Castelnuovo di Garfagnana
Tursday it starts at 8AM and runs to 1PM
Saturday. starts at 8AM and runs to 1PM
With a riot of flowers, trinkets, inexpensive clothes, shows, cooking Utensils [always essential when travelling !!! ] home furnishings, candy floss, plants, hunting gear, etc. Great fun to visit and be tempted by the market stalls which have many locally produced goods, the Castelnuovo shops also make a special effort on the day.
Usually in this month depending on the Easter dates Castelnuovo has a Carnival, which is a diminutive version of the extravagant and world known Carnevale in Viareggio.
Easter - at this time there are impressive processions for many days, Italy still been steeped in old fashioned Catholicism, many evening torch lit processions abound, in Fosciandora there is one on Easter Thursday. If you are feeling energetic and happy to travel, the Easter processions in Via Filungo, Lucca are definitely worth the trip.
You get to see the fireflies in fields all around La Collina del Sole, it looks almost like a subdued and silent discotheque.
June, July, August
The whole region explodes with “too many festas to count” in June, July, August and September, the fun begins, festas pop up everywhere with villages transforming themselves into medieval fortressed towns. For a comprehensive list of Festas see the English translated brochure, handed out at all the shops in Castelnuovo. Some festas celebrate particular types of local food, like Festa della Trota [trout], Festa della Porchetta [roast suckling pig], Festa della Bistecca, Festa della Polenta. You also find local art exhibitions and local photography shows which are held in larger towns, like Castelnuovo and Barga. Most importantly local artisanal produce gatherings happen alongside festas or town events. These gatherings abound in the region and show a rich variety of handmade terracotta, textiles, wax, hand stitching , woodwork, glass and all manner of fascinating and compelling works.
The Lucca Summer Festival in Piazza Napoleone, Lucca, with concerts by Elton John, Amy Winehouse, Liza Minelli, BB King and Jamiroquai among others.
In September the Festa del Vino happens – no translation needed there ! The best in the region is in Monte Carlo, near Lucca which has an exceptional wine fest with wine producers selling their wine in cases, and giving samples, with wonderful food stalls and Local Artisanal produce.
The wine making takes place so all vineyards including ours, go into “Vendemia mode” really good fun although a touch tiring, the locals are always happy to show you how to harvest the grapes, it can be hard on the hands if you are not a seasoned gardener. The weather is usually excellent, not too hot or cold.
November brings with it the Festa della Castagna, chestnuts abound in the region and are not only a very local food, with hundreds of speciality recipes using chestnuts, like chestnut bread, chestnut pasta, chestnut flour, even chestnut jam.
Chestnuts have a very special place in the hearts of the local population as many people were kept from starving due to the humble “castagna”.
December and January
December and January bring Christmas with lots of Ponche de Mandarino served, a sweet alcoholic guaranteed to keep you warm. New Year is brought in with a riot of Firework displays, La Collina del Sole is a perfect vantage point to observe the entire valley below explode in light. On the evening of the 5th of January “La Befana” brings presents to good children and a lump of coal [nowadays made of sugar ] to the naughty ones. La Befana often depicted as an old lady is the representative of the 3 Kings who visited the baby Jesus on Epiphany, and was until very recently the only unusual visitor bearing gifts to Italian children, that is until Santa Claus made an appearance.