The urban structure of Barga has remained more or less that of the time of the Commune (12th-14th cent.), with a tangled network of streets running between the irregular buildings.

BargaThe urban structure of Barga has remained more or less that of the time of the Commune (12th-14th cent.), with a tangled network of streets running between the irregular buildings. One enters the village through Porta Reale and Via del Pretorio, crossed by narrow lanes and cart-roads.
Past the first square is the Conservatorio di Sant’Elisabetta, an old convent of the Poor Clares (15th cent.), which holds a beautiful altarpiece by the Della Robbia school (15th-16th cent.) and 15th-century Crucifix.
Immediately after we come to the highest part of the castle, dominated by the imposing bulk of the Duomo, or cathedral; from here the view passes over the roofs of the historic center and beyond the green hills dotted with villages and farmhouse to the Apuan mountains.
The main façade of the Romanesque Duomo, built in several stages from the 11th to the 16th centuries using blocks of light-colored alberese (a local limestone that changes color and nuance depending on weather conditions), is the old remodeled side of the primitive church built in the year 1000. The main door is embellished with two slender columns with projecting lions at the top. The arch is decorated with stylized acanthus leaves.
Remaining from the original church are the beautiful holy water stoups (12th or 13th cent.) and the fragment of a fresco. The baptismal font is hexagonal and has a statue of St. John the Baptist (14th or 15th cent.). The ambo is an excellent example of the work of the Comacine master builders and stonecutters. There is a polychrome wooden statue of the town’s patron, St. Christopher, behind the high altar. The chapel on the right is entirely occupied by Della Robbia terracottas, and in the chapel on the left the Barga of the 1500s can be seen in a 16th-century panel.
BargaThe name Arringo given to the large yard surrounding the Duomo preserves the memory of the assemblies held by the medieval community. The space is closed off to the north by Palazzo Pretorio, which was the residence of the Florentine administrator from 1341 to 1859, and today is the home of the Civic Museum. From the square by the Duomo there are broad stairs going down to the Church of the Santissimo Crocefisso, with a late 16th-century façade and an interior decorated with stuccoes and gold.
From Via della Speranza one descends to the other city gate, called Porta Macchiaia because it opens onto the great stretches of macchia, or thicket, and the Apennine woods. From there one follows Via di Mezzo, passing alongside old buildings, until arriving at Piazza Garibaldi, which is dominated by the majestic Palazzo Balduini (15th cent.).
At Piazza Salvi there are two buildings in the Florentine style of the 1500s: the Loggia dei Mercanti and Palazzo Pancrazi, today the town hall.
The Loggia, raised on graceful columns, was built when Cosimo I de’ Medici instituted the Barga market (1546), the major commodities of which were salt and silk. The stone lion on the façade is the symbol of Barga’s political subjection to Florence.
Next is Piazza Angelio, whose harmonious proportions make it seem like an outdoor living room. Farther on there is the Teatro dei Differenti, built in 1795 over an earlier theater from 1689, followed by the Accademia dei Differenti, promoted and supported by the Medici. Built along Via di Mezzo are the 18th-century residences of the noble families, including those of the Bertacchi, the Pieracchi counts, and the Mordini. The Baroque Church of the Santissima Annunziata (1595) has a Latin-cross plan, with a vast longitudinal nave and false columns against the walls.

Barga: discover the surroundings

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  • Garfagnana Garfagnana (7 km)
    The Garfagnana is the area occupying the middle and upper stretches of the Valle del Serchio, surrounded by the Apuans and the Appennines.
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  • Wind Coves Wind Coves (8 km)
    Grotta del Vento is situated in the province of Lucca, in one of the wildest parts of the Apuan Alps regional park.
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  • Orrido di Botri: a natural canyon Orrido di Botri: a natural canyon (11 km)
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  • Camporgiano Camporgiano (15 km)
    The town of Camporgiano is in the province of Lucca at 475 m. a.s.l. of altitude and it has a population of about 2,000 inhabitants.
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  • Fortress of Verrucole Fortress of Verrucole (15 km)
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  • Orecchiella park Orecchiella park (15 km)
    Between the rocks of the Apuan Alps and the beech woods of the Tuscan Apennine, in Garfagnana, is a vast protected area, the Orecchiella Natural Park.
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  • Appennine mountain Appennine mountain (16 km)
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  • Abetone Abetone (16 km)
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  • Monte Corchia cave Monte Corchia cave (17 km)
    The Monte Corchia cave system in the Apuan Alps regional park is the largest cave system in Italy and one of the biggest in Europe.
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  • Galileo Chini Galileo Chini (21 km)
    Galileo Chini’s artistic production embraces oil-painting, frescoes and decorations on terracotta.
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  • The Via Francigena from Lucca to Versilia The Via Francigena from Lucca to Versilia (21 km)
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  • Camaiore Camaiore (21 km)
    Camaiore is a city-states with more than 30.000 inhabitants; this area comprehends the territory from the Apuan Alps to the Tyrrhenian in the heart of a charming neighborhood rich of traditions: Versilia.
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  • Apuane park Apuane park (22 km)
    Apuane park is located in Tuscany, only for his geo-morphological and naturalistic characteristics, it is developed for around 60 kms along the coast of the Tyrrhenian sea in the areas of the Versilia, Lunigiana and Garfagnana.
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  • Seravezza Seravezza (22 km)
    Seravezza called Sala Vetitia in a document of the X century, Sala Vecchia in the Lucca Annals of Tolomeo and Seravetitia in certain papers of 1368 and 1375, was originally the dominion the Lords of Corvaia and Vallecchia.
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  • Pietrasanta Pietrasanta (24 km)
    Pietrasanta centre owes its origins and its name to the Podesta Guiscardo Pietrasanta, who had it built by orders of the republic towards the middle of the XIII century.
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