Barga is an attractive town that sits on the edge of the Serchio valley. The little walled town with its steep streets paved with stone is the setting for a highly regarded opera festival held in late July and August. Shame we are a few weeks too soon although not sure Craig could sit out an opera.
Our first visit to Barga was quite an experience with the local police, its also where we met our German friends, Peter & Carola who we stay in contact with on a regular basis. One of the best things about travelling is meeting people and making long term friendships. Peter and Carola like in the beautiful Black Forest, Germany, an stunning region especially during winter.
We went to park on the sosta next to the town park (€10 for 24 hours) but it was sectioned off for grass and hedge trimming. Where now? Craig noticed at the end of the sosta a concrete section. A quick walk over revealed its were the Italians park their motorhomes for free. We’ll have some of that, thank you and put the €10 to our pizza fund.
Our Bumble free sosta at Barga GPS position: for N044.071919, E010.481298
Craig fancied a day of sorting out his garage and all his bits and bobs, so I had a walk in to town. I wandered up and down the mini high street, ah ah I thought. Shall I go and get my hair trimmed?. Ever since our trip to Thailand I have a well known fear of international hairdressers. It is here were my long flowing locks were totally destroyed within a nano second. The martial art scissor hand woman chopped my hair to within an inch of my scalp. I was stunned, mortified and utterly destroyed for months. I now only trust Mr Jazz man with my hair but he’s miles away..then that little voice in my head shouts “go conquer your fear you softy”
So I find a modern and stylist salon. Umm, I thought, looks OK, fancy display and L’Oréal stickers, must be reasonable. I walk inside “ciao, do you speak English?”. A prompt reply “No”. Oh I thought, what now. I grabbed my hair and pretended to cut it. “Ah, si si” followed by a full blown of Italian conversation to which I have no idea what she said. And like a daft muppet I nodded, followed her and sat in the chair.
Next minute, a Bet Lynch look a like shuffled over. Without saying a word, I grabbed my hair and demonstrated cutting a tiny amount of hair. Bet nodded, threw a towel around me and stuck my head under the tap. Whoosh…I just knew life would never been the same.
With sweaty palms I sat perfectly still as Bet trimmed my hair. Her blunt scissors occasionally snagging. I sat there petrified whilst she popped gum and pretended she could cut hair. The salon was more like a funeral parlour with a nail bar. A pair of stern looking women in nylon frocks and aprons sat staring silently into space.
After a time I realised there was another customer, alone in a dark corner. She was baking under one of the old fashioned hairdryers or if not, that was one hell of a beehive. Bet finished my hair and I briskly walked home with boufont barnet. Craig’s stunned look followed by “its a bit boufonty but at least it will grow” said it all. Within minutes I’d washed my hair. restyled my ‘helmet’ cut and found a paper bag to stick over my head (no photo’s of me for a week or two).
The following morning we took a walk around Barga. We had a look around, exploring the maze of alleyways in the old quarter just off Guglielmo Marconi. It was quiet and much smaller than we remembered. We looked in every shop window, they were far from well-stocked. We continued up the cobbled steps to the old church or dummo. Dignified and white but inside, empty bar the remains of a pulpit. The church of San Christoforo is fronted by a terrace that provides a huge panorama of rooftops, mountains and villa-spotted hills (click to enlarge).
We then returned to Vin and relaxed in our deckchairs with an Italian espresso and amaretti biscuit. With time on our hands maybe we should have a look at the map and decide where next.