Garfagnana, the ‘natural park of Tuscany’ is a region of the Lucca province in the Apennine area of Tuscany. This is a mountainous region where thick chestnut, oak and pine forests carpet the landscape, and local produce is the pride of the residents. Taking a holiday apartment in Garfagnana gives you an experience unlike that of anywhere else in Italy due to the region’s unique and independent history, having only become part of Italy in the 16th Century. This is an area away from the tour busses and mass tourism, where you can really get to meet the locals and discover their way of life. Shear mountainous peaks, great fortresses and woodland wildernesses are the order of life in Garfagnana.
The dramatic undulating landscape is crossed with a widespread network of well marked hiking trails and as a result, trekking in Garfagnana has become a massive incentive in renting holiday accommodation in the region. The walking and trekking in Garfagnana takes in some awe-inspiring vantage points looking over the province, and you will discover a number of magnificent mountainside village and hilltop forts on your travels. There are now tour operators offering official trekking, mountain biking and cycling tours of Garfagnana, and a private holiday rental is the ideal place to base your tour of Garfagnana.
During the summer, from early June until October, Garfagnana bursts into life with festivals and celebrations of local cultures, traditions and religion. Wherever you decide to rent a holiday villa in Garfagnana, you will experience a ‘sagra’ or feast, as each village holds a party with food, wine, music and dancing in the open air, where everyone is welcome.
There is no way you can rent a self catering holiday apartment in Garfagnana and not fall in love with the cuisine. The wood burning pizza ovens found in many homes here cook the local mushrooms, wild boar, olives and chestnut products to perfection, best washed down with some of the sweet local wines.
If you long for a swim or to sit in a beach for a day when staying in holiday accommodation in Garfagnana, the coastal resorts of Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi are just 25km away.
When staying in a self catering villa in Garfagnana, trying the local food is essential. The main market town in the area Castelnuovo di Garfagnana is also the capital. There are many paths which originate from Castelnuovo reaching deep into the green forestry or to forgotten rural villages. The town is both full of sporting facilities and carnival celebrations through out the year.
The hill towns of Vergamoli, Molazzana and Camporgiano are ancient settlement deep in the mountains, and taking a Garfagnana holiday rental in one of these villages is perfect for both walking and sampling of local cuisine and culture. Camporgiano also has the added benefit of the huge, domineering castle which stands on the slopes of the village.
Garfagnana is one of the wettest places in Italy, which has resulted in the hugely lush forests which coast the mountains. However, do not be put off taking a holiday rental in Garfagnana due to a little rain. The temperatures in Garfagnana mean that despite a little rain, the climate is still very pleasant. Winter lows still remain above freezing, and summer temperatures clime to above 25˚C.
Pisa Airport (PSA) is only 45 minutes by car from the holiday apartments of Garfagnana, which receives daily cheap flights from easyJet. Other international flights are available arriving in either Rome (FCO) or Milan (LIN), but transfer times are longer.