A walking tour of Barga (with sporadic text accompaniment)

We spent our four-day Easter weekend in Barga, a teeny little hilltop town in Tuscany where Anthony's maternal family hails from. Since coming to Europe, I have gotten to see many beautiful things, but I was not prepared for the incredible charm that fills this place.

There is only one place to stay within the city walls - the Casa Fontana. It is amazing.

The owners were very kind and offered us a drink in their garden before we set out to explore. I showed everyone a magic trick with the amaretti cookies above. One minute the cookies were there and one blink later, the cookies were gone. And I was furtively brushing crumbs off my shirt. Magic.

Our window looked out onto one of the many little winding streets that make up Barga. 

I don't know the proper term for these little alcoves, but they were all over the place. I documented as many as I could find - this is one of the um...classier variety as it lacks the Christmas lights and glow in the dark stickers that adorn the more contemporary Mary Abodes.

The streets are so small, that most cars can't drive within the walls. Now and then we came across teeny little vintage cars, like this Fiat. Note to self, buy a vintage Fiat. Grey with red interior and white steering wheel. It can be friends with the Mini. Like a sidekick.

The tiled floor leading up to our room. We spent quite a long time just staring at it, trying to figure out how long it would take the owners to notice if we chiseled it up and took it home with us. In the end, our consciences got the better of us and we left the floor as is. Also we had forgotten to pack a chisel.

We wandered down to the market and perused the vendors. The food is much cheaper in Italy than Lausanne, so we indulged (in everything but most specifically) in a giant wedge of aged pecorino. Let me say that again for dramatic effect, Giant. Wedge. of Aged. Pecorino. I think this place may be heaven. We're only about a third of the way through it, which is good, because as soon as it's gone, we're going to have to drive the 5.5 hours back and get more. I will not let this cheese out of my life. EVER.

Banners in people's windows for the evening's Easter celebration (which we missed because, well, we had stuffed our faces indulged at dinner and fell into massive food comas).

The view from the highest point of the city.

So, the Duomo. Built in the 11th century, an example of Romanesque architecture, iconic landmark of Barga...aaaaaand kinda ominous on the inside. I guess in the 11th century, glass was not really available, so they were like "yeah, sure, natural light is fine, but you know what's better? ROCKS." 

In all fairness though, the few windows that do exists are paned in very thin sheets of stone. How they created this in Thee Olden Dayes is beyond me. 

I think the moss covered car thing (©2012 Kimberly Van Ness All Rights Reserved If You Steal This Idea I Will Hunt You Down) would be a big seller in Portland.

I need an ape (ah-pey) in my life stat. This is a matter of critical importance. Think of all the cool things I could do with it: carry groceries, move very small items of furniture...hang out with my (as of yet imaginary) Fiat...it would be my sidekick's sidekick.

And this is the part where I leave you with some lovely wall texture and go to work. Lots more pictures to share this week.

Happy Monday!