As we already reported last month (article here) – as the winter approaches it is the time of year for the Traditional Cheese Rolling in Barga Vecchia. Forget about the dangers of bull running in Pamplona in Spain, for the unprepared visitor to Barga, there is far more risk of being damaged by a fast moving (and strong smelling) sheep's cheese hurtling down one of the narrow streets of Barga Vecchia. As tradition demands, the first cheese of the year was rolled out from Andrea Mazzolini's shop and this morning it was the turn of Marino at Aristo's bar at the other end of the city to bring out his wares and try out his cheese rolling prowess.
So what is all this cheesey activity about ? The answer can be found in the news that there are plans afoot to organise and promote next autumn in Barga Vecchia the 1st Traditional Cheese Rolling Festival. The competition will take place for cheese rollers to move their cheeses from Porte Macchiaia through the city to the finishing line at Porte Reale. The winner being the team that can roll their cheese the distance in the least possible rolls…. so it's bit like golf tournament except that the cheeses have to remain on the ground. Already teams from the L'osteria and Casciani's are thinking about training for this forthcoming event. Watch this space for further details