Tuscany without the tourists 

once you’ve seen, smelled, felt, and tasted Tuscany, you’ll want to devour as much of it as possible. 

Paloma,our motorhome has journeyed into Garfagnana, said to be one of Tuscany’s most breathtaking regions yet has the least amount of tourists, With rolling hills, the Serchio River where water rushes through the lush green valleys, wooded areas and traditional old villages.

The mountain town of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana is to be our home, the weather has just turned a little Autumnal this week so with Michele wrapped up and me still in my shorts we headed into town for a wander. (N44.1144, E10.403343)

Main town view of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy - epic motorhome blog
Castelnuovo is a hilltop town is perched on a deep gorge crisscrossed with narrow bridges, its a pretty dramatic location.

Bridge and river Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy - epic motorhome blog
The impressive heavily fortified towers of the Rocca now form part of apartments, shops and restaurants. 

Today the town is alive with people, it’s race day everyone has headed in to sign up and meet friends for coffee and gossip. 

The perfect little bar in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy - epic motorhome blog
In England a fun run would just be a few people in the park, but here the whole town is in festival mode! 

The cafes and bars spill on the streets, market stalls galore fill every spare space.

Chestnut roasting on an open fire , Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy - epic motorhome blog
We stop into a small local bar to drink in the atmosphere a few glasses later and the main event is over, but the party continues on. 

Just outside the walls a local institution ‘L’Aia di Piero’ another delicatessen which has been going for many years. 

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy - epic motorhome blog
The shop is an Aladdin’s cave of treats with whole cured hams and salamis hanging from the ceiling and shelves stacked with cheeses, pasta, sauces and jams made from local fruits

Not wanting to have missed a thing in this delightful spot and a quick look on trip advisor anither possible gem appeared….

Just outside the town somewhere above us on a hill top was Este Fortress

View from Fortress, Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy - epic motorhome blog
Built by Duke Alfonso II at the end of the 16th Century, it was designed to offer the residents of the nearby town of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana a safe refuge should the town come under siege.

The climb from the town took a while as we rounded corner after corner until the vast fortress wall cane into view. 

View of the valley from the Fortress Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy - epic motorhome blog
Whilst much of the fortress has fallen into ruin, a pathway has been developed around the fortress hill so you can walk the route that the defensive walls once took. 

Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy - epic motorhome blog
The outstanding views of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana and the  Valley below are amazing with little hill top towns dotted around as far as the eye could see. 

Paul. 

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Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, Italy - epic motorhome blog

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