)

Best is a day of relaxation- visiting the street market in the morning to purchase of fresh ripe vegetables, cheeses, meats and wine for a wonderful lunch starting with antipasto plate- ravioli in sage butter- rabbit with rosemary....(we will leave you good recipies) accompanied by local wine bought by the liter. After lunch (4pm) take a walk in the nearby medieval villages of Coreglia, Lucignana, or Tereglio. We have had visitors virtually never leave the olive grove. They found the views, relaxation and great wines enough stimulation!