Garfagnana is an area situated in the province of Lucca. In its northern side the Apuan Alps are standing there with their white picks made of Carrara Marble, and the Serchio river characterizes all the entire valley of this very ancient place on the Tuscan-Emilian Appennines. Because of its position since the IXth century to the unification of Italy town-states like Ferrara, Florence, Lucca, and Pisa always contended for its territory that has always been rich in wood, spelt and strategic points. It was because of the need to control and defend Garfagnana that many castles were built here. One of them went through all the years and if you like trekking, you will have the chance to visit the most beautiful example of Castle-Fortress of this valley. It opened to the public last July 12th, it takes its name from the small village situated at the foot of the hill where it was built: Le Verrucole. Yesterday I was there with a group of Italian local people that wanted to spend their Ferragosto ( August 15th ) in the open air. We had breakfast in Castelnuovo and then we drove to Verrucole and started to climb to the top of the hill were a magnificent view on the Apuan Alps was waiting for us. After lunch we went to Barga, the village that was considered the ancient capital of this area. Garfagnana is still a territory visited only by people that love to find out Italian traditions, culture and nature. To visit this place means to learn about the Italian poets Ludovico Ariosto and Giovanni Pascoli, the ancient rivalry between Pisa and Lucca, it means to hear about the Devil’s Bridge legend or the Gothinc Line and have under your eyes a breathtaking view on an still uncontaminated nature dotted with stone built villages. In fall-winter many festivals dedicated to typical food will start, in fact “porcino” mushroom, chestnuts and spelt are everywhere today, but in the past this food helped local people to survive Black Death, malaria or moments of shortage of grain or famine. It would be great for me (a tourist guide that was born here!) to welcome you and meanwhile doing trekking – or just strolling – telling you what is so special in Garfagnana.