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Tuscany’s newest culinary destination


In one of Tuscany’s northernmost areas, less than an hour away from Lucca, you’ll find Garfagnana, the region’s newest culinary destination that you should consider for your next trip. Here you’ll find amazing, rich food deeply rooted in its farmers’ traditions, and rolling green hills, dense forests and stunning views. Since it’s not as well-known as other parts of the region, like Chianti or the major art cities, you won’t find as many visitors, but an abundance of proud, kind and welcoming locals.


The area is rich with beautiful accommodations, such as Agriturismo Il Venturo in the countryside of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, where you’ll find a pool, an equestrian center and a “km. 0” restaurant where you’ll enjoy some of the most typical foods of the region. We recommend you try mondiola, a front-quarter pork salame aged for 40 days, fresh maccheroni pasta with sausage and Tuscan kale, white wine roast rabbit, and castagnaccio – the most “garfagnino” dessert there is, since it is made of chestnut flour, pine nuts and rosemary.


For a more refined style of cuisine, enjoy a meal at Al Teatro – Laboratorio del Gusto in the town of Castelnuovo. Chef Alessandro Pineschi is born-and-raised garfagnino, and his most luxurious dishes include steamed cow’s tongue with salsa verde and onions, sausage ragù with Tuscan kale extract over Formenton Ottofile polenta, chard and spinach ravioli in the most decadent butter sauce, cotechino (a large, soft sausage made of pork lard and pork rinds) with white truffle, and chestnut waffle with fresh ricotta.


If you don’t feel like a full-blown meal, pay a visit to Andrea Bertucci’s world-renowned Vecchio Mulino in Castelnuovo to enjoy a glass of wine and gorgeous platters of cheese, salumi, and crostini.

Sit inside at the well-loved wooden tables, surrounded by the scent of prosciutto hanging from the ceiling, or sit outside on the street, in the sun, for some Tuscan people-watching.



But Garfagnana isn’t just about eating out, it’s also about eating in! When you’ll want to prepare your own meal using local products, visit Garfagnana Coop in Sillicagnana for some of the area’s best local specialties: fruit jams, preserved vegetables, farro and, most importantly, in-house stone-ground chestnut flour.


But other than chestnuts, which its woods abound of, Garfagnana is also very well-known for its meat products, so we’d recommend you consider doing some of your shopping at generations old, family run butcher shops. Our favorites are Macelleria Angelini in Pieve Pesciana for their biroldo, a traditional boiled blood sausage, and Antica Macelleria Nutini in Coreglia for their pork shoulder and fresh meats.


After all of this delicious eating, you can enjoy some hikes or exploring the small towns of Garfagnana.


Martina Bartolozzi


Martina is an Italian-American travel blogger born and raised in Florence. She spends most of her time exploring Italy and the world, eating delicious foods and posting videos that will make you hungry.

Follow her on Instagram for daily deliciousness


cover image source: welcome 2 lucca; source other images: Martina Bartolozzi